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© Courtesy of Stewart Brewing
© Courtesy of Stewart Brewing

Edinburgh's Best Craft Beers and Where to Drink Them

Picture of Deborah Chu
Updated: 4 December 2017

Think Scotland‘s all about their whisky, all the time? Well, think again. Its capital city of Edinburgh has a long history of brewing some of the finest ales in the UK, and its craft brewery scene is stronger than ever. With beer artisans being trained at the world-renowned Brewing and Distilling programme over at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh’s independent brewers are more innovative and more daring than ever.

 

Paolozzi by Edinburgh Beer Factory

Inspired by the Edinburgh-born ‘Godfather of Pop Art’ Eduardo Paolozzi’s call to find ‘the sublime in the everyday,’ the maestros over at Edinburgh Beer Factory committed themselves to re-inventing the good ol’ lager. Brewed with 100% barley malt, this Munich Helles-style beer is sparkling fresh and bursting with flavour, elevating the oft-derided lager into a true work of art. Their playful inventiveness has nabbed Edinburgh Beer Factory a cavalcade of awards, including the Top UK Munich Helles Lager in 2016 and 2017. Make sure to book a place on their renowned brewery tour and chill out at their taproom, which offers a full complement of their beers and then some.

Paolozzi | © Courtesy of Edinburgh Beer Factory

Paolozzi | © Courtesy of Edinburgh Beer Factory

Opening Hours
Thu - None :
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fri - None :
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat - None :
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Budget
$
Mochaccino Stout by Pilot

Lovingly brewed in the vibrant port-side neighbourhood of Leith, the beer artisans at Pilot are at the top of the craft. Take, for instance, their Mochaccino Stout, which is the perfect blend of your favourite java and a full-bodied, generously-flavoured milk stout. Infused with coffee, raw and roasted organic cocoa nibs, and a rich strain of Tahitian vanilla, the Mochaccino Stout begs to be savoured to the very last drop. This hugely comforting brew nabbed first place at the Bow Bar’s 2014 Dark Beer Challenge, after it left panellists feeling wonderfully buzzy. Find them at Akva, The Devil’s Advocate, and The Holyrood 9A.

Akva, 129 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, UK

The Devil’s Advocate, 9 Advocate’s Close, Edinburgh, UK

Holyrood 9A, 9A Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, UK

Mochaccino | © Courtesy of Pilot Beer

Mochaccino | © Courtesy of Pilot Beer

Budget
$
Pale Ale by Cross Borders

Childhood friends Gary and Jonny launched Cross Borders in 2016, and haven’t wasted any time in making huge waves in the craft brewery scene. Committed to the ethos of braw, a Scots word for ‘something grand, pleasing, beautiful,’ Cross Borders is all about bringing good into the world, from cutting down the carbon footprint at their breweries, to brewing the best pale ale you’ve ever tasted. Their flagship brew is velvety and hoppy, suffused with citrus and mint. The Society of Independent Brewers liked it so much, in fact, that they awarded Cross Borders the Bronze and Silver in the Small Pack Beer and Independent Keg Beer categories. Since launching at Stockbridge Tap, Cross Borders has expanded to the Brass Monkey, Nobles and Kilderkin.

Brass Monkey, 14 Drummond Street, Edinburgh, UK

Nobles, 44A Constitution Street, Edinburgh, UK

Kilderkin, 67 Canongate, Edinburgh, UK

IPA © | Courtesy of Cross Borders Brewing Company

IPA © | Courtesy of Cross Borders Brewing Company

Radical Road by Stewart Brewing

Stewart Brewing proudly champions Edinburgh’s long history of brewing, and their Radical Road pale ale is its strongest successor. Golden and bursting with notes of grapefruit and pine, before a finish of velvety bitterness, the Radical Road has been scooping up international awards left right and centre. Their Leith taproom is fun and cosy, like the living room of a good mate, with 10 taps of rotating beers and vintage video games to play whilst trying out a sampling flight. They’ve also got a bottle shop and a growler refill station for those on the go.

Radical Road | © Courtesy of Stewart Brewing

Radical Road | © Courtesy of Stewart Brewing

Opening Hours
Wed - Thu :
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fri - Sat :
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sun - None :
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Budget
$