Find Wonderful Beers and Ales in Some of Edinburgh's Best Drinking Establishments

Beer has been brewed in Scotland for over five thousand years, and throughout this time Edinburgh has been an important center for the production of beer. Edinburgh’s nickname, Auld Reekie, is a reference to the smoke produced by the furnaces which powered this industry. The city streets are no longer clouded by the smoke from breweries, but Edinburgh’s love affair with beer is in no way diminished and until very recently Fountainbridge retained the distinct aroma of hops. All over the city, real ales and craft beers are sold in Free Houses (pubs not tied to one of the large breweries) and patrons can whet their whistle with a truly eclectic mix of beers from Scotland and beyond.

Brew Dog may have set tongues wagging with publicity stunts, such as their battle to obtain the highest ABV (alcohol by volume) possible, and wrapping their “End of History” beer in roadkill, but they are also very serious about the business of creating great craft beers. Similar devotion to the craft of brewing is evident in Andrew Usher & Co, named after the famous Edinburgh distiller and philanthropist. Those who crave a relaxed environment and some wonderful craft beers and ales will be right at home in the heavenly Cloisters.

Whatever your preference, there should be somewhere on our list of brew pubs which is just right for you.



Holyrood 9A has gained quite a reputation for its selection of beers and ales and for the excellent burgers. Behind a deceptively diminutive exterior lies an open and welcoming bar with a large dining area to the rear. The polished wood...  Read More



The Cumberland Bar is hidden away in a quiet, cobbled street in the picturesque and historic New Town district of Edinburgh. The bar boasts a wide array of cask conditioned real ales, draft beers and ales, and bottled craft beers, but also has...  Read More



Brauhaus is a cosy little German style beer house with an incredibly large menu of bottled craft beers from all over the globe, although they do specialize in German beers and beers from Scottish microbreweries. An old Scottish student favorite...  Read More



Jeremiah's Taproom is a haven for lovers of craft beer. With over sixteen taps featuring five craft-keg and three cask lines as well as a growing range of bottled beers from many of Scotland and England's best microbreweries there is much to...  Read More



In the summer there's no better pub to head for in Edinburgh because the Pear Tree features a large suntrap beer garden and it is always busy with an eclectic range of people. It's especially busy during the festival thanks to its proximity to a...  Read More



The Hanging Bat offers a delectable array of independently brewed beers and ales including over twenty draft beers and one hundred bottled beers. They also brew their own beer in a pilot brewery, and it is well worth seeking out. The bar is...  Read More

Brew Dog


Brew Dog was established in 2007 by two young men who were passionate about craft beer and tired of uninspiring industrially produced beers and ales. They began to brew headline grabbing beers such as Tactical Nuclear Penguin (with an...  Read More



Once named "best drinker's pub in Britain," the Bow Bar is known for its huge selection of ales, malts and whiskeys. At last count, there were 140 kinds of malts on the menu! The bar staff are friendly and always ready to help newcomers choose a...  Read More



This classic, dark wood-lined pub has a laid-back appearance and a laid-back staff to match. It's a welcoming pub with a great range of drinks and a lively conversational atmosphere. A more mature crowd meets here for real ale made on the...  Read More



Andrew Usher & Co (also known simply as "Ushers") is a wonderful craft beer pub in the south side of Edinburgh. It is named after the wealthy distiller who funded the construction of the Usher Hall and once lived in Nicholson House (now...  Read More


Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

After...  More About Simon