OK, so we’re all about Comedy. And Theatre. And Dance. And Music. Well any sort of performance, really – it’s August after all – but whilst you’re going to Fringe and EIF shows all over the city you don’t want to sacrifice your taste buds on the alter of a purple plywood pop up bar that only serves terrible beer. We’ve recently given you 9 places to eat during the Fringe, and 5 Shows You Need to See, so it’s time to get back to beer – here are our pick of 6 bars you can get decent beer in and are close to all the action in the city centre. There are no more excuses for lousy pints.
1. The Hanging Bat
We love this Lothian Road bar, it’s always got interesting beers on and their staff know their business – if you’ve been out at Fountain bridge or are looking to escape the craziness of the Grassmarket then head to the Hanging Bat for refreshment.
It’s hard not to enjoy Brewdog’s trademark establishment-bashing branding, but their bar on the Cowgate is the perfect antidote to the ‘stack em high, sell em cheap’ bars that line the street. The others are good at free shows, Brewdog is good at providing beers that actually taste of something. It’s not the biggest of bars, but you can sit outside and they’ve extended their usual outdoor area for the festival.
3. Holyrood 9a
We’re big fans of this place, it’s appeared on the blog several times, but here it is the perfect place to go if you’re bored of the crowds at the Pleasance Courtyard up the hill or the Royal Mile on the other side. They are always willing to offer advice on beers you haven’t tasted and give you a bit to try. Their food is also delicious, if you’re feeling those hunger pains from all that rushing about.
Sister bar to Holyrood 9a, this new(ish) bar is in between its sister and Brewdog, making it a very welcome addition to the otherwise lack-luster supply of pubs on the Cowgate. Ox184 is perfect for the festival as it’s open until 3am most nights, serves food until after 2 in the morning and has DJs and live music nightly.
Another new kid on the block, Edinburgh brewers Innis and Gunn’s first foray into the world of bars has started off really well. Only opening a few weeks ago, it’s already getting a reputation for having a great range of beers available and a menu that takes traditional kinds of pub food and then doing them so much better.
A lot of the festival is happening around George Square this year, so somewhere near by is a must for a quick beer between shows. Ushers is a basement beer bar on West Nicolson Street that offers everything you can need for a quick stop off – there’s lots of space, a decent atmosphere all day and a serious commitment to having a huge range of beers available at all times.
Where would you recommend? Comment below with your favourite place to get craft beer in the city centre or Tweet us up!
All information is correct at publication, if you notice a change please let us know and we’ll update it.