Edinburgh Beer Experience recommendations?

Discussion in 'Great Britain' started by FoamInnovation, Jun 18, 2014.

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  1. FoamInnovation

    FoamInnovation Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2013 Washington

    I will be in Edinburgh for a few days in November, but will not have time to hit any other areas or towns. I am looking for restaurants, pubs, breweries, etc. to hit while I am there. I also wish to make sure I don't step on myself, so any cultural tips would also be appreciated.
  2. Aye

    Aye Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Waitress service is very rare so step up to the bar and after a peruse of the pumpclips or beers list or a quick recommendation from the bar person, place your order. If you're there for more than a couple of swift beers, asking the bar person if they'd like a drink wouldn't go amiss.



    To quote Zimbo

    "Edinburgh? Gotta be:

    The Bow Bar
    Staggs/The Volunteer Arms
    The Halfway House
    The Blue Blazer
    Abbotsford Bar
    The Southern
    Stockbridge Tap
    The Vintage

    And the Hanging Bat is worth a look (especially if you want to 'wank it up') but you won't find an awful lot of Scottish craft beer there. Its largely English craft instead. Why? Its complicated."
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  3. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,729) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Also most places will offer tasters (a small amount of the beer to see if you like it) but don't take the urine and have a taster of everything in one go.
    Tipping isn't normal but certainly wouldn't be looked down upon, especially if you've been served by the same person all night.
    I hope you enjoy it though, Scotland is a wonderful place.
    FoamInnovation likes this.
  4. reprob8

    reprob8 Initiate (0) May 22, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    don't forget the excellent Teuchtars Landing in Leith
  5. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    yeah ... tasters are the norm in the US, offered far more freely than over here in my experience . Dont think you need to explain for future reference!
    FoamInnovation likes this.
  6. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Reset your bar. Don't try and compare what is available there to what you have had in the states. The UK is not trying to copy the US, so don't compare every pale you have there to Zombie Dust.
    Tune in to subtlety.
    Enjoy your neighbors in the pub. The pub culture is possibly just as important as the beer itself.
    FoamInnovation likes this.
  7. FoamInnovation

    FoamInnovation Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2013 Washington

    I truly appreciate the info, gents. I have no intention of going to Edinburgh, looking for the U.S. in what I drink or the culture. Thanks for the tips so far.
    Any others? Can you recommend stopping by Caledonian Brewery (on Slateford, I think)?
  8. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,729) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Just something I had a recent experience of is all, bloke in front of me analysing the taste of about 5 different samples to try and impress the barman.
  9. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    I see this more and more in London.

    I don't mind this kind of thing when the time is right, but at 6pm when the bar is wedged it is a piss taker when people are trying any more than 1 beer prior to purchase!
  10. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (5,781) Sep 25, 2011 United Kingdom (England)
    Moderator Society Industry

    I'm hardcore old skool
    even when offered a sample taste I'm like
    "I'll taste it enough when I buy a pint' lol
  11. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Calodonian ia without doubt not what it use to be from a purists point of view but as someone who is curious and keen to experience something they've linged to visit it ciuld be worth your time. Yes, Slateford Road it is.
  12. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Restaurants? Top of the range dining experiences, Scottish fare...?
    Hoppsbabo likes this.
  13. FoamInnovation

    FoamInnovation Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2013 Washington

    Eh, I know which fancy joints work is sending me to, I'd like to eat where the Scottish do, more blue collar, or pubs where the chow isn't scary. Especially where the beer happens to be good...
  14. Aye

    Aye Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Zimbo likes this.
  15. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (791) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Have a few and then visit kebab mahal on Nicholson Square

    Although I've not visited it in about eight years, they used to do really good, cheap curries.
  16. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    For lunch and a bracer, walk around to the Duddingston side of Holyrood and stop into the Sheep Heid.
    chipawayboy likes this.
  17. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Hard to top this post for good local drink and food. I'm particularly fond of The Halfway House. Some would also recommend The Hanging Bat, where I'll be taking residency tomorrow, as well. Not overly Scottish, and a bit hipster wanky to some (not my view) but essential visiting and really the hub of the new Edinburgh beer scene.
  18. mdagnew

    mdagnew Poo-Bah (3,935) May 18, 2005 United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

    Check out The Beer Nuts three most recent blog posts for his take on Edinburgh...

  19. jcavend1

    jcavend1 Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2012 Alabama

    Holyrood 9a is amazing
  20. Kozel

    Kozel Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2014 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    If you're looking for Scottish Craft Ales or a decent selection of World beers then The Standing Order on George St. would be a good shout.
  21. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (435) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Great list of EDI pub/beer spots on this post. A few additional recommendations. Kay's Bar in New Town is an awesome little neighborhood pub. I've been a number of times and always met someone interesting. Interior is gorgeous/tiny with big wooden cask barrels on the walls and a bunch of comfortable snug areas to hang out. Last fall my friends and I closed the place and the owner/bar man hung with us for an hour sharing stories and talking about the history of the place. The Oxford Bar also in New Town is an amazing unspoiled pub. The atmosphere and local clientele just ooze pub culture. Also 2nd the recommendation to go to the Sheeps Heid in Duddingston. This is a little/upscale neighborhood on the other side of Arthur's Seat -- very close to the royal mile as the crow flies but with the feeling that you are in the countryside. We actually hiked from the bottom of the royal mile over the seat and down into Duddingston where we had Sunday roast and pints at the Heid. That is one of the cooler "audibles" I've ever pulled over 15 yrs of beercations. If you arrange ahead -- they have this cool old mini bowling game/lane that you can play in another building beyond a patio outside the main pub. Last -- recommend a tour of Stewarts Brewing or Bellhaven. Neither is walkable from the city center but if you have a car. Radically different t takes - old school vs kinda new school. Again -- the people you will meet and stories you will hear at these place is what it's all about. Cheers all -- EDI is an amazing place for beer lovers -- and continues to get better.
  22. Aye

    Aye Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    I like the Oxford, just disappointed it didn't look like the pub that Rebus patronises in the TV series.
    #22 Aye, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
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