About The Author
Welcome. I'm Neil Spake. Although I live in Austin, Texas I have traveled extensively in Scotland and continue to visit frequently. In addition to the extension and maintenance of this website, I am also researching and writing a book on the history of brewing in Scotland, and yes, it has been going on for a LONG time but I promise you, I will finish one day. I am an avid homebrewer and focus the majority of my brewing on reproducing present and historical Scottish ales as well as other fine cask-conditioned beers from the UK. I hang out with the local homebrew club, the Austin Zealots, but have, as yet, not been bitten by the contest bug. I brew what I want to drink and think that my friends will like.
I am often asked, why Scotland? and why Scottish Brewing? I can't say that this is something I can explain, necessarily. Often times, I do not understand it myself but it is my passion none-the-less. BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster, author, musician, and whisky expert, Tom Morton, has frequently mentioned myself and this website on his radio broadcast (of which I am eternally grateful!). Many times even he has submitted that it seems quite odd - bordering on totally out of order - for a website dedicated to Scottish beer and brewing be hosted from America. I developed this site and started my book research because I saw a lack, in any consolidated manner, in offering interested people in-depth information on Scottish brewing. I think the brewing heritage of Scotland is sadly overlooked. I will continue to try to remedy this.
In addition to the material on the website, I authored an article on the history of Belhaven Brewery published in the Jan/Feb 2004 edition of Zymurgy, the American Homebrewers Association journal, that was reprinted in the Scottish Brewing Archive Journal. I also reviewed the classic book, "The Scottish Ale Brewer and Practical Maltster", republished by Raudins Publishing, for the Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter. One of my newest endeavours is as interviewer for the Brewing Network's "The Jamil Show - Can You Brew It", available live and via podcast on the Brewing Network website.