June 12, 2018 Beer, Old Town No Comments

St Andrew’s Brewery Company

The takeover of the unloved former Potting Shed at Potterrow by St Andrew’s Brewing had completely passed me by until Blythe reviewed its food in April.

Exterior

I made a mental note to visit once it had settled down – so, a couple of months later, popped in on a sunny midweek evening.

First impressions were favourable. The Potting Shed was never a venue that worked for me – despite some promise, it struggled to settle on an identity.

But St Andrew’s – the brewery also has a venue in its hometown in Fife – has made a nice job of the refurbishment. The changes seem to have been largely cosmetic – but it immediately feels more cohesive, more comfortable. The aesthetic delivers plenty of rustic wood – I liked it.

Beer board

However, the new owners have inherited some teething issues – and major woes. So an unfortunate basement flood the night before my visit meant eight of the 18 draught beer taps were off.

And the draught beer was still only available in pints or two-thirds of a pint schooners. Odd when many bars now offer thirds and even the jakiest pub will serve you a half – but the owners have promised to rectify that.

The service is prompt, friendly and apologetic for these initial niggles.

With seemingly all the draught beers I wanted off, I settle on Old Skool from St Andrew’s and it’s fine, wearing its 7.4 per cent ABV lightly. I then have a bottle of the Campervan Citrus Disco and thoroughly enjoy it: a well-balanced sour citrus IPA, and a snip at just £2.50 a bottle.

The draught beer offering is solid – and on my visit, completely Scottish – although the prices were perhaps a little on the high side, with Jarl at £5.50 a pint for example. However, the overall offering is solid, with a welcoming ambience – it feels like a pleasant place to linger – and the food seemingly a notch above standard pub fayre.

I wish St Andrew’s well in overcoming the problems that have plagued their first couple of months. It feels like a much better fit for this site, and I sincerely hope they make it work.

Address: 32-34 Potterrow, Edinburgh EH8 9BT

Written by BKR