Scottish culture week marked at Haven

April 1, 2011
By

John Ruch

Web Exclusive

HYDE SQ.—The national Tartan Week celebration of Scottish culture will be marked April 5-10 at JP’s The Haven in ways both serious and silly—from the debut of a custom-brewed traditional Scottish ale to a “haggis-hurling” contest.

“I feel the time is ripe for Boston to embrace its inner Scottishness, and this week will help do that,” said Jason Waddleton, owner of The Haven Scottish restaurant and pub at 2 Perkins St.

National Tartan Day on April 6 marks the date of Scotland’s 1320 declaration of independence from England. (Tartan, known in the US as plaid, is the checkered fabric whose unique patterns distinguish the outfits of various Scottish clans.) New York City has a well-known Tartan Week of events around that day, but Boston celebrations are few.

The Haven’s Boston Tartan Week begins April 5 with the tapping of the first keg of the Haven Special 70, a custom ale based on a historic, early 1900s recipe. Made for The Haven by Maine’s Shipyard Brewery, Special 70 is a “70 shilling” ale, meaning it is on the lighter and lower-alcohol side—a traditional working-class brew.

On the lighter side, patrons can join in a “Scotland versus England Olympics” on April 9, where the main event is hurling haggis—a traditional Scottish dish of sheep’s innards—at a target to the accompaniment of a bagpiper.

“It’s not going to be a distance event. It’s going to be precision,” Waddleton said of the contest.

Live alternative/folk bands will be playing April 6 and 7 as part of The Haven’s new line-up after it recently received a music license. Other Tartan Week events include an exhibit of paintings by local artist Brendan Killian; nightly showings of Sean Connery films; and April 8’s “Kilt Night,” where anyone wearing plaid receives a free dose of Scotland’s most memorable dessert, the deep-fried Mars bar.

In a departure from Scotland’s meaty cuisine, The Haven is also offering a veggie burger during its new lunchtime hours. The vegetarian burger is another invention of the restaurant’s critically praised, and single-named, Chef Wax.

For more information on Tartan Week, see Happenings or thehavenjp.com.