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Grannie's Christmas Puddings

It will come as no surprise to all regular drinkers of Deuchars IPA from Edinburgh's Caledonian Brewery that it is a champion real ale. Indeed it is! At last week's CAMRA's ( Campaign for Real Ale ) Great British Beer Festival in London, England. Deuchars IPA beat off competition from more than 50 other brews to be named Champion Beer of Britain 2002. It is the first time that a Scottish beer has won the award, sponsored by the Good Beer Guide and judged by a panel at the annual Great British Beer Festival.
Although internationally Scotland, as far as alcoholic drink is concerned, might be better known for Whisky, brewing of beer has been important throughout her long history. In bygone times the only safe way to drink water was in the form of beer. Scotland's capital city alone, at one time had forty breweries, but now has only two including of course the Slateford Road Caledonian Brewery. Established in 1869, the brewery was bought by Vaux in 1919 and saved from closure by a management buy-out in 1987. Caledonian still brews in three direct-fired open coppers and remains committed to investing in its brewery and brands. The brewery's original 1869 "copper" was destroyed by fire in 1998 but was replaced with an exact replica based on the original drawings.
The prize-winning Brewery through its two main beers, Caledonian 80/- and Deuchars IPA, has been to the forefront in the revival of real ale in Scotland and in the words of Roger Protz, one of the judges and editor of the Good Beer Guide - " I think the win for Caledonian is well overdue. Deuchars is a fabulous beer. A brilliant blend of malt and hop character and above all a drink with enormous drinkability. A great victory for Scotland."
A great session beer, Deuchars IPA ( OG 1038, ABV 3.8% ) is described in the Good Beer Guide as - ' A tasty and refreshing amber-coloured session beer. Hops and malt are evident and are balanced by fruit throughout. The lingering aftertaste is delightfully bitter and hoppy' - in other words, a braw pint.Although SI Chairman Peter D Wright would rather drink Deuchars IPA, poured properly from the traditional Scottish high fount, he is prepared to sacrifice a 1/4 pint to allow Marilyn to make her tasty Grannie's Christmas Puddings, but only once a year!
Grannie's Christmas Puddings
Ingredients : 1/2 lb grated suet; 1/4 lb white breadcrumbs ( fresh ); 1/4 lb self raising flour; 1/4 lb chopped candied peel; 1/2 lb currants; 1/2 lb sultanas; 1/2 lb stoned raisons; 1/2 lb demerara sugar; rind of 1 lemon; 1/2 of 1 grated nutmeg; 1/2 teasp salt; 1 1/2 oz chopped blanched almonds; 3-4 eggs; 1/4 pint beer; 1 oz melted butter
3 x 1 1/2 lb pudding basins
Grease basins; clean fruit; beat eggs together and add beer. Melt butter. Mix all dry ingredients together until evenly blended, then add eggs and other ingredients and finally butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Put mixture into basins, leaving half inch at top. Cover with greaseproof paper then foil. Place in saucepan with boiling water and boil for 6 hours. Keep water level half-way up basins. Store when cold in a cool dry place. Prepare 6 to 8 weeks before Christmas.

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