Edinburgh’s Craft Beer Experience returns to the capital this week and to celebrate we asked craft beer blogger British Beer Girl Siobhan Hewison, who helps organise the event, to pick eight Scottish beers that are worth checking out.

With tickets already selling fast, the popular festival of craft beer, which takes place at the Assembly Roxy on Roxburgh Place from the 31st October to the 2nd November, will see more than 30 breweries from all over the UK and Europe occupy the iconic building’s three floors.

The Main Hall will play host to a line-up of top Scottish brewers including local legends Pilot, Top Out and Cross Borders, and Scottish superstars Tempest Brewing Co., Six Degrees North and Fallen.

Siobhan has chosen eight beers from this top selection of brewers that will be worth putting to the top of your list should you be looking to attend.

The Scottish Beers

In Cold Blood – Top Out Brewery

Siobhan said: “This is the exclusive limited edition festival collaboration between Top Out and the Craft Beer Experience and a delicious red rye ale with blood orange, that’s perfect for autumn.”

ReplicALE competition beers – This year’s style: Wee Heavy

Siobhan said: “The Replicale contest, which proved popular with guests and breweries alike last year, sees a selection of the Scottish breweries exhibiting in the Main Hall face the challenge of making a beer of the same style exclusively to pour at the festival, but the specifications for what ingredients go in the beer are left up to the brewers themselves.

“All the entries are judged by a panel of local experts, and the winning beer gets a trophy (and bragging rights) – this year, the breweries taking part are Barney’s, Top Out, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Brew Toon and Campervan.”

Cocoa Morello Cherry Chocolate Milk Stout – Pilot Collab

Picture: Twitter

Siobhan said: “This a fun beer brewed up by the ever popular Pilot in collaboration with BrewDog Lothian Road for the Aberdeenshire Brewer’s CollabFest.”

Malicious News – 71 Brewing

Picture: The Wee Beer Shop

Siobhan said: “This one is a juicy easy-drinking NEIPA with a sneakily high ABV of 7% from a brewery who recently won Breakthrough Brewery of the Year at the Scottish Beer Awards.”

North Auld Toon Tripel – Six Degrees

Siobhan said: “This tasty Tripel from the Belgian-style beer specialists is amber in colour, with fruity sweet aromas and a sweet and spicy taste.”

Acid Black – Acid Brewing Cartel

Siobhan said: “A moreish dark sour ale fermented with Belgian Trappist yeast, blackberries and blackcurrants from this exciting brewery.”

Big Raspberry Dog Chew – Fallen Brewing 

Picture: The Wee Beer Shop

Siobhan said: “This is the punchy raspberry and salted caramel version of Fallen’s now infamous Chew Chew (of which the Salted Caramel Chew Chew is a favourite with Scottish dark beer lovers).”

Cashmere Lager – Overtone

Siobhan said: “An exciting and refreshing, crisp, malty lager created by one of Scotland’s hottest new breweries.”

Other highlights 

European Breweries 

The downstairs Snug room at the event will also feature an EU Breweries tap takeover in partnership with Beer Without Borders, and will be welcoming big European names like Lervig and Basqueland.

rUK Beers 

Upstairs in the Upper Theatre, a selection of UK beers curated by Flavourly — one of the country’s best craft beer subscription clubs — will be pouring their wares, including collaboration brews with Somerset wild-fermentation kings Wild Beer
Co. and London icons Fourpure.

Food and cocktails

Part of the festival’s aim is to showcase the best local and Scottish produce, not just in the beer world — there will be a cocktail bar featuring delicious concoctions made with Scottish spirits, and three street food vendors such as Jarvis Pickle from the Borders, serving up dishes that use the finest local and seasonal ingredients.

Masterclasses

Guests can enjoy a packed programme of masterclasses hosted by industry experts, and entertainment from local DJs in the Main Hall.

Halloween fun

The Saturday night session on 2nd November will be a Halloween party, featuring Halloween decor in the Main Hall — fancy dress is encouraged, and there will be prizes for the best outfits.

• Ticket information and details about the lineup so far are available on the Craft Beer Experience website: www.craftbeerexperience.co.uk

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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