Here's our guide to some of the best real ales and craft beers available at Lidl

Following on from the massive success we had at Aldi with their excellent range of Scottish beers and ales, we had high hopes for another supermarket that is gaining growing popularity of late, Lidl.

Judging by some of the excellent foods, particularly in the bakery section, and low prices, we had high hopes as we made our way round the store.

However, the beer section left a little to be desired, here’s a look at what was on offer:

Scottish ales and lagers

Lidl’s commitment to providing a cracking range of beers seems to be nowhere near that seen at either of the other stores we’ve visited since we began this series. For a section that calls itself the brewery it’s surprisingly sparse.

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McEwans Champion

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Well received on many beer review sites, McEwans Champion is a great nod to the formerly ubiquitous (and many would say, widely missed) Scottish brand. Not content to settle on nostalgic appeal, the Caledonian Brewing Company have created a deliciously warm Scottish ale with a delightfully fruity and malty taste. Be warned though, it goes down easy and at 7.2% abv you might want to be mindful of how many you drink.

Abv: 7.3%

Price: £1.48

For those who…… love a little bit of nostalgia as well as a great beer

Supermarket craft beer and real ale guide: Lidl

Innis and Gunn Original

Innis & Gunn. Picture: I & G

Innis & Gunn. Picture: I & G

Ok, so there was a little disappointment that Lidl didn’t carry anymore of Innis & Gunn’s extended range (where’s the Rum cask?) but the original is still a cracking little beer. Rich and flavoursome with swirling vanilla tones mixing with big hits of malt, it’s well worth trying if you haven’t already.

Price: £1.24

Abv: 6.6%

For those who… want a scottish beer but fancy something a little different

Caledonia 80/- and Deuchars IPA

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Caledonian Brewery has successfully built up both of these ales over the last decade or so to the point that they are now common in many bars across the country. The reason for this success of course comes down to the standard of the beer and both of these bottles offer the chance to try some exceptional Scottish ales.

Deuchars IPA – A cracking IPA that has helped to raise the profile of pale ales in this country decades before it was cool to do so. With a great balance between malt and hop and a decent strength, you’ll find it’s exceptionally drinkable.

Abv: 3.8%

Price: £1.25

Caledonian 80/- – A far more traditional type of Scottish beer, 80 shilling is a cracking little amber ale, rich in flavour and coming in at a decent strength.

Abv: 4.1%

Price: £1.25

For those who…… like good examples of no thrills – but still excellent – Scottish beer

• Supermarket craft beer and real ale guide: Asda

Belhaven St Andrews Ale

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St Andrews Ale. Picture: Wikimedia

Another of Scotland’s bigger breweries, Belhaven’s St Andrews Ale is a rich, malty amber ale with limited fruit and floral tones. A good beer for sharing with a few mates but nothing to get overly excited over.

Abv: 4.6%

Price: £1.49

For those who…. are fans of Belhaven

Rest of the World

Asahi

Asahi beer. Picture: Wikimedia

Asahi beer. Picture: Wikimedia

A minor bright spot in an otherwise disappointing range of world beers, Asahi is a beer made to Japan’s exacting standards and as a result, is a crisp and refreshing  lager.

Abv: 5.0%

Price: £1.59

For those who….. like a good lager but are fed up with the usual offerings

Blanche de Namur

Blanche de Namur. Picture: Wikimedia

Blanche de Namur. Picture: Wikimedia

If you are a fan of Belgian wheat beers like Hoegaarden then you can’t go wrong with this lovely little beer. Citrusy and light with a slight spice, Blanche de Namur is an easy drinking beer at a very good price.

Abv: 4.5%

Price: £1.39

For those who….. who like their beers a little more continental

Overall a disappointing effort, though following on from Aldi’s excellent selection was never going to be an easy task.

The focus of Lidl’s small drinks section was obviously on wine and as such they can’t be judged too harshly for their beer offering.

Would like to have seen more smaller Scottish breweries or at the very least a few more of the excellent Innis & Gunn range.

Hopefully they’ll take the hint provided Aldi with their dedication to Scottish produce and begin to expand their range.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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