This summer, Scottish craft beer maker, Innis & Gunn, launches its new limited edition ‘Independence Day’ beer in celebration of Scotland’s centuries-old ties with the USA. Never before has a beer maker dedicated a brew to this specific day and, as Dougal Sharp, CEO of Innis & Gunn, explains, the brand would not exist without the American Oak that is used to flavor the beer.
“When we first produced Innis & Gunn Original in 2003, its wonderful flavor resulted from the interaction between our beer recipe and the American Oak in which we aged it. And the success we have had internationally has only been possible because the USA has been the trailblazer for craft beer for over a decade. So we owe a great deal to the USA and we have brewed this special Independence Day beer to celebrate and honor this,” explains Dougal Sharp, CEO of Innis & Gunn.
The lineage between the Scots and Americans go way back— to 1776 and earlier — and the history of both countries is deeply interwoven. It all began at the very beginning, when 21 of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent and two others had been born in Scotland, only to come to the Americas later in life. Even America’s favorite relative, ‘Uncle Sam’, was actually based on a real man, Samuel Wilson, whose parents were native Scots.
Today, about 30 million US citizens can trace their descent from Scotland. And now, just in time for the Fourth of July, the Innis & Gunn ‘Independence Day’ beer has arrived as a summer-long toast to Americans and Scottish Americans everywhere.
In making the Independence Day Limited Edition, Dougal gave himself a challenge to create a beer that was both refreshing but complex - something that would quench the thirst over a long, hot summer but that would not lose any of the unique flavor attributes the award-winning brewer is known for.
He added: “Independence Day is quite unusual in that it marries two characteristics: complexity and refreshment, which you don’t often find in a single beer. So it both satisfies thirst but also has a full and rounded flavor, which comes from the oak maturation. The taste really evolves on the palate and we’re delighted with the result.”
The outcome is a light and fruity beer with notes of candied apple and marzipan. The combination of biscuit malt and citrus hops tingle the palate only diminishing after the first sip to allow the signature Innis & Gunn vanilla and oak notes to shine through. Because of this combination of Scottish malted barley and zesty American hops, Independence Day is a great partner to BBQ dishes.