If you’re familiar with Boundary Bay Brewery at all, you’ve probably tasted (or at least heard about) our Scotch Ale. It was our original, flagship beer when we opened in 1995, but we’d planned to have it on tap only as a seasonal beer. However, it turned out that our Scotch Ale was so popular that in 15 years we’ve never once taken it off tap even once!
This Scotch Ale has a thick, creamy head and a beautiful red hue with an incredibly smooth finish that lingers. We make it with roasted, unmalted barley which provides a distinctive flavor and hop it just long enough to give the beer good balance with just a touch of sweetness. You can pretty much always find our Scotch Ale on tap here at the brewery, at any number of regional restaurants and bars who have our beer on tap and in 22 oz. bottles here at Boundary Bay Brewery and at regional grocery stores and bottle shops.
But, this time of year, our beloved Scotch Ale gets a little bit of competition! This Thursday (May 17th) we’re releasing our Highland Scotch Ale which is brewed in commemoration of the Bellingham Highland Games. Made with Dark crystal and peated malts, this beer is rich and dark with a faint smokey finish and is definitely stronger than our traditional Scotch Ale. This small batch brew is only available seasonally, so be sure to come try it while it’s on tap! This beer tends to go pretty quickly around these parts and you won’t find this one in bottles, either, so plan your weekends around a road trip up here to Bellingham!
You can also enjoy this beer of ours at the Bellingham Highland Games on June 1st – 3rd out at Hovander Park. You’ll find it in the beer garden at the games all weekend, but there are a few opportunities for you to get your hands on it early, too! Here in the Boundary Bay Brewery beer garden, the Highland Games association will be conducting a blessing of the Firkin ceremony on Thursday, May 24th.
They’ll bless the kegs of Highland Scotch Ale heading out to the games and even have some pipers, dancers, game officials and men in kilts…of course! Here’s the catch though…that special Firkin they’re blessing? Well, it’s not gonna get tapped until Friday, June 1st which kicks off the Highland Games festivities. If you head out to Hovander Park that night, you’ll get to enjoy the Kirkin o’ the Firkin AND a Scottish Idol talent show! What’s a Kirkin of the Firkin, you ask? Well, $20 gets you a special mug that allows you to drink as much of the Firkin (filled with our Highland Scotch Ale) as you want till it’s gone…that means even the next day if there’s any beer left!
On behalf of the Highland Games I would like to offer Haley our apologies. Putting on an event with over 10,000 spectators is by no means a small task and very often on Friday evening there is still hours of setup still underway. We put on our talent show (seven years running now) and for the last 4 years have opened the Ale Garden to the public who see the activity and traffic through the day and wander down. We try to make the event fun and pleasant and it appears that on this evening a lot of things had gone poorly. Our scheduled (and paid for) live music had difficulties getting to the field and would not be in attendance (an advertised item of Fridays festivities) $5000 worth of glassware had gone mysteriously missing and there was a number of visitors who had misinterpreted this blog writing to mean they could drink free all weekend for $20 and some (not all) were aggressively arguing the fact.
Although this is no excuse for the unprofessional display I hope it offers somewhat of an explanation. I believe the statements of charging $20 if you ask about it was meant in jest but that along with the foul language, even if in the Ale Garden, was not the representation that The Bellingham Scottish Highland Games wants to portray to the public. We are glad you enjoyed the Ale and had a good time and outside of this incident and sincerely hope you will return next year.
Thanks so much for your response. That makes so much sense that you guys had nothing to do with that experience, because it seemed really out of character. Thanks for the contacts too. You guys are great :)
Haley, I’m so sorry you had a bad experience. The whole event, including the beer garden, is put on by the Highland Games Association. They buy beer from us and we bring it to the games, set up the taps and then have a couple of our volunteers take a few beer pouring shifts over the weekend. But, other than that, it’s the Highland Games staff. None of our people were there Friday night after they finished setting up the taps, so I’m not sure what exactly happened with the mugs. I would suggest contacting the Highland Games Association directly:
We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed the Firkin of our Highland Scotch Ale, though! Cheers.
So we headed down for this event last night with some friends based on this blog posting. I just want to say that I love Boundary, but last night left me feeling sour. Apparently a lot of things were going wrong for the guy heading up this event, but to flip out, walk off and start cussing in front of your customers when we asked if we could buy the special mug because they weren’t there yet…that was a little over the top. Then when the mugs did arrive about an hour or so later and he chewed out the crowd for interpreting this “What’s a Kirkin of the Firkin, you ask? Well, $20 gets you a special mug that allows you to drink as much of the Firkin (filled with our Highland Scotch Ale) as you want till it’s gone…that means even the next day if there’s any beer left!” as meaning it was all you can drink (which is what several people including myself had interpreted it to mean), and saying that he’s going to charge anyone who mentions it $20/beer – it was just rude. And then to tell people who had already been enjoying the firkin by the glass that we can’t have any more of it unless we buy the mug for $20, it was just too much – they were the ones who forgot the glasses in the first place. Luckily the beer tasted like heaven – that firkin was seriously good. Anyway, I’m done venting about this, and I hope you have a better day today dude.