Sunday, 1 April 2012

Exciting Edinburgh

Yesterday I was going to write a blog about two halfwits, whining on about how unfined cask beer by some great breweries will bring the cask market to it's knees because how could anyone possibly tell the difference between a cracking unfined pint and a beer thats in poor condition. I refuse to give them any credence however. If you want to be stupid, do it in your own time.

I then considered writing a blog about CAMRA and there latest refusal to halt their own demise. Then I realised I was delighted by it, so I could just leave it be and enjoy watching them untie the painter and drift off in to the wide ocean of irrelevance.

It then occurred to me that may be I could write something more positive than pointing out the abject stupidity of others, or highlighting the death of an national institution due to it's own incompetence and miserable failings. (seriously, just support ALL British brewing, how could it possibly hurt you).

So I thought about all the beer that has been gradually sourced for the new Fuller Thomson bar in Edinburgh. Fuller Thomson provide a halfway house of micro and macro beers, a rough split of 10 and 10 in most of their bars. I admit to not being a fan of this at first, and just falling short of arguments with the owners as to what the split should be. After trips to Sweden and the US however I will happily hold my hands up and say 'My bad, I was wrong'.

Sadly for the beer geeks and craft lovers, niche beers are still just that, niche. Such a tiny percentage of the market. Those people live in their craft world (I'm one of them) saturated by all our amazing beer chat that we believe that it is actually far bigger than it is. I'm stunned that people are still 'discovering' BrewDog, but they are. There is much work still to do.

However, any one who has been in the Holyrood 9a on a Tuesday night will testify, the Fuller Thomson format works. It really is all things to all people (some staunch cask lovers might suggest that is not the case, but 4 cask lines usually with interesting beers on is pretty good) with an eclectic beer range, and a fantastic food offering in a nice environment. What's not to like.

So the new bar is called The Southern on South Clerk Street and whilst some of the other sites have seen some pretty cool beers in them, like Dark Star Critical Mass, Lovibonds 69, Harvieston Ola Dubh 12 and Moor Somerland Gold on keg the Southern has an opening list that literally relieves itself all over any previous FT beer list.

The intention was not to go overboard on the niche beers. Whoops. This is the list....

Hardknott Vitesse Noir
Brooklyn Socrachi Ace
Lovibonds Lager
Summer Wine Brewing Co. Maelstrom Double IPA
Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA
Williams Blackball Stout

The Kernel Export Stout
Luckie Ales Dark Mild
Thornbridge Pedro Jimenez aged Bracia
Fyne Ales Jarl

Beer that will be waiting in the wings includes:
Uncommon Brewers Bacon Brown Ale
Six Point Atlantic Antic
Several Rogue beers
Lovibonds 69 and Dirty 69
Summer Wine Diablo, Teleporter and other stuff I can't remember, all on keg.
Highland's new US style IPA
Fyne Ales Davaar Black and Blonde (which will probably make it on on the opening night)
...and lots lots more.

I was told 'Jarl's not new when I showed a friend this list. No it's not, but it is the best sub 4% beer in Scotland (arguably the UK). I think that justifies any inclusion.

Opening night is April 16th (even the builder seemed to think that was OK), it's a Monday, so my advice is you take Tuesday off work. And Wednesday. And Thursday morning.

As for me, I start a new job tomorrow and I'm very much looking forward to it. Some very exciting things happening at Williams Bros, it was too good an opportunity to miss.