Everything in Moderation

Since we moved over here to Aberdeen, our life has consisted of some difficult choices. What new recipe to try for dinner, which store to buy our groceries from, what pub we'll meet at for beers, what beer to actually drink, which wine looks the best to buy, where to go for the weekend and so on. Yes, it's a rough life, indeed.

So we hopped on the bandwagon when we found out Peckham's (a fine food & wine chain store, peckhams.co.uk) was holding a free beer tasting at one of their Aberdeen locations. After wasting away the entire morning by sleeping in, making French toast for breakfast and watching a few episodes of our new obsessive series, 24, we headed out.

An hour and a half later, we were pretty toasted ourselves!

But it was really interesting to get the 411 behind some of the popular local labels, like Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (http://www.fraoch.com/williamsbros.htm). They've got a great beer called Scottish Lager that we really liked. We tilted a lot toward the lagers, actually, which are a bit lighter and smoother than the wheat beers and ales. We're so used to drinking Bud Light and that's not available anywhere here! Someone said they did try to bring it in at one point and it just wasn't very popular. But on occasion you'll find a store or a bar that offers Coors Light, something I might have to give in to from time to time.

We also discovered we like the Australian Crown lager and a couple of German beers, plus an interesting brew named Sheepshaggers Gold by Cairngorm Brewery in the Highlands of Scotland (cairngormbrewery.com). The descriptive label on the back of the bottle claimed it was "baa none!" Mike also developed another nickname for it, which I won't repeat on here.

BrewDog was heavily respresented at the tasting, a sort of new-age, punkish type beer brand. I didn't like their stuff as much, though they had a lager that wasn't bad. Most of their beers were much stronger than average, including an 18.2% beer, Tokyo. From BrewDog.com: "This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips."

But we certainly left with a newfound set of tastebuds for the local brews and a need for more! Right across the street we went into Triple Kirks, which seemed to be the equivalent of a sports bar back home. We got two pints of Stella on draught and watched a bit of the soccer game that everyone there was severly into. After Terri met up with us, we headed down a few doors to Vodka Bar for some Fosters and fish and chips. The potato wedges were delicious!

Then we stopped into Revolution, a pretty nice place with lots of outdoor seating and a good drink menu.

One vodka tonic for me later, we skipped on over to Dusk, where we met up with our Peckhams buddy, Jamie, and some of his friends from the beer tasting. He's a nice kid in school at Aberdeen University here and came over to talk with us for a bit. Through him, I discovered another new drink, vodka and ginger beer. It's a non-acoholic mixer that Schweppes makes and is new for me anyway. I kinda like it!

We even found entertainment as the bartender mixed his orders, his production and presentation of all the drinks he made was astounding. Very detailed and well-done. It was almost worth the price of the cocktail just to watch him make it. One drink that seems popular here is Brazil's national cocktail, Caipirinhas. They're made with cacha├ža (similar to rum and made from sugarcane), sugar and lime. It's very close to a regular mojito, which they also serve here... frozen or on the rocks.

But don't be fooled, we're doing more here than drinking! I've been working on my cooking skills and picking out some new recipes to try. My latest was Guinness beef stew, which turned out ah-mazing. It called for parsnips--the white version of carrotts--which we discovered are bitter and not good. So no more parnsips, I picked them all out of the stew. I also made a nice appetizer plate of grapes, cheese, salad and herb and butter toast. Yum! Good eatin' and drinkin' here in Aberdeen.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful!! Thanks for giving us a 'view' of Scotland through your blog!!!

    Linda Chapman


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