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McEwan's Scotch Ale

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jimsmasonry, Mar 8, 2012.

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  1. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    I know it's been asked before but has been awhile & the answers seemed ify so I thought I'd ask. Does anyone know if (my favorite) McEwan's Scotch Ale can be purchased in the U.S. anymore? Does anyone have a dead ringer recipe for it (grain preferably)?

    Thanks so much, Jim.
  2. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (515) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    You should read Greg Noonan's Scotch Ale book. Lots of great general info. As for McEwan's: OG=1.088, ABV=8%.Yeast is Wyeast 1728. They have their own maltings but Golden Promise from Bairds or Thomas Fawcett should be a close match.

    Quoting Noonan:

    "Gypsum is added to the brewing liquor for pH adjustment... 2 to 3% roast barley for color and flavor... A protein rest is used , with adjuncts added at saccharification. Northern Brewer hops are used for 25-50% of the bitterness, with isomerized extracts providing the balance. Fermentation is limited to a maximum of 68-72F and oxygenation is limited in order to control yeast growth and ester formation."
  3. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    They don't even have a brewery, let alone their own maltings.
  4. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (515) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    I took my information from Noonan's book, which is 15 years old. Consolidation marches on... So who is making McEwan's now?
  5. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    If I remember right, Wells and Young bought the rights to McEwan and Younger beers and are getting them brewed at Caledonian in Edinburgh. Including my favourite, Younger's No. 3.
  6. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    I wonder how a guy can contact the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh. I can't seem to find a website and or contact info for them. Apparently they were formerly Scottish & Newcastle UK Ltd.
    Newcastle in White Plains N.Y. returned my call yesterday and left a message with my son. It was "We no longer carry the product you are looking for; the McEwans Ale".
  7. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks for the tips on books to read guys. I have found some recipe's for Scottish ales and some folks best effort at McEwans. I'm just kind of comparing them and finding the most common denominators. It's been so one since I tasted one that I suppose I would never know the difference. But still...
  8. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    The closest I can come to the Golden Promise at my supplier is the English 2 Row Barley. Does that seem good? Those are the two that the recipes include the most. Is there a Scottish barley out there I wonder?
  9. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    My friend in Ireland "it's here" in response to my facebook posting asking if anyone had seen it. He didn't answer me when I asked if he had actually seen it with his own two eyes.
  10. Heineken bought the UK and US portions of Scottish & Newcastle - the White Plains, NY address is their US import division, Heineken USA. That division is notoriously bad for general info - if they don't import a brand, they don't know it. They once told me that Heineken didn't own Murphy's (owned by Heineken but imported into the US by an indie company). I laughed and then read them Heineken International's website's Murphy's info to them over the phone "In 1954, Heineken purchased Murphy's-blah-blah...", and the person on the phone told me, "I don't have internet access."

    Heineken UK's corporate headquarters is the same address as the Caledonian Brewery (which they now also own, since it was a S&N subsidiary):


    HEINEKEN Head Office
    HEINEKEN Limited
    2 – 4 Broadway Park
    South Gyle
    Edinburgh
    EH12 9JZ

    Tel: 0131 528 1000
  11. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks jesskidden, I got a response from my friend in Ireland just now regarding my question "if he had actually seen it recently with his own two eyes." He answered "Haven't been in a pub for a while so can't say I've seen a bottle of the stuff in a while , but then I haven't been looking for it specifically. I'll check it out and let you know". I'm kinda wondering if it is even made anymore by anyone.
    You didn't happen to find an email address did you?
    Thanks again jesskidden, that was all new info for me.
  12. Well, as noted above by "patto1ro" : Wells and Young’s acquired McEwan’s and Younger’s tho' the beers will remain brewed by Heineken-Caledonian. W&Y has drastically cut back the number of beers they export to the US - altho' they did send us their new Courage Imperial Russian Stout - so it's anyone's guess if we'll ever see the McEwan beers again.

