It’s a Bank Holiday weekend. Set sail for the Isle of Ale!
What do you mean you haven’t heard of the Isle of Ale? No, it’s not a remote offshoot of Rum. Very funny.
It is Lidl’s celebration of Scotland’s craft brewers.
For the third time, the supermarket is holding a festival of Scottish craft beer with nineteen beers from thirteen Scottish suppliers, all on sale from £1.29.
As you all know, Brigadoon would only appear for one day every hundred years. Fortunately, the Isle of Ale – surely the Aisle of Ale? – appears rather more frequently.
It runs twice a year. The current one starts today and finishes when stocks run out.
The definition of a craft brewer is the subject of much debate. However, by Lidl’s reckoning, there are more than 90 of them in Scotland.
Isle of Ale: making a splash all over Scotland
The Isle of Ale offers a good spread of styles from Cromarty Brewing’s Whiteout Session IPA to Orkney’s Dragonhead black stout. If you really want to try something exotic, you could crack a DiscoForklifttruck Mango Pale Ale from Drygate.
There is also a good geographical spread. The Belgian-style beers from Six Degrees in Stonehaven sit beside Maverick copper ale from Fyne Ales at Loch Fyne and March of the Penguins stout from Williams Brothers in Alloa.
At the same time as the festival starts, Lidl have also launched a new Scottish craft beer in partnership with Edinburgh-based Stewart Brewing.
In a deal worth £100,000, Stewart’s and Lidl have created a citrusy, punchy, American hop-forward IPA called Bright Lights.
Available across all 95 Scottish stores and exclusively to Lidl customers, Bright Lights is the grocer’s first own label collaboration with the Scottish independent brewer.
It will be available to customers for £1.19 per bottle.
Lidl’s Head of Buying for Scotland, Paul McQuade, said: ‘Sales of speciality beer at Lidl Scotland have grown by 25% in the last year, and we are proud to unveil the line-up for our third Isle of Ale Festival. In store from Thursday 24th May, we are bringing a collection from new and established breweries located across the length and breadth of Scotland, giving our customers the opportunity to try a variety of quality local beers at great value prices.’
See you in the Aisle of, sorry, Isle of Ale.