The Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival 2018
Our Beer Man’s Verdict
I raved about the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival when it debuted in the city last year.
It seemed to be a big hit – arriving fully-formed and giving Edinburgh’s excellent beer scene a festival to match.
So I’m delighted to report that this year’s event – which runs until tomorrow – builds on that strong start.
Any minor issues from last year have been addressed and it already feels like a permanent – and highly-anticipated – fixture on Edinburgh’s beer calendar.
The Biscuit Factory still feels like the perfect venue, particularly on a blazing hot afternoon.
The only significant change from last year is the addition of an outdoor bar area with extra seating – welcome and popular, given the weather.
Some of the best UK breweries are in attendance, including Beavertown, Kernel, Magic Rock, Thornbridge and Wild. Scotland figures strongly, too, in the shape of Brewdog, Cromarty, Hanging Bat, Tempest, Six North, Stewart’s and local heroes Pilot. From further afield, there are illustrious names including Amundsen, BFM, Dugges, Mikkeller.
The all-inclusive ticket price works a treat, allowing guests to sample the excellent range of beer.
I start gently, particularly enjoying the pale, grassy Green Mountain from Thornbridge and Into The Zawn from Buxton.
While I enjoyed the pales and IPAs, I thought the sour selection was particularly strong this year: Mikkeller’s raspberry Berliner was excellent, and the two beers from Brewdog’s new Overworks range were cracking too – unlike, sadly, the mainstream Brewdog offering…
The big beasts – the imperial stouts – seemed to be the big draw for many, and the Scandinavian breweries really delivered. Dugges had two of my highlights in Cocoa Cacao and the bespoke festival beer We Are Edinburgh. Lervig’s CocoNutz Kake and Admundsen’s Cookie Monster – both aged in bourbon barrels – were absolutely outstanding.
So, perhaps predictably, the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival was excellent again – building on last year’s success and strengthening its offering. There are some tickets remaining and limited sales on door – if you have any interest in beer, I’d strongly urge you to try and get along.