The Steel Coulson has now opened in Leith, taking over the site on Henderson Street which was occupied without much obvious success by the Flying Dog.
It’s a curious and romantic proposition. The name apparently revives a long-dormant brewing name in Edinburgh, and the enterprise seems to have been established because Bristol-based Dawkins Brewery founder Glen fell in love with Edinburgh.
Commendable, but not necessarily the most solid foundation for a business. This location – and general area – has been problematic for a number of outlets, including the excellent Vintage, and it doesn’t immediately feel like the Coulson will crack it.
Which is a pity as it has a nice, cosy atmosphere. The décor is pleasant, conjuring an old-school boozer vibe.
Beer is to the fore, with seven cask and nine keg lines, and a well-judged selection of bottles and cans.
As well as some draught from Cross Border, Fallen and Wild, the beer selection is dominated by Dawkins – a name I can’t recall ever seeing in Edinburgh before.
Their blonde is fine. So is the amber. And the Huell Melon and the Ekuanot. They’re all absolutely fine. The #6 IPA is pick of the bunch – punchy citrus with bags of flavour. None of the Dawkins beers is truly outstanding, though.
Here at Lunchquest we always wish all new openings the best, but it’s difficult to see how the Steel Coulson can make this venture work.
Seven cask lines – with their relatively-brief shelf life – is a huge commitment and I suspect some could linger longer than is advisable.
The service was pleasant and enthusiastic but the place was pretty quiet, even for a Thursday night. This is a difficult spot – not quite the Shore and not quite Great Junction Street – and it might struggle, although I hope I’m proved wrong.
Food is going to be available soon and the beer is decent and the service is strong, so it’s worth checking out.
Address: 24 Henderson Street, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6BS