The Hippo Taproom recommends: 5 great Scottish beers for the summer

We ask Derek Hoy of Hippo Beers and the Hippo Taproom to recommend five great Scottish craft beers to try this summer.

Published 11th Aug 2016
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

It's an exciting time just now for the Scottish brewing scene with the older hands beginning to come into their own and the new players on the block pushing the boundaries of what you can do with minimal budget.

We spoke to Derek Hoy of Hippo Beers and the newly opened Hippo Taproom on Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street (which is really good, seriously go check it out) to pick five great beers from Scottish brewers to check out this summer.

Scottish Brewing

Derek, who opened up the Hippo Taproom seven weeks ago on the back of the success of Hippo Beers, explains why it's such an exciting time for the Scottish brewing scene right now:  "It's a more varied scene than it used to be, the quality of breweries has come on leaps and bounds.

"The ones that are exciting me just now are the nano-brewers like Dead End and Gallus, if they can get up and running on a commercial scale they'll go far. I've been really impressed by what they are putting out there.

"And the trailblazers like Cromarty, Fyne, Fallen and Alechemy - who are already producing some stunning beers - continue to gain experience, meaning they'll be able to make even more exciting beers in the future.

"Then there's the more traditional guys like Tryst and Kelburn who are still doing some amazing stuff with cask ale.

"We want to support these wee guys, because that's what craft beer is for us - beer made well and for the right reasons."

The beers

Breakfast in Berlin

Brewed by: Cromarty 

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Picture: Cromarty Brewing/Twitter

Derek says: "The first one I have chosen is Cromarty's Breakfast in Berlin. Cromarty are one of my favourite breweries and the beer itself is a 2% Berliner Weisse made with fresh orange and Earl Grey; which works really well - a lot of people throw some crazy things in beer for the sake of it but in this case it really works.

"The orange and the Earl Grey are subtle and they work well with the tart flavour of the Berliner Weisse.

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"Great flavour and at only 2% infinitely drinkable, perfect for knocking back on a summer day and not having to worry about the consequences too much."

Slippery when wheat

Brewed by: Alechemy

Derek says: "Alechemy Slippery When Wheat is a collaboration the brewery did with Banchory Beer Festival, it's a seasonal one off for that event but it will be available across the board. We've got a keg in the cellar ready to go, and I can't wait to get it on the tap.

"Again, it's a nice summer style American wheat beer, very refreshing, with loads of citrus notes. It's really just the perfect summer beer from another great Scottish brewery."

Ich Bin Berryliner

Brewed by: Fyne Ales

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Picture: Fyne Ales Instagram

Picture: Fyne Ales Instagram

Derek says: "The next one I've chosen is another Berliner Weisse - I didn't want to keep throwing Berliner Weisse at everyone but it really is a great summer beer style.

It's Ich Bin Berryliner from Fyne Ales, so that's the raspberry Berliner Weisse, they brought it out last year I think round about the time of Fyne Fest and they've done it again this summer.

"The raspberry element seems to have improved this year, so it's not overly sweet, it has just the right amount of fruit which works well with the sourness."

Passion Fruit Pale Ale

Brewed by: Tryst Brewing

Derek says: "The fourth one is the Tryst Passion Fruit Pale Ale, they have a peach one as well and it was hard to pick between the two but I love my Passion Fruit, so this was the obvious choice. We had it on in here on cask and it went really well and we've got the peach one on keg ready to go too.

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"Tryst are great, John (McGarva, brewery owner) is old school, he's been doing it for a very long time, he knows what he's doing but he's adventurous too and likes to mix things up a bit.

"The passion fruit is quite subtle and is just really nice and refreshing."

Gallus IPA

Brewed by: Gallus 

Derek says: "The fifth one is the Gallus IPA. Gallus is probably the newest nano-brewer that's appeared in Glasgow. I first tried it at the West End Festival and it's a big yeasty IPA, really fruity, chewy, it's just got everything  going on. I was blown away by how good it was, it's an incredible beer.

"We managed to get a keg of that in here and it didn't last long. We are hoping to get more in when he brews it."





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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