Send questions to: advice@vinepair.com.

What’s the difference between Scottish Ales and Scotch Ales?

There’s not a whole lot of difference, to be completely honest, but they are seen as two different styles. They are basically broken down by strength. Scottish ales tend to have lower ABV, usually below 5 percent.

Scotch ales are typically more alcoholic and are more common in craft beer, thanks in large part to the craft community’s historical infatuation with higher-gravity tipples. Also known as “Wee Heavy,” Scotch ales are malt-forward and often darker and sweeter than Scottish ales, and have notes of caramel, toffee, and dried fruits.

You might also find smoky or peaty notes in both of these beers. Most people think this is a nod to Scotch whiskies.

If I buy a beer and then notice the ‘canned on’ date was a long time ago, can I return it to the store?

Absolutely! Stores are supposed to be monitoring these dates and removing old beers, just like they would for expired milk or eggs. It’s in retailers’ best interests to keep their stocks current, because if you buy an old beer and dislike it, you are less likely to return to that store and buy more beer.

In short: Yes. If the beer isn’t fresh, take it back. And if for some reason the store refuses to let you return it, never shop there again.

What’s the best cocktail to order if I’m on a diet?

Water. I kid, I kid, but the lowest-calorie cocktail for you is going to be a Vodka Soda, plus maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime if it’s a cheat day. Not so fun. Then again, if you’re on a diet, is anything all that fun?