Brewery to launch stunning new craft beer bar with 'UK's first' onsite oak barrel ageing facility in Edinburgh

A popular Edinburgh brewery is set to open a stunning new craft beer bar and what is thought to be the 'UK's first' onsite oak barrel ageing facility in Leith.

Published 28th Feb 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The ‘Lost in Leith’ bar and Fermentaria is set to be the home of the Leith-based Campervan brewery's barrel-aging project.

Opening its doors on the 7th of March, the innovative new addition to the Capital's buzzing craft beer scene will be located in Commercial Quay, close to some of the Leith foodies’ favourite spots like The Kitchin and Quay Common, where it will showcase some of the brewery’s classics alongside a diverse array of "weird and wonderful" beers from all over the world.

Campervan brewery bar Leith

The bar will host the UK's first onsite oak aging facility. Picture: Campervan

Set within an old whisky bond, the bar is the only one on Commercial Quay that still has the original vaulted ceilings, which are, according to the team reminiscent of an old French vineyard cellar, making it the ideal venue for Campervan’s barrel-aged beers.

It's thought to be the first craft beer bar that will include an-onsite oak barrel ageing facility in the UK, with the inclusion of three 10hl oak Foeders manufactured by Allary Tonnellerie near Cognac in France.

Paul Gibson, founder of Campervan Brewery, said: “We believe we are the first bar in the UK to have a dedicated area to show people how we age beer in oak barrels.

"We sourced our oak Foeders from France due it its mellow oak profile, which we felt would add amazing flavours to our beers. We chose Allary Tonnellerie as they are a family business and understand values of low intervention and producing products which are kinder to the environment.

"The French cooper is well known for their savoir-faire, sourcing oak in the most prestigious French forest and possessing generations of experiences, allowing their master coopers to develop the rigorous skills in order to achieve the quality craftsmanship that embodies the Allary name."

Gibson added that, much like their taproom, the new bar will be community-focused, fully inclusive, and dog-friendly, with an amended license to allow families with young children in a bid to be "welcoming to all".

With an emphasis on Scottish produce, local suppliers and sustainability, the Campervan team have locally sourced many of the spirits and the wine list has a big emphasis on producers who follow low intervention practices.

With 18 taps and a selection of bottles and cans, including the latest release of Campervan’s barrel aged range, the bar aims to become the new hot spot of the Edinburgh and Scottish Craft Beer Scene.

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Paul added: “Our home and community is in Leith, so it’s the only place we considered when we started thinking about opening a bar.  Commercial Quay jumped out as a creative hub with loads of outside space and the potential for an amazing beer garden. Over the course of the next few months we plan to introduce our fermented foods which we’ll pair up with local produce and showcase these with our beer and wine pairings”

The three main fermentaria barrels will be soon joined by others, in which the brewery say they will age their new ‘Lost In Leith’ range.

Paul said: “We plan to mature our beer in the Foeders as it’s a traditional method of brewing which is very environmentally friendly with minimal intervention. Many of these beers will sit in there for over a year, developing a depth of flavour from carefully grown microbes and wild yeasts.  So we’re super excited to share this experience with people as and when the beers are at their best”

The Brewery plan to release their first beers aged on-site during a further event that will take place at the fermentaria for spring.

• READ MORE: Edinburgh brewery set to officially launch new taproom in Leith

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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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