Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Real Ale Festival

The vanguard of the beer revolution will assemble in Edinburgh over the next few days, as CAMRA and SIBA put on the 2011 Scottish Real Ale Festival. Over 140 beers from Scotland’s top breweries will be available.

The variety continues to increase year on year with pale’n’oppy and porter taking their place alongside brown bitter. Suits me as those are precisely the types of beer I like to drink. 18 Scottish-brewed varieties of porter and stout are on the list; not bad for a genre that was practically extinct north of the border ten or fifteen years ago.

One of our most promising new breweries, Tempest from Kelso, is represented with three beers and advance reports suggest their RyePA (groan) is one of the best beers at the festival. What I’ve had of theirs, porter and lager on trips to Edinburgh (unfortunately, as far as I know not a single cask has yet ever made it to Glasgow) has been very impressive so I’m looking forward to trying all three.

It’s also good to have a chance to drink the beers of superb breweries from the North East of Scotland: Burnside and Deeside. Others I’m keen to try include the latest from the ever-experimental Tinpot, the new IPA and Mild from Knops and Luckie respectively, and a rarely seen draught Traquair beer. This is a great time to be a beer drinker in Scotland.


  1. What did you make of the CBOS results? Seemed very 'Old School' to me.

  2. They were quite odd and it seems to me that the selection process could do with being streamlined. But as I've just posted in my review of the festival, I'm not really interested in awards anyway. I don't ever base my choice of beers on what's won an award.