Always a good selection of well-kept beers, friendly staff, good food, happy customers, high woodenness ratio, a historical building, cosy fireplace, etc, etc. Without doubt, this is my favourite pub in Edinburgh.
There’s no TV and no music, so you get pure unadulterated pub atmosphere. It can be a quiet and peaceful place, just you, great beer and the respectfully quiet murmurings of your fellow pilgrims. On the other hand, it’s often busy enough to be hard to find a place to stand, especially on a Friday night. Even on this Tuesday night visit after 9pm we had to stand.
They’ve got two sister pubs, both also excellent, namely The Bow Bar and The Stockbridge Tap. I’m happy to report that they’re both within the scope of this tour. The parent company is Edinburgh Real Ale Limited.
Barry the manager
is was 50% of Elixir Brew Co, so you’re perhaps more likely to see Elixir beers here than anywhere else, especially the more experimental ones.
There are 9 casks and sometimes a guest keg or two, with a few safer options for the non real ale crowd. I’ve a feeling there’s no Guinness though, which is always a good sign. However, I didn’t note down the non-guest kegs.
This visit featured casks from Allgates, Burning Sky, Alechemy, Windswept, Fernandes, Fallen Brewing, Fyne Ales, Tigertops and Rat with two guest kegs from Adnams and Lagunitas. This was a slightly more diverse mix than usual due to the ongoing Winter Beer Festival.
There’s a reasonable whisky selection, but not quite as many as the Bow Bar I think.
I didn’t write down the price of the round, but it’s easy to see from the cask list pictured that it’s very reasonable with most beers £3.50 or under.
I can’t say if the food’s good or not, having not eaten here in years (for no particular reason), but if the quality control is anything close to that of the beers, you’ll not be disappointed.