Scottish Independence And How It Relates To My Life

We’re on the eve of the big vote. Scotland awaits word on whether it will once again be an independent nation. It’s an exciting, historic occurrence that we are witnessing from across the pond.

So, naturally, my main concern this: is what does potential Scottish independence mean for me, an American citizen in Arizona? This has the potential to deeply affect one of my very favorite things.

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Pictured above: one of Matt’s very favorite things

What does Scottish independence mean for scotch? 

I’m not the only one wondering about this, either.

Scotch is primarily an export. The market for scotch depends on pretentious scotch drinkers like myself here in America. Will an independent Scotland adversely affect the scotch market? No one can predict how strong Scotland’s currency would be if it pulls away from the United Kingdom. I suppose it could go to the euro. Admittedly, I’m not an international economist but my understanding is that the euro isn’t as stable as the pound is.

Would prices on scotch go up? Would they go down? Either one would be bad for someone. Higher prices would be bad for me, since I already can’t afford to drink my favorite single malt except on special occasions.

But lower prices would be bad for the scotch market in general if they weaken the value of the product and force some of the best distilleries to cut back or close up shop. That seems less likely, given that the demand for scotch is only increasing. But it’s always possible, I suppose.

Most likely, either scenario would happen in the long-term. I doubt my favorite bottle of Highland Park will suddenly quadruple in cost tomorrow. But who knows?

In the meantime, all we scotch drinkers can do is hold our Gleincarn whiskey glasses closely while we wait for the results of the vote.

Arizona’s Favorite Beer Is Not What You Think

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I enjoy beer. It’s basically a cliche at this point; if you’re a writer, you drink (you may also smoke, although I don’t). If you looked at my desk right now, the evidence would confirm everything you suspected. It might also tell you that I desperately need to clean my desk.

I pride myself on being a bit of a beer snob. At a bar, the minimum I’ll settle for is a craft beer. I drink local and regional microbrews with a fierce passion. I can tell you that my favorite region of beer is the Pacific Northwest, although Arizona does have some excellent options and my very favorite beer in the world comes from San Diego.

If you had asked me what the most popular beers were by state, I would have described the Northwest as being into craft beers. Maybe some of the more affluent regions of the Northeast. But the Southwest? Good ol’ Arizona with its cowboy hats, Wild West-esque love of guns, and its proximity to Mexico? Bud Light, maybe. Possibly Corona, if the Mexico angle is played up enough. Certainly nothing more exotic than that, though.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I read this map of the most popular beers by state. From the article: “America has a new king of beers – and it’s Blue Moon.”

Bud Light still has a strong grip on the Midwest, which isn’t surprising. I’m still surprised to see a Belgian-style witbier like Blue Moon is popular with my home state. Blue Moon still has a reputation as a craft beer, even if that reputation is the subject of controversy and disagreement among more elite beer aficionados.

I’m really curious to find out what prompted the shift away from a staple like Bud Light. Is it the taste? Is it a sign of a cultural shift away from “good ol’ ‘merica?” Is it becoming cool to be elite again? I certainly hope so. I like to think that beers like Blue Moon are the gateway beers; gateways to appreciation of excellent microbrew and craft options.