Edinburgh Craft Beer Guide | UK
You can keep your castle – locals know it’s really all about great Edinburgh craft beer. The city is full of hidden secrets, from hidden towns to discrete laneways but don’t worry as we’ve got the lowdown on what you really need to know about… the amazing beer scene.
There’s no need to fall into the tourist traps when you visit looking for great Edinburgh craft beer. If you’re an ale lover, there’s a veritable buffet of beer stops in store for you.
Where to Start: Beer Tasting in Edinburgh
Ask an Edinburgher about where to go for a beer and they’ll probably mention The Hanging Bat pretty quickly.
They pride themselves on stocking the weird, wonderful and classics and promise to always have something new. Fun fact: they were the first UK bar not to offer pints and wanted customers to be able to sample beers in smaller measures. They have a packed events calendar from Meet the Brewer to IPA day and they have a brew kit on site, to top it all off.
From the Hanging Bat you can hop over to The Beer Kitchen by Innis & Gunn. Innis & Gunn’s beers are oak aged – favourites include rum finish and toasted oak IPA. If you want to try a selection, they do beer flights and sampling sessions for groups of 6 and more if you can get a group together.
Before you head into Old Town, Cloisters is another bar worth visiting for the Edinburgh craft beer hunter. It’s traditional and serves real ale with rotational cask and kegs from around Europe. They’ve got tasting notes and super friendly staff to please even the most dedicated beer lover.
The Bow Bar in Old Town might be small, but it’s worth a visit. It’s got a really local vibe so it’s good to escape any touristy spots on the Royal Mile and they have a great selection of beers, plus whisky if you want something stronger. They have bottled beers from around the world including an impressive selection of USA and Belgian beers.
Speaking of Belgian beers, Six Degrees North are off the beaten track but worth a detour on your beer adventure. There’s a whopping 40 taps upstairs so you’re spoiled for choice and downstairs there’s a bottle cellar. Plus of course, their own beers including Biére De Table – perfect for matching with food as it’s light and citrusy.
Diggin’ Deeper: Beer Experiences in Edinburgh
Salt Horse is a bit of a newcomer with 12 lines of local and foreign offerings.
They have around 400 different bottled and canned beers, and they’re an off-licence so you can get your beers to go if need be. They even do a bottle share event – you just need to bring along a beer to share with fellow beer lovers, and they do the same in turn.
If beer, sport and burgers are your kind of thing, The Cambridge Bar is the place to head. They have standard beer offerings alongside Scottish and Edinburgh craft beer and on cask they have a dedicated IPA line, as well as guest bottles.
While You’re Here: A Taste of Edinburgh
You won’t be short of sights to see in Edinburgh – starting with Edinburgh Castle, of course.
Looming tall and proud over the city, you can easily lose a day walking around the castle and admiring the views. From the castle it’s all downhill (literally) – the Royal Mile is worth a wander and is the main street in Edinburgh’s old town. Keep in mind that most of the bars and restaurants right on the Mile will be filled with tourists so either head further afield for eating, or head to Wedgwood the Restaurant which has an amazingly priced lunch deal.
There’s tourist buses aplenty and they make for an easy way to see an otherwise hilly city. Edinburgh’s sights like Arthur’s Seat, the Royal Yacht Britannia, the National Museum of Scotland and Scott Monument are all easily accessible. Then the details are up to you – ghosts, history, whisky and architecture are some of the things Edinburgh is known for, and of course, you can indulge in some Michelin starred dining at restaurants like The Kitchin, Martin Wishart, 21212 and Number One.
- Blue Blazer
- Brewdog Edinburgh
- Bow Bar
- Cambridge Bar
- Guildford Arms
- Hanging Bat Beer Cafe
- Holyrood 9A
- Jeremiah’s Taproom
- The Potting Shed
- Barney’s Beer
- Hanging Bat
- Pilot Beer
- Ushers of Edinburgh