Drinking locally in Scotland

It’s all well and good saying that you always drink locally when you are at home, but what about when you are away on vacation? It’s really not difficult now that there is ready access to the internet pretty much wherever you are.

It’s especially easy in a lot of European cities, like Edinburgh, which has readily available municipal wi-fi. Add in some local beer apps, like the Cask Marque or CAMRA apps, and you are good to go!

In my case I have family and friends in Edinburgh who gave me some great recommendations. While visiting we went to a several pubs, of which the following are particularly worthy of your time.


The Bow Bar

A lovely old-fashioned pub, The Bow Bar’s cask beers really shone. A delicious pint of Stewart’s Edinburgh No. 3, a wonderfully malty cask ale was quickly followed by Houston Brewing co‘s Warlock Stout, a stunning pint. Many more pints could have been consumed, but the research had to continue!

Brewdog Pub

A nice long chat with the staff at the Brewdog pub in Edinburgh was had. They were all stoked to be there and really loved what they were doing, which came through in their attitude and knowledge. We sampled many of their beers, which show a very strong American craft beer influence – this became a foreshadowing of what was to come.

The Hanging Bat

A nice, brightly lit, new pub on Lothian Road with 6 cask and 14 keg lines. A great spot for people watching, but even the cask beers were largely American craft inspired. Definitely worth a visit for the view alone, let alone the great beer list.

Other pubs

We visited several other pubs while we were in Edinburgh, which largely showed an inclination towards The Hanging Bat style – a small number of casks, a large number of craft kegs. Any city that has a JD Weatherspoon pub is well served for traditional pub grub as well as a wonderful range of cask and bottled beer.

The triumphant rise of craft beer in the USA is having ripple effects across the world. The positive side of that is that the old order of insipid yellow fizzy soda water is dying. But one should be careful that the baby doesn’t get thrown out with the bath water – other countries have wonderful brewing traditions of their own, and the danger is that these traditions (like cask ale) will fall by the wayside to the rise of the new.

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