5 of our Favourite Burns Night Craft Beer and Food Pairings
Lockdown may have brought an abrupt end to any Burns Night Ceilidh plans you might have had (unless you’re planning on cracking one out in the living room) but, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a Burns Night supper from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you’re a Haggis supper fanatic or experimenting with bringing Burns night into Veganuary, we’ve got the ideal recipe and beer pairing for everyone.
Keep reading for 5 of our favourite Burns Night craft beer and food pairings!
So, what is Burns Night?
Burns Night, although officially a Scottish festival, has found great popularity in London over the past few years. A festival dedicated to the works of Scotlands most famous poet – Robert Burns.
Although you might think you’re not familiar with any of Burns work, if you’ve ever sung Auld Lang Syne at New Year, you’re pretty well acquainted!
Born in the village of Alloway in Scotland, Burns Night is celebrated on the 25th January every year to commemorate Robert Burns Birthday. If you’ve never attended a Burns Night celebration before, you have been severely missing out!
Burns Night is traditionally celebrated with a Haggis supper, served up with a side of Neeps & Tatties (turnips & potatoes) and finished with a dessert of Cranachan. Although a pretty hearty meal, a Burns Night supper usually leads the way for an evening of music, speeches, poems and the ever chaotic Ceilidh dancing (Scottish line dancing). If you’re lucky, you might even get a bagpipe performance!
Now, not to dangle the thought of a pre-lockdown Burns Night in front of you too much, let’s move on to our 5 favourite Burns Night craft beer and food pairings; perfect for a downsized Burns Night at home!
Not the most appetising of names but this rich and creamy smoked haddock soup is a Scottish classic.
A luxurious blend of delicately smoked haddock, silky smooth cream and peppery leeks make Cullen Skink an amazing opener for any meal. Pair it with a light and refreshing lager like London Steam to cut through the luxurious creaminess and compliment the subtle smoke and spice with its Liberty and Crystal hop blend.
With Scottish Scallops being regarded as some of the most delicious and succulent around, you can’t miss a course of these beauties at your Burns Night supper.
The true taste of luxury, scallops natural sweetness are wonderfully offset with the addition of a bitter American style IPA.
With scallops usually featuring as an entrée, we thought a glass of our Picnic Session IPA would make the perfect accompaniment. It’s bursting with glorious tropical, pine hop flavours to contrast and offset the delicate caramelisation of seared scallops.
Picnic carries all the hop bitterness you’d want in a traditional West Coast IPA but comes in at a much easier drinking 4.4%.
Although traditionally paired with a delicate Heather Ale, the roasted coffee and smoked qualities of our Prêt à Porter work wonderfully to accentuate Haggis’s rich gamey qualities and pair even more exquisitely when combined with a rich whisky sauce or gravy. With just a hint of citrus hop on the finish, Prêt à Porter will refresh the palate at every bite.
You can purchase Haggis from a number of artisan Haggis makers however if you’ve left it too late, you’ll find most major supermarkets not only sell traditional Haggis but also offer up its vegan alternative.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and have a butchers close at hand you can craft your own Haggis at home or go veggie and make your own vegan Haggis! Match it with blissfully simple, buttered Neeps & Tatties and you’re well on your way to a staggeringly good Burns Night supper.
Whilst this indulgent, fruity dessert pairs just as well with an intense imperial stout, we like to keep things a little lighter and match Cranachans sweet, raspberry flavours with an equally lush and fruity New England Pale like our Nighthawks NEPA. Loaded with wheat and oats in the brew, Nighthawks carries the body enough to hold its own against Cranachans debaucherous creaminess whilst hop notes of peach and candied citrus play off perfectly against Cranachans tart raspberries.
You can find our favourite cranachan recipes here or, if you’re taking part in Veganuary, you can make an equally delicious vegan version by subbing in coconut cream and Aquafaba!
Now, whilst not everyone is a fan of stinky cheese, we can’t resist it as the perfect finisher to a Burns Night supper from the gods. If you can get your hands on a block of Strathdon Blue you won’t be disappointed. Equally, the more readily available Blue Murder (developed by ex-Blur bassist-turned-cheesemaker Alex James) is guaranteed to hit the spot.
The soft creamy texture and ripe spicy notes of a good blue meet their match when paired with a bold and bitter IPA like our Mondo collab, Hey Neighbour!
Although it may not be the Burns Night that we’d all hoped for, we hope you check out a few of these combos and spice up an otherwise dreary lockdown Monday. If you do decide to go all out, you can find a video of all the moves you need to get your living room Ceilidh started with the kids here!