    Heineken UK's emails are on the "contact" page in that link I noted - http://www.heineken.co.uk/contactus.php but at this point, you'll probably be better off contacting Wells & Young's
  13. Is the variety not given? Just calling it "2 row" is like selling "eating apples"
    No problem with brewing a Scotch Ale from English malt; for a long time that's all the Scots ever used for brewing.
    inchrisin likes this.
  14. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks guys.
    Look what I just stumbled upon: "http://www.mcewans.co.uk/welcome.php"
    I just wrote them:
    "Regretfully it's been years since I was able to find a McEwan's Scotch Ale here in the U.S. Is there no way I can find one here?
    As an alternative I wish I could at least have your recipe for an occasional private home brewing. Any chance of either of those two wishes or both coming true anytime soon? Please? :)"
  15. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks jesskiden, I just sent an email to Wells & Young's
  16. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    I just sent another one to Heineken... John Smith Customer Care as well.
  17. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    English 2-Row Pale Barley Malt (Maris Oater)
  18. Well, they'd be no help with recipe formula, but since it seems you're also interested in having the brand returned to the US market, might as well let the US importer of the Wells and Young's beers know, as well- Belukus Marketing, Inc.
  19. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks jesskidden, I just sent one to Belukus as well.
  20. stooge

    stooge Savant (265) Michigan Feb 22, 2012

    Sorry I can't help with the recipe, but I do have some definitive info to offer. I used to work for Scottish & Newcastle Importers here in the US, and as others have correctly pointed out, Heineken NV acquired the rights to McEwan's Scotch Ale with the global purchase of Scottish & Newcastle in 2008. MSA was brewed at the Caledonia Brewery in Edinburgh, I was there last year and can confirm that this brewery it is now owned by Heineken NV.
    Unfortunately, Heineken USA made the decision to cease brewing McEwan's Scotch Ale and discontinued production and export shortly after purchasing S&N, citing low sales volume.

    The McEwan's Scottish Ales on the web site you have discovered are available in the UK, but these are much lower in ABV (3.2-4.5%) than the Scotch Ale, (8% ABV) which was produced exclusively for export to the US. I have some contacts in the industry who are trying to negotiate the rights to produce and export McEwan's Scotch Ale into the US again, but so far they have been unable to reach an agreement. Hope they bring it back, it was an all time favorite of mine, along with Theakston's Old Peculiar.
    [​IMG]
  21. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Woo Hoo! That's encouraging. I wondered why something was different with the names. I noticed that there used to be Scotch Ale but the current advertisement I found is for Scottish Ale. I thought that was peculiar but didn't know that it was because it is a different product altogether.
    I can imagine the low sales volume. As I've said before I believe I paid ten or so dollars for a six pack. That was at least eight or ten years ago. It was well worth it. However, raising five children and with a stay at home Mom, it was just hard to rationalize when there were diapers and all to pay for. I couldn't buy much of it. That was one of the the biggest if not the biggest reasons I decided to try home brewing.
    Thanks so much for the really good info Stooge. That puts a lot of guesses to rest and encourages me to think that the best is yet to come. :) Jim.
  22. There's all the difference in the world between Scotch Ale and Scottish Ale.
    Scotch Ale is a distinct and recognised style, very similar to Burton Ale whereas Scottish Ale is nothing more than ale brewed in Scotland.Which can be any style at all.
    jimsmasonry likes this.
  23. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks marquis. I didn't realize that. Interesting.
  24. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    I just heard from McEwan's & Younger's. Here it is:
    "Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your enquiry re McEwan's Scotch Ale. It was a very popular beer in the US and I know there were a lot of disappointed drinkers when it was discontinued. We acquired the McEwan's brand in October 2011 from Heineken and are assessing our Export opportunities including the possibility of re-introducing McEwan's Scotch back into the US market. Unfortunately we cannot promise if and when it will happen at this stage but will keep you in the loop.

