Welcome to the latest Edinburgh Beer Weekly! Every Sunday we’ll be posting a preview of all the beery happenings in the city for the next seven days – so you won’t miss a thing. You can sign up to our subscription service, ensuring you’ll get a notification every Sunday when the Edinburgh Beer Weekly is published. Just enter your email address in the panel on our front page. Also, follow us on Twitter (@thebeercast) to keep right up to date throughout the week. There are so many great beery things going on at the moment – stay tuned to the BeerCast, and enjoy each and every one of them!
So – what’s happening in the Edinburgh beer scene over the next seven days? Quite a lot, as it turns out. The Edinburgh Independents’ Beer Festival, Scottish Real Ale Festival, Beer Bloggers’ Conference, and a beer lauch. These beery groupings are covered in more detail in the post I wrote on ‘Edinburgh Beer Week’, back in May. For more information on the festivals themselves, head to the respective websites – SRAF; EIBF (particularly with regard to the EIBF’s showcase bars, I’ll just be listing specific EIBF events here on the Beer Weekly).
Starting off the week in traditional Appellation Wines tasting fashion, on Monday the focus turns to Comely Bank and the spectre of Ashton ‘Tom Kitchin’ McCobb, as he brings to the shop his very own home-made curry. But what beer works best with it? There will be six on offer, so there’s only one way to find out; grab a fork and dive in (to the curry, that is).
The Independents’ Beer Festival kicks off on Monday, as the Bow Bar hosts a series of collaboration beers to launch the event. Some are off the peg, others made specifically for the festival – look out for a 7.4% cask saison from Marble, Blackjack and Quantum, and a barrel-aged version of Elixir’s Coal Porter, produced with Alechemy in Livingston. Alongside all of the beery treats, there’s also a debut for new Stonehaven brewer Six°North, with their beers in Edinburgh for the first time. Make sure you get down to the Bow early.
On Tuesday, the Holyrood 9A hosts the first of two EIBF events on that night, with the launch in Scotland of beers from Welsh producer Celt Experience. Head along to meet them, and to find out exactly what they are bringing up from Caerphilly. Although the event is ticketed, all bought are immediately redeemable for beers at the bar, so in essence, it costs nothing.
Across town on the same evening, another series of brand new beers arrives in town for the Independent Festival. The Stockbridge Tap is hosting cask beers from the Weird Beard Brewery, and kegs from Beavertown. The Tap’s executive chef will also be in action, putting together a range of seven(!) different burgers featuring the beers supplied, each one for £6. If you haven’t experienced a Stockbridge Tap burger, they are seriously the best in town.
EIBF – Brodies Haggis Basher
The Hanging Bat, 133 Lothian Rd, Cask & Barrel Southside, 24 West Preston St, BrewDog Edinburgh, The Cowgate.
Hanging Bat Twitter feed / C&B Southside Twitter feed / BrewDog Edinburgh Twitter feed
The next day, James Brodie is in town with a plethora of Walthamstow’s finest creations, dispensed over three different pubs (so, I’m not sure just how many he’s actually bringing. Quite a lot, by the sound of it). Expect crazy sours, bitters, stouts, and who knows what else at the Hanging Bat, BrewDog Edinburgh and the Cask & Barrel Southside. I’ve not been to one of Brodies’ home festivals (the famed Easter Weekend ‘Bunny Basher’), but the Scottish equivalent should be unmissable.
Also mid-week, the next non-EIBF event takes place, and it’s the return of an Edinburgh tradition. Each year, four students from the Heriot-Watt Brewing and Distilling course group together to design, create, launch and sell a beer of their own, which they brew at Stewart Brewing’s facility in Loanhead. This Wednesday, the third Natural Selection Brewing beer hits the bars, and the only place to get the rye saison Origin (as it is called) is Bannerman’s – located mere yards from BrewDog Edinburgh, Brodies fans. Well worth a detour (actually, worth a specific trip in itself, if the two previous NSB releases were anything to go by).
Still on the same night, Harbour Brewing Co have travelled the long, long distance from Cornwall to Slateford, and will be hosting an event at the Caley Sample Room. For £10, you’ll get a full tasting of their bottled range, plus food from the Caley kitchen, with plenty of cask Harbour beers on offer as well – including a Blueberry Weiss, which sounds perfect if the Scottish weather co-operates and blesses the week with warm sunshine (here’s hoping).
The warm summer weather can only mean the Scottish Real Ale Festival is here again, taking place once again out at the airy Corn Exchange – hop on a bus for 150+ different real ales served over four days (up from three days for previous festivals). Entry is £6 (£4 for CAMRA members), and holding on to your glass grants you free entry on the other days. Of course, we’ll be there to check it out, in between the EIBF and Bloggers’ Conference – for further details on what to expect, have a look at our preview.
Back to matters concerning the Independents’ Festival, on Thursday the focus turns to fromage, as the Cambridge Bar hosts an evening revolving around beer and cheese pairing. The hard stuff will be supplied by one of the best deli’s in the city – Henri of Stockbridge, and the beers by Wild Beer Co of Somerset. Head down to the Cambridge and discover how cheese and beer truly go together.
EIBF – Beer and Food matching at the Vintage
Vintage, 60 Henderson St Tickets £45
Cheese will also be on the menu (literally) at Edinburgh’s best new bar/restaurant (there, I said it) – Leith’s Vintage. Four courses of beer and food matching are the order of the day, and all will be overseen by the effervescent Zak Avery, the beer writers’ beer writer. The menu is right here, and only a cursory look should reveal that this could be the highlight of the entire week.
Finally on Thursday, Rich and Giada from Magic Rock will be in town, playing around with the SABCO and their riotous imaginations. Head along to see what they come up with, and partake in several treats from Huddersfield’s finest on the bar…
Top Out Brewery launch
26 Cloisters Bar, Brougham St
Friday sees the launch of Edinburgh’s latest brewery – Top Out Brewing Company. Based in Loanhead, literally a stone’s throw from Stewart Brewing, Top Out have had a bit of a rollercoaster start, having had to change their name and branding, then fight the usual battles to get their brewkit in and up and running. But running it certainly is, so head to Cloisters and sample their 4% Staple Pale Ale and 5.6% Smoked Porter, and also bottles of the hugely tempting 8.9% Dark Abbey.
The fulcrum of the entire Independents’ Festival is the Hanging Bat, and on Saturday they are hosting an open brew day on the on-site SABCO kit. Gary from Hackney’s Redchurch Brewery and Andy and James from Yorkshire’s Summer Wine will be on hand (so, I imagine hops will be involved at some point). Following the brewday, a style-based event will take place downstairs, with the pro’s answering questions on the brewing process. At the same time, BBQ will be on offer, as will new beers from the two breweries. Further information on the day is here.
The EIBF draws to the close on Sunday with one of the brewers from Suffolk giants Adnams taking the long trip north to Edinburgh. Adnams are proof that large regionals needn’t solely churn out a range of everyday bitters (not that there’s anything wrong with that), as they more than bolster their lineup with kegged beers, aged beers and all kinds of other treats. Head down to the Holyrood9A on Sunday to discover what they have been up to recently.
The Edinburgh Beer Weekly will be published every Sunday here on the BeerCast (other than this week, obviously). If you have an event in or around the city that you’d like to feature – please get in touch at the usual email address. Enjoy Edinburgh Beer Week people. Cheers!