The GothOur Beer Man’s Verdict
Undoubtedly one of the most picturesque pubs in Scotland – with an intriguing backstory – the Goth boasts a proud brewing heritage.
Fowlers Ales were brewed on the premises of this historic Prestonpans establishment – and served on-site or taken away in jugs – until 1962.
New brewing kit was installed in 2004 and a number of brewers have been producing their own beer on the premises – with varying degrees of success – since then.
It’s probably been a couple of years since beer was brewed in earnest at the Goth, but a new operation is now up and running under the Kentwood name by Lewis Kent and Sean Wood. I had heard some encouraging things about this fledgling operation, and thought it was time for another visit.
The Goth is right on the main road in Prestonpans, looking out over the Forth. It’s a beautiful old building – albeit a little incongruous, perhaps feeling more at home in an English village than an East Lothian town.
Inside, it’s been lovingly restored – lots of wood, some stained glass and impressive ceiling murals. It’s one of the loveliest pubs in the East – if not Scotland – and deservedly has listed status.
It was quiet on the afternoon I visited, and felt like the ideal place to let an hour or two drift past.
Sadly, only a couple of the house-brewed Kentwood beers were available on cask – alongside more familiar staples like Tennent’s, Stella and Belhaven on keg – so my options were limited.
No 80 Shilling or New World American Pale Ale, so I opt instead for the Tropicano (£3.40 a pint). Lacking aroma and murky, it’s still light and drinkable – despite the punchy 5.2 per cent ABV – but isn’t quite hitting the spot for me and could do with some tweaks to really shine.
Thankfully, the Wee Heavy (£2 a half) is much better. It’s rich, dark and roasted, with chocolate raisin flavours and a 7.4 per cent ABV that’s apparent but well-judged. It’s warming and delicious – and a really excellent Scotch Ale.
The Wee Heavy shows the Kentwood team know what they’re doing, and I look forward to trying the rest of their output.
The Goth – or the Prestoungrange Gothenburg to give it its proper name – is worth visiting for its beautiful décor.
It’s also worth visiting for its principles as it’s one of the few true Gothenburg pubs remaining which are run on a trust basis, with 95 per cent of profits going back into the community – in this case, the Prestoungrange Arts Festival.
And now, once again, it’s worth visiting for the beer – that’s worth raising a glass to.
Address: 227-229 High Street, Prestonpans EH32 9BE