The weekend is almost upon us which means it’s time to celebrate
Craft beer has become a huge part of Edinburgh’s quaffable culture, with many of us opting for exciting, flavoursome beers over the regular and the humdrum offered by PubCo Uniteds. Sure our beer is more expensive, but the quality is nigh on immeasurably better – it’s not something I’m going to begrudge myself.
This was originally going to be a one-post guide to the best beer bars in town, but when I thought about what I wanted to include and asked Twitter for a few more suggestions it became very apparent very quickly that one article wasn’t going to cut it (unless it was quite a few thousands words too long). So today we’re going with part one of the Edinburgh Beer guide, with a selection of five places you can go this weekend. Then over the next couple of months we’ll create a few more posts on a brilliant beer-filled adventure around the city (and lay ourselves on the sacrificial alter to try them for you).
To start off with we’re going to keep to the Old Town and south, with the Cowgate being the rough dividing line through the city.
9a Holyrood Road, EH8 8AE
A wall full of taps, a continually evolving selection, wonderful staff and delicious food. I love Holyrood 9a – in fact I dragged the office there when I left my old job in the summer (and gorged on a venison burger with moreish accompaniments). The range of beer on tap is pretty extensive and covers the whole spectrum of styles from porters to new wave American pale ales, with just about everything imaginable in between.
Come to Holyrood 9a when you’re hungry, thirsty and have a few spare hours (or better still, the whole evening) to enjoy yourself.
Find them on Twitter @Holyrood9A
The Hanging Bat
133 Lothian Road, EH3 9AB
Cask, keg, bottles, pints, two-thirds – there’s a huge variety in this popular Lothian Road watering hole. And it’s popular for very good reasons, between cask and keg there are 20 taps. They tend to favour craft beer from our home shores (there’s certainly plenty to choose from) but have the occasional imported one added in as well. Their food has bit of a Southern edge to it, but the hotdogs, burgers and pretty much anything you can smoke menu makes you hungry just looking at it.
If you’re a fan of (as they put it) “steering clear of the norm” then the Hanging Bat is definitely for you.
Find their latest beers on Twitter @TheHangingBat
143 Cowgate, EH1 1JS
If you’re into your craft beers then I’m going to hazard a guess that you’ve heard of Brewdog. If not, then the Aberdeenshire based company has its very own way of going about things (which I’m a big fan of). A love of good beer has made them the fastest growing company in the Food and Drinks industry in the UK. The Edinburgh branch of their bar division is a den of reclaimed wood and furniture; once a karaoke bar, I think we can all agree it’s been put to much better use. They serve a range of their own beers and some guests as well, with sharing platters and pizzas in place for food and board games if you fancy them.
Find the team on Twitter @BrewDogEdin
37-39 Leven Road, EH3 9LH
Like a few of the places on this list The Blackbird is bringing its on unique style and contemporary take on beer in the city. Craft beer isn’t the sole focus of the place, with cocktails and food up alongside it in top billing, but it’s bringing good beer to a whole new place. It’s a great bar, packed with style, fun and music. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but does have an orange bike above the door.
You can find out more about them (and their sister establishments) on Twitter @TBBedin
22-26 South Clerk Street, EH8 9PR
One of those places that seems to have been many a studentsville pub over the years, The Southern is everything that you’d hope from a contemporary bar. It’s owned by the same people as Holyrood 9a, and the wealth of knowledge this affords them shows. With about 20 beers on tap and loads more bottles in the fridges there’s loads on offer, and staff to give you a hand if you’re overwhelmed.
Find them on Twitter @TheSouthernbar
And there we have it – the first five beers drinking bolt holes to discover around Edinburgh. There are loads more, so look out for part II coming in the not so distant future – we’ll take one for the team and go out and research all the best ones! If you have a favourite you want to see featured, let us know on Twitter or contact us.