On the go for over four years now, this place got in ahead of the curve. Edinburgh seems to have an unquenchable thirst recently for gentrified old pubs with a good beer line-up. There’s lots of dark wood panelling, white walls, plants and leather seats, all combining to lend the place a certain air of sophistication. They manage to pull it off without being up their own arse though, and get the balance about right. The bar staff are good and seem to really know their stuff. As for clientèle, there’s a big mix from random tourists, a few well-to-do looking folk and outright beer geeks. Every time I’ve been in it’s been busy, even on a Tuesday night.
It’s part of the Fuller Thomson group, along with two other pubs in Edinburgh (the Red Squirrel and the Southern Bar) and three in Dundee. The Edinburgh pubs all have a similar large burger menu and lots of cask and keg beers to choose from. I can’t vouch for the Dundee ones. You’ll get better pictures than mine on their website.
There’s always good beer on in here, some of which will be relatively rare (hence the beer geeks). They’ve got up to 4 casks and 16 kegs, and even “guest bottles”. There are of course a bunch of whiskies and spirits too.
A pint ranges from around £3.60 to upwards of £7 for the rarer (and/or stronger) beers. There are also the more mainstream kegs, but I didn’t take notes, sorry. You can see from the image on the right that the guests tonight were Tryst Blathan, Knops Musselburgh Broke, Thornbridge Beadeca’s Well, Tempest In The Day We Live, Fyne Ales Sublime Stout, Summerwine Maelstrom, Black Jack Schafhopf, Tiny Rebel Flux and Black Isle Goldeneye.
Our round tonight was £11.45 for 3 pints from the cheaper end of the scale, around £3.80 a pint.
A large selection of really good burgers ranging from about £7 to £10. On behalf of Westy, I feel obliged to point out that the burgers arrive on wooden blocks, just in case you’re like him and find this annoying. “What’s wrong with a plate?” he asks every time. I don’t share his concerns.
No TVs as far as I can remember, just beers and burgers.