Being good Glasgow kids, we tend to think that any location north of Milton is for the watching but if there is one thing the rest of the country is pulling its weight with, it’s craft beer.

Brewdog from Aberdeen and the Williams Bros. from Alloa have stolen a march on their rivals and a piece of our heart but they are far from the only candidates serving up great quality beer if you are in the mood for something more substantial than the mass market beer. WEST is still fighting the good fight for Glasgow and Williams Bros. look set to join up with Tennents at Wellpark but on the whole, you are looking outside of the city for most of the best beers at the moment.

Skye Gold

Skye Gold

It seems as though the team at Get Around Glasgow are developing a reputation for liking craft beer. There are worse things you can develop a reputation for but it’s not as if our parents are beaming with pride about the fact we are recognised as liking a good swally! However, it’s not all bad, especially when you take on board that we managed to get our hands on the newly rebranded Isle of Skye ales before they hit the shops and bars.

The company has been around since 1995 and it’s more of a relaunch as opposed as opposed to new products, so you may well be familiar with some of the beers on offer. There is a simplicity to the new servings, which is never a bad thing, especially when you are faced with a wealth of options. The Red Cuillin is now known as Skye Red, Black Cuilllin is now known as Skye Black, Hebridean Gold is now Skye Gold and there is a new product called Skye Blaven. The new-look branding is pretty simple as well, but again, in a crowded bar or busy supermarket shelf, this may be thing that stands out.

Skye Red

Skye Red

There are some craft beers labels that are highly intricate and which almost qualify as a work of art, this is not one of those labels. Then again, some of the more fancy labels leave you scratching your heard or peering really closely to know what you’re getting. With the new look Skye ales, you know exactly what you’re getting and personally, the new labels and identity is much more appealing than the old look, but that’s very much a personal matter.

Something to take on board about the Skye Gold ale is that it is made from porridge oats. This means if you have been looking to find a beer that is fit for the breakfast table, look no further. The Gold is pretty smooth, quite enjoyable and its a 4.3% so its not pushing the boundaries in the way that some craft beers are. The Red has a glorious colour, one drink you’ll be happy to admire for a few seconds before making your way into the malty treat.

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

One of the best things, for us, about the increasing availability of craft beer is that taste is very much on the agenda. Sure there are some times when you just want a drink and it’s often more about the excuse to socialise with friends but shouldn’t you be able to combine the social element with something that actually tastes nice? I don’t think that’s too much to ask and the Skye drinks were a perfect accompaniment to watching the football at home (the drinks were given a proper road-test and they passed the Champions League test, far tastier than a Heineken or that new Russian brew Gazprom).

So aye, there’s plenty of choice in the craft beer market and if you’ve already selected your favourites, you may not be too fussed about looking out for a new beer. Then again, you’d never have found your current favourite without trying something new…you should find the new Skye range of interest and if you like beer with taste, you won’t be let down.

One of the most important things about the relaunch of the brand is that there is promised to be a much better distribution to Glasgow and the central belt. This is definitely something of considerable importance.

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

While many of us are keen to try as many different drinks as possible, you do so in the hope of finding beers that you enjoy and can continue to enjoy on a regular basis. This issue has been one of the main stumbling blocks of the emerging craft beer and ale market. Many of the pubs and shops that stock the products are keen to offer a variety of drinks and turnover, which is great for trying new drinks but annoying when you find the one you have been enjoying for the past week or two has been removed from the taps to make way for Gandalf’s Memory Stick or Hogwarts Bukkake. With a more consistent level of delivery promised, more bars, pubs and stores will be inclined to stock Isle of Skye products, so it should be available in a lot more places from here on. Supposedly the company is also looking to increase their presence in England as well but we aren’t going to worry about that.