Six Degrees North
Our Beer Man’s Verdict
Six Degrees North has been quietly producing some of the finest beer in Scotland for a few years now.
With a heavy Belgian influence, they aren’t necessarily beers which will please everyone – but while they are they occasionally challenging, they are invariably complex and delicious.
Based in the North East – starting life in the Marine Hotel in Stonehaven – they opened a bar in Aberdeen, just yards from Brewdog’s flagship venue.
One in Glasgow followed earlier this year, and was reviewed on Lunchquest in glowing terms.
So, perhaps inevitably, an Edinburgh bar has now opened and we popped along in its early days to see if it would pass muster.
Well, of course it did. Both other bars – and the beer they serve, of course – are excellent, and there was never the faintest chance of the Edinburgh operation falling short.
I do, however, think this one – on Howe Street in the New Town, where Mother’s used to trade – may be the best of the three.
The aesthetic is largely identical to the other bars – under-stated and muted with wooden booths almost like a classy beer hall.
On the midweek evening I visited, it was fairly quiet – perfect for lingering much longer than I had planned.
So a “quick one or two” predictably, dangerously, slid into six, seven or eight when presented with 40 draught taps offering obscure and tasty delights. Oh, and there’s the small matter of a fantastic bottle selection, too.
Happily – and in tune with more and more venues – beers can be served in a third of a pint, which is fortunate given the choice and the ABV of some of the options.
There were too many great beers sampled to list here, and, indeed, the selection will have changed by the time you read this.
The highlight was the biologique version of the peerless Saison Dupont – but I also loved Six North’s own pils and the fruity dry-hopped Running With Sceptres lager from Lost And Grounded. Wylam’s Hickey The Rake is an outstanding pale ale, while some of the old Belgian classics demonstrated once again exactly why they are classics.
It’s not cheap, but it does provide excellent value. If cost is an issue, stick to some of the lower ABV British beers – but you will miss out on some wondrous beer alchemy.
So – predictably – Six Degrees North passed my first examination of its Edinburgh venue with flying colours. It’s a top-notch venture, and already feels like it will be one of the key beer venues in the city, and Scotland.
Address: Six Degrees North, 24 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TG