Craft Beer in Edinburgh

English: Auld Reekie. A winter sunset picks ou...

Auld Reekie. Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve not had much chance to do my own brewing recently due to the fact I have a wedding around the corner, so disposable income is at a minimum.

However, I have been thinking about the rise of Craft Beer in Edinburgh (just down the road from where I live).

That is due to the fact that Craft Beer in the inspiring Scottish capital is on the rise.

For seasoned beer enthusiasts, you will know what I’m talking about – for those new to this world, you may ask, “what the fuggles is Craft Beer? Is it made from PVC and glue?!”

To which I would reply, “No – don’t be so silly. And put your trousers back on…”

What is Craft Beer?

In some quarters the term has led to a bit of friction and confusion. Is it a new term? A rebranded term? An Americanism?

I like the term. It brings to mind the notion that beer is crafted, made with the same love and care as that of a master cabinet maker constructing a mahogany cabinet.

However, across the pond you can find a less romanticised definition – to the American Brewers Association, Craft Beer is:

“Small, independent and traditional… the hallmark is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.”

So, what about Craft Beer in Edinburgh? To understand the ascension, it is important to understand the origins.

A (very brief) History of Edinburgh’s Breweries

Honestly, you could write a whole book on this subject. Attempting to summarise it may seem foolish, but here we go:

  • No region in Scotland boasts such a wealth of brewing heritage as ‘Auld Reekie’.
  • Brewing beer goes back hundreds of years – but it was from the 1600s onwards that commercial breweries began to take off. By 1880 the city boasted over 40.
  • However, in the 20th century the smorgasbord of independent breweries diminished, thanks to a concoction of mergers, standardised chemically enhanced brewing and economic pitfalls – all leading to uncertain times and insipid beer.
  • Famous companies vanished: Abbey Brewery, Holyrood Brewery and Fountain Brewery were cast aside to the annals of history.

Craft Beer Rising

The good news – Craft Beer is on the rise. It spreads throughout the bars of Edinburgh, invigorating the taste buds of drinkers.

This growth seems, in some respect, to have come from:

a) brewers wanting to create exciting beers, full of flavour and character

b) consumers who desire to taste something better than the mass-produced beers that dominated shop shelves and pubs for so long.

The Breweries Return

Stewart Brewing

Stewart Brewing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the turn of the 21st century, only one brewery remained in the heart of the capital – the Caledonian Brewery.

Then, in 2004, Stewart Brewing was founded.

Their aim of producing high-quality beer and exceptional service has made the brewery a roaring success and has seen the company grow over the past decade.

The initial 10 barrel brew house has expanded and their beer has picked up an array of awards along the way.

Following Stewart Brewing’s achievements, Edinburgh and the surrounding area has seen a mini renaissance. New breweries have sprung up, such as:

Craft Beer Pubs

Brew Dog Brewpub

Brew Dog Brewpub (Photo credit: mediageek)

Now, it’s all well and good having breweries dedicated to the brewing of craft beer, but what you also need is pubs to stock.

Thankfully, Edinburgh enjoys a veritable wheelbarrow full of pubs with craft beer continuously on tap.

In public houses throughout the capital – such as BrewDog, The Hanging Bat Beer Cafe, Cloisters Bar and The Vintage (to name just a minuscule proportion) – Craft Beer is flowing into the pint glasses of happy patrons.

Long may it continue.

Categories: Beer Industry, Thoughts on Beer | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Post navigation

One thought on “Craft Beer in Edinburgh

  1. We stumbled over here by a different website and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Jan Harding

Artist in my Spare Time...


The proof is in the drinking

The Apartment Homebrewer

Brewing small batches of craft beer in a 650 sqft apartment

Bier Battered [.] com

Cheesey Movies & Craft Beer Pairings, brews from New Jersey and beyond

We make home brew

A blog about tasty home brew and beer.

It's that Craig Heap guy

A Welsh Beer Blogger celebrating the great ales of Wales

Blogging at World of Beer

the temporary home of Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer

Oh Good Ale

Phil's beer blog

Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

The quest for the perfect beer

The Great Canadian Beer Snob

Your guide to the wonderful world of beer!

The Mostly Harmless Brewing Co.

Homebrewing in The ATL


'Zee-tho-fyle', by Martyn Cornell, an award-winning blog about beer now and then, founded in 2007

sounds like beer

Beer & Music. Nothing Else Matters

I Think About Beer

& I Think About Cider - Belgian Beer & European Cider

The BeerCast

Scotland's beer website

The Good Stuff

Good Food. Good Beer. Good People.


Brewer with a Brewery Problem. Tui, Fyne Ales, Thornbridge, Epic, Good George, Brew Mountain and Fork & Brewer.

Jotham Brewing

the musings of an amateur home brewer

The Beer Nerd

A Diary Written With Beer

Alebagger's Beer Blog

Alebagger's exploration of the world of ale, pubs, brewing and all things beery.

Beers are a Changin

Exploring the best craft beers and brewers in Australia


Beersay - unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from various sources or sauces about beer.....probably


Multi award-winning beer writer and author

Alcohol And Aphorisms

Whisky and Beer Discussion In A Relaxed, Yet Slightly Pretentious Fashion

Good Beer Better Hats

Our Hats are Off to You! ~Cheers~

Barley's Homebrewing Supplies

101-455 East Columbia St, New Westminster, B.C. 604.553.1941


A detailed blog following my homebrew and craft beer endeavors

Jay's Brewing Blog

Tips, tricks, hacks and more for everyting you need to make great beer, wine and mead.

Chris Hall | Beer

Craft. People. Places. Stories. Culture.

Craft Beer Reviews & Commentary by HomeBrewedHero

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this site


Beer brewing in Leeds

Chop & Brew

A blog and webshow highlighting life's great food and fermentations

Apuhihi View

Thoughts from a previous coast (Mostly about my home-brew adventures)

Learning to Craft Beer

Making craft beer is one of the best hobbies ever. Let's talk about it. is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: