Like all beers that have been brewed for a long period, No. 3 has undergone many changes. No. 3 is also a beer that’s refused to die, no matter what history has thrown at it. If you’re ever in Scotland, you should give it a try.
Scottish Shilling Ales are beers designated by that peculiar Scottish system of naming based on price rather than type. But what is the history of these beers, and how do they fit into the constellation of British styles?
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In the 18th century, there were three tax classes in England (in descending order of strength): Strong, Table and Small. The definition of these classes was very simple, as it was based on the wholesale price.
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What’s Scotland’s most distinctive type of beer? Scotch Ale, Scottish Ale or Shilling Ale? Actually, it’s none of those; it’s Scottish Sweet Stout. Stout isn’t most people’s first thought when Scottish beer is mentioned, but there’s a long history of brewing Stout in Caledonia.
The UK-based organization CAMRA champions the sale of cask-conditioned “real ale.” And every year, Edinburgh-native and CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine crosses the pond to attend the New England Real Ale Exhibition.