‘The Caley’ is the reason that, when the wind is right, Edinburgh is flooded with the sweet, malty smell of brewing, hoppy aromas flooding over from Slateford Road. Deuchars IPA has become the bare minimum for pubs pretending to have even a passing interest in serving proper beer, and a lifesaver it for anyone after more than a pint of Stella. Caledonian 80/-, Flying Scotsman, low-alcohol beer 2point8 and a 21st anniversary ‘Imperial’ version of Deuchars make up their regular brew menu, with four seasonal specials coming in throughout the year. Each month also has its own short-run beer – some tailored to the occasion like February 2012’s Over The Bar Best Bitter, just in time for the rugby.
When the brewery opened in 1869, it was one of 40 others in the city. It is the last to survive from that time, though others have recently begun to make Edinburgh’s brewing-day fragrance more common. Most of McEwan’s draught ales are also made on site, and the brewery is umbrella-owned by Heineken after they took over parent company Scottish & Newcastle in 2008. It’s not all corporate secrecy though – they run a number of different brewery tours including one involving an Indian curry buffet, which need to be booked in advance.
Reviews & features
Scotland celebrates a thriving brewing industry17 Sep 2010
Caledonian, Brewdog and more are holding their own on the world stage
High-quality water, historic recipes and a growing number of microbreweries means that Scotland is producing beers to rival those produced on the Continent, writes David Pollock.