The Scottish Real Ale Festival comes to the capital this weekend, here is everything you need to know.

What is the Scottish Real Ale festival?

The Scottish Real Ale Festival (SRAF) is a beer festival organised and run by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) that showcases the best beers the UK – as well as some from further away – has to offer.

Visitors will be given the opportunity to sample over 180 beers from 60 breweries in Scotland, and all across the UK, as well as an excellent selection of foreign beers and real ciders.

Nearly every type of real ale will be represented from pale hoppy ales through to darker stouts and porters. Whatever your taste, there will be a real ale for everyone at the SRAF.

The team behind the event said: “With over 180 beers from over 60 brewers we hope that there is something for everyone, new beers from established breweries and breweries that are making their debut at SRAF along with a good selection of old favourites, which we try and source beers from the ‘four corners’ of Scotland.”

Where will it be held?

The Scottish Real Ale Festival has made the Edinburgh Corn Exchange its home since 2012.

The Edinburgh Corn Exchange

10 New Market Rd, Edinburgh EH14 1RJ

This is approximately 2 miles (3.6 km) to the south west of Edinburgh city centre, in the Chesser/Slateford area of the capital (close to a large ASDA Supermarket).

The Corn Exchange, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

When?

The SRAF will run from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July 2017 noon until 10.30pm each day.

Getting there

Edinburgh has excellent public transport and the Corn Exchange benefits greatly from several bus and train routes.

From the centre of town Lothian Buses run a number 35, from Haymarket you can also take the 4 or 44, which all stop outside the Corn Exchange and Slateford Train Station (on the Glasgow central line) is a two minute walk from the venue

Tickets

Tickets are available on the door only.

Admission prices are £4 for CAMRA members and £6 for non-members.

A Scottish Real Ale Festival beer glass and programme is included in the admission price.

Highlights

Beers

Picture: Scottish Real Ale Festival Facebook

As mentioned there will be over 180 beers on offer from 60 breweries including some of Scotland’s newest:

Kirrie Ales from Kirriemuir
Campbells Brewery from Pebbles
Fintry Brewery at the Fintry Inn at Fintry
Five Kingdoms from Newton Stewart
Hawk Hill Brewery from Dundee
Inner Bay Brewery from Inverkeithing
Law Brewing company from Dundee
Redcastle Brewery from Arbroath
Two Thirsty Men from Granton-on-Spey
The Kingdom Brewery from Rosyth

There will also be beers from across the rest of the UK and Europe.

Cider

There are 14 Scottish ciders/perry from 5 different producers and we have managed to source 7 Northern Irish ciders from 3 producers. So there will be something different for the people that enjoy cider as much as they do beer.

Other Food and drink

The team said: “There are a number of stalls from our CAMRA products and games, to Poco Prosecco and their Italian prosecco van coming for those that have not yet found their beer or cider calling.

“And if you need a chocolate fix we have our friends Oddfellows back again, but watch out for the Scorpion chocolate even if you are a chilli addict.

“And the multi-tasking The Pewter Man who will engrave your glass while he is not working as one of our CAMRA stewards.

“The ever popular Bankhouse Catering are back doing the food for the festival to keep you going.”

Advice and a note of caution

Please drink responsibly.

The beer festival is well staffed and the utmost effort will be made to take care of you while you are there but should you begin to let it all get to your head, take a break and get something to eat or drink some water.

And remember – just one last drink after you think you might have had enough, is never a great idea.

Luckily, the festival runs over three days so you can always come back the next day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I keep my glass? Yes you can keep your glass, if you’re like us you’ll probably want to add it to your already extensive collection of beer festival glasses, or perhaps you’re just wanting to get one going.

How do I become a CAMRA member? If you’re reading this guide then there’s already a fair to middling chance that you’re a fan of  real ales, or at least have an interest in them. Should this be the case then joining CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) can be a great way to extend your knowledge and support the industry.

Membership costs as little as £2 a month and you can find out how to join – or to buy a gift membership for someone who deserves a treat – here.

How will I know what to drink? Luckily, there will be well informed staff at each of the bars to give you information on each of the beers available, as well as a handy guide.

Should I drink pints?  Some of the beers (depending on strength) may be restricted to half pints and as a rule, it’s probably more enjoyable if you try each beer as half pints, as you’ll be able to sample more of the extensive collection but again it’s entirely up to you.

Can I vote for my favourite beer? The festival usually runs a competition each year to find the best beer as picked by the guests and should you enter you’ll also be entered into a prize draw.

Is there a dress code? No, thankfully real ale enthusiasts are a relaxed and friendly crowd and you’ll find nearly all forms of clothing are welcomed.

Keep up to date with information about SRAF by following:

Twitter: @SRAF

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pg/ScottishRealAleFestival

Website: www.sraf.camra.org.uk/

But have you tried beers from these breweries? Well they are on the list to be at this year’s Scottish Real Ale Festival and all the travelling you have to do is head for the Edinburgh Corn Exchange

 

 

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