    Many thanks,

    Andrew Cross
    Senior Brand Manager - McEwan's & Younger's
    Wells & Young's Brewing Company
    Office: 01234 279262,
    Mobile: 07977248471"

    :D
  25. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Unless he is speaking of the Scottish Ale it sounds like they are brewing it again now.
  26. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    So I asked:

    "Hi Andrew,
    Thanks not only for responding but responding with such encouraging news. You may not offer any promise but you certainly did offer hope.
    On another note, are you referring to the McEwan's Scotch ale or the Scottish Ale?
    Thanks again,
    Jim."
  27. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    And he answered:

    Hi Jim,

    I am referring to McEwan's Scotch, the ale that was widely available in the US, not Scottish Ale.

    Thanks,

    Andrew Cross
    Senior Brand Manager - McEwan's & Younger's
    Wells & Young's Brewing Company
    Office: 01234 279262,
    Mobile: 07977248471
  28. All McEwan's beers are Scottish ales.
  29. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Yup, and they have one distinctively called Scotch Ale and another one called Scottish Ale as opposed to their ales in general which are all as you pointed out Scottish. He made it clear that he was speaking of Scotch Ale in particular. I find that encouraging. I love that stuff :) .
  30. law00

    law00 Zealot (85) Maryland Jan 18, 2009

    I received the following response in January of this year:

    Many thanks for your recent email enquiry.
    Our plan is to relaunch McEwans Scotch into the USA later in the year around October. This will be in a 330ml Nrb format at the original abv of 7.8%.
    Please re contact me around this time and then I can advise you of our progress and store availability

    Many thanks,

    Tim

    Kind Regards,

    Tim Wilmot-Smith
    Export General Manager
    Wells & Young's Brewing Company Ltd
    www.wellsandyoungs.co.uk
    Mobile +447802499828
    FaceBook - Wells and Young's Beers Abroad
  31. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thank you Law. I like yours from January better than mine from March of this year. That is music to my ears! I noticed that while mine is from the Brand Manager yours is from the Export General Manager. I'm encouraged either way. :)
  32. ishoottrap

    ishoottrap Disciple (50) Colorado Sep 3, 2010

    I was in Scotland at the time this thread started, Edinburgh to be precise and looked high and low in liquor stores/pubs for McEwans Scotch Ale. No luck, lots of McEwans but no Scotch ale. I'm a big fan, sure hope the October (or earlier) date holds!

    -Scot
  33. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks ishoottrap, that's good & helpful information. I'm with you on the hope! I had or have a friend over there as well. I don't know if he is back yet but he said he would look. My brother has a friend that lives near there. He said he would send me some but being that I haven't heard from him, he probably hasn't found any either.
    Thanks again,
    Jim. :)
  34. Spreee

    Spreee Aspirant (25) May 2, 2012

    Ah, this is wonderous news indeed! Or at least, mildly encouraging :) McEwans Scotch Ale became my favorite first time I tasted it, years back. I would be delighted to find it reintroduced to the US!
  35. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Aye Spree! I prayed that it will be! :) I'm with you on being "my" favorite the first time "I" tasted it. I just bottled a batch Sunday night that was my best guess at it based on a dozen or more best guesses from other home brewers. It was tasting pretty good so far!
  36. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (515) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    This beer was quite a revelation to me when I first had it in the late 1980's. I had just started homebrewing at the time but that beer led me to do more research and eventually got me to where I am today with my brewing (for better or worse:)).
  37. law00

    law00 Zealot (85) Maryland Jan 18, 2009

    From Twitter - sign up for Twitter and let W&Y know

    @WellsAndYoungs: “@Law00: @WellsAndYoungs bring McEwan's Scotch Ale back to the States.” We're looking into it - need to be sure there's a market for it!
  38. jimsmasonry

    jimsmasonry Disciple (55) Mar 8, 2012

    Thank you law00. That is good news and very encouraging. I know that here in Alb, N.M. I have not found even one Scotch ale There is Scottish ale made by Bellhaven I believe but zero Scotch ale that I know of.
  39. McEwanObsessed

    McEwanObsessed Initiate (15) Oct 17, 2012

    Ok, it is October!! Anyone hear about McEwan's???? Would love to get my husband some for Christmas, it is his favorite! We have an amazing Scottish Pub here in OR where we keep asking for it...to no avail! If no luck, any suggestions on something equally as good??
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