The Salvation of Leith
In a prime location on the Shore – formerly occupied by the crushingly ordinary Leith Beer Company – the Salvation of Leith has opened its doors.
I assume the name refers to the Port’s proud maritime heritage, rather than making any grandiose claims about this new establishment salvaging the local pub scene. Which is just as well – as, fine as it is, it didn’t blown me away on either of the occasions I visited.
It’s from the same stable as the Jeremiah Tap on Elm Row and Empress of Broughton Street – and very much cut from the same cloth, with a cultivated ramshackle hipster vibe.
Opening night was steady, with a stream of curious customers coming in to investigate – including yours truly.
The selection of bottles and cans is fine – mainly the usual best of British, with a few welcome additions like Sweden’s Beerbliotek.
The draught selection is okay, too. I start with the Marshmellow Milk Stout from Barney’s and it’s decent enough: solid, sweet and roasted. Edinburgh brewery Campervan has produced Leith’al Juice especially for the Salvation. It’s got an enticing tropical aroma with bold, resinous flavours but it didn’t hide its 7.5% ABV and I found it a bit hot and harsh.
I return a week or so later, when things have settled down – and it’s understandably bouncing on a warm summer evening by the Shore.
The Wild Swan from Thornbridge isn’t as good as usual, with a bitter and watery finish. I follow with a can of the Rakau Sour Lager from Chorlton and it’s a belter: big, tart and full of flavour.
My heart sinks on both visits when the half pints are served in the dreaded dimpled glass tankards – does anything find these comfortable to hold, or think they enhance the beer? – but the staff offer a DIY solution each time and shove me a tumbler to transfer my beer into.
So, glasses aside, the Salvation of Leith is fine. It’s a dramatic improvement on the previous occupant and I have no doubt that – just as I said about the Empress – given the location and the offering, it will be a success.
Address: 58 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA