Tuesday Beer Trivia: Irish and Scottish Styles

Put your knowledge of Irish and Scottish beer styles to the test in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia quiz.

Despite their reputation for being whiskey countries, Ireland and Scotland have been big players in the brewing world for centuries, and their influence can be found in some of the classic styles of today.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to the “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about Irish and Scottish beer styles.

Beer Trivia Answer Explanations

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Question 1: Gruit is a broad style of un-hopped beer that was popular throughout Europe’s history. After the English outlawed a popular means of distillation in Ireland during the 1600s, brewing beer became more prevalent, though hops were not grown domestically and were expensive to import. The result was Irish brewers creating beers using available herbs and spices in lieu of the bitter hops, which would eventually take over in popularity. Learn more about Irish gruit beer.

Question 2: Guinness was founded in the mid-1700s and originally produced a light-colored, bitter beer, that they soon transitioned to a dark ale, referred to at the time as porter, which was brewed for the working-class Irish. This ale would evolve into one of the most popular stouts in the world. Learn more about Guinness and dry Irish stout.

Question 3: From the BJCP Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition: “While Ireland has a long ale brewing heritage, the modern Irish Red Ale style is essentially an adaptation or interpretation of the popular English Bitter style with less hopping and a bit of toast to add color and dryness. Rediscovered as a craft beer style in Ireland, today it is an essential part of most brewery lineups, along with a pale ale and a stout.”

Question 4: From the BJCP Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition: “The original meaning of ‘schilling’ (/-) ales have been described incorrectly for years. A single style of beer was never designated as a 60/-, 70/- or 80/-. The schillings only refer to the cost of the barrel of beer…The Scottish Ales in question were termed Light, Heavy and Export which cover the spectrum of costs from around 60/- to 90/- and simply dark, malt-focused ales.”

Question 5: From the BJCP Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition: “Smoke character is inappropriate as any found traditionally would have come from the peat in the source water. Scottish ales with smoke character should be entered as a Classic Style Smoked Beer.”


Sources: BJCP.org; Popular Styles of the Emerald Isles

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