Kilty Pleasures – Burns Supper Beers

It’s a good one so don’t deny that pun didn’t make you smile! Anyway, getting back on topic, Burns night is this Sunday and this fills me with joy for two reasons:

  1. I’m Scottish and hail from Dumfriesshire – the very heart of Burns country
  2. What better reason to celebrate, drink and eat lots of great food?

Whiskey is the traditional drink to accompany a Burns Supper but drink whiskey all night and you might not last past the first course. And this is where beer comes in so I thought I’d put together a Burns Supper beer inspired list for the big night.


Firstly thought, it’s important to get a feel for what goes into making haggis and what flavours to expect. Described as having an excellent ‘nutty and savoury flavour’ haggis is comprised mainly of sheep’s heart, liver, lungs, and stomach, onion, oatmeal, suet and spices. Ok, it doesn’t sound that appealing but bear with me! It is traditionally served with mashed turnip and potatoes (neeps and tatties) to form the main course of a traditional Burns Supper. Expect those nutty, savoury flavours along with peppery notes from the spices.


A traditional Burns Supper kicks off with a helping of either Scotch broth or cock-a-leekie soup. Both flavoursome, hearty dishes, a beer that lightens things up and cleanses the palate is in order:

  • Compass – Symposium. Brewed with ginger and lemon, this wheat beer packs loads of flavours with enough bitterness to cut through the heavy textures in the soup.

symposium beer

Best of the rest: Stewart Brewing – Edinburgh Gold, St. Andrew Brewing – Fife Gold


Smoked beers or traditional Scottish ales that are sweet and full bodied provide the perfect pairing with your haggis. Here are a selection of the best to try:

  • Innis & Gunn – Smokin’ Gunn. Brewed with malts that are smoked over beech wood and aged in bourbon barrels, this beer has notes of vanilla, maple syrup and toasty sweetness.


Best of the rest: Anspach & Hobday – The Smoked Porter, Black Isle Brewery – Scotch Ale


The Supper is concluded with either a cheese board or more traditionally, a Clootie Dumpling. In keeping with a whiskey theme for the evening, there are some great beer available to finish of the night.

  • Harviestoun – Ola Dubh range. Available as the 12, 16 and 18, these whiskey barrel aged beers from Scottish brewers Harviestoun are perfect to finish the night. Big, sweet and creamy with hints of caramel and berries, this beer are a perfect accompaniment with strong cheese or the treacle and spices of the dumplings.


Best of the rest: Brewdog – Paradox Jura, Goose Island – Bourbon County

Whiskey is a must for a Burns Supper but try a few of the above to enhance the flavour and enjoyment further!


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