As the second entry on to our holiday list we thought we’d bring it home – to Edinburgh. Our city is packed full of great bars and has some great breweries dotted around it and as its peak business as we enter August because of the Fringe festival. We’d thought we’d see if we can bring you a few bars and breweries to have a look round.
The Hanging Bat – 133 Lothian Road
Now a staple among Edinburgh beer drinkers, The Bat offers a wide range of cask and keg beers and an ever growing bottle and can selection to keep its punters happy. So it is easy to understand how this has become a craft beer haven. With regular tap takeovers and a decent bar food menu and even their own brewery to hand if you are looking for a good beer The Hanging Bat is a must.
Bow Bar – 80 West Bow
Set to a more traditional style than the newer craft beer bars Bow Bar has a fantastic selection of beers for you to try. The interior may resembles an old man pub with its cozy fire in the corner and mahogany bar but its beer list is anything but traditional. Holding many beer festivals throughout the year, you never know what you are going to get; sometimes there taps are taken over by dark beers, sometimes IPAs and sometimes just German beer offerings. On top of the beers they also have an excellent selection of malt whiskys making it a difficult place to leave.
Salthorse – 57-61 Blackfriars St
Its not just the Edinburgh Pub scene who are embracing craft beers. Formerly known as Blackfriars; Salthorse, located just off the Royal Mile, is one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems! With a restaurant attached these guys know good food and good beer. Some wonderful cakes and pastries. Despite only having 5 beer lines they always manage to have a good enough selection to meet their customers’ needs. If not they have an ever changing bottleshop which in the past has included beers from Camden, Kernel, Pressure Drop, Beavertown, and many many more. Definitely worth a visit if you are looking for somewhere to get away from the busy Royal Mile to relax and enjoy a good beer.
Timberyard – 10 Lady Lawson St
One step further down the culinary road is Timberyard. As the name suggests it is located in an old timber yard with industrial decor offset with homely touches such as the tartan blankets draped over the chairs. Although primarily known for its incredible food, it is clear from their beer list that a lot of thought has been put into the 4 beers they have on tap, always vanguard and modern, chosen to complement their food and as a special treat for the beer geeks among us. Although slightly on the pricey side, Timberyard is a must for those looking for a superb culinary destination as well as for those looking for a good beer. If you are lucky enough to go on one of the rare occasions that the sun is shining in Edinburgh their beer, food and beer garden will not disappoint.
Established in 2010, Tempest is fast becoming one of the most well respected craft brewers Scotland has to offer. Although not technically in Edinburgh it is located just down the road in Tweedbank, a train ride away. After expanding last year their now able to produce so much more of their amazing beer and they won’t have the painstaking job of bottling everything by hand! So that means more great beer getting to the shelves even quicker which is all you can really ask. Their beers are phenomenal from their Pale Ale Long White Cloud, to their IPA Brave New World, to their black IPA In the Dark We Live they definitely won’t let you down.
Located down in Leith, Pilot are a new brewery doing some very exciting things. Opening in just 2013, Matt and Patrick have managed to establish themselves in the Scottish craft beer scene. They do things a little differently as all of their beers are unfined as they believe that fining takes away some of the taste just for the sake of clarity. This also means that all of their beers (except Mochaccino stout which contains lactose) are vegan friendly. They are experimental with their brews, brewing a hefeweizen with Parma Violet Sweets, a Pale with earl grey and English Breakfast Tea and their award winning coffee and chocolate Mochaccino Stout which is a must and which previously won the Bow Bar’s (see above) Dark Beer Challenge.
Edinburgh Beer Factory
“Our brewery at Bankhead is a stainless steel totem to modernity” So say the EBF guys and we have to agree it’s a very impressive sight. Also impressive is the beers that come from within and you can sample them fresh as a daisy from the cafe/taproom open daily. Probably one of the most accesble breweries you can simply hop on a tram from the city centre and you’re there. Well worth a visit if you’re out an about.
One of our favourites, who we actually visited the other day, Stewart brewery are one of the best. They have two main aims; produce beers of the highest quality possible and to provide an exceptional service to its customers. We have to say they are well exceeding those targets. You can drop into their brewery on a saturday for a tour and see where beautiful beer like First World Problems are made. And as it is only a 15 minute drive out of Edinburgh, why wouldn’t you?
Edinburgh is a great place to be when it comes to craft beer and here at Beer52 we feel very lucky to be based in this amazing city. We plan to include some of Edinburgh’s local beer talent in some of our Scotland box very soon so stay tuned for that!
Thanks for reading!