I’ve just completed my day’s 26 and a bit mile walk around Edinburgh, which as well as confirming it and Glasgow as world-class cities allowed me to do a quick comparison between their respective pubs.

Both cities have about 25 pubs in the current Beer Guide, those allocations reflecting tourist numbers and population.

In Glasgow 7 of those are Wetherspoons, and the central area seemed to have one on every corner. By contrast I only came across a couple of the capital’s Spoons at the end of my walk. I guess this reflects the limited site options on and around the Royal Mile.

Both cities have an impressive number of reconstituted boozers, notably the Laurieston and Pot Still in Glasgow, and Athletic Arms in the capital.

Beer quality overall was a bit average (2 to 3 on the NBSS), which was disappointing given the vast crowds about to descend on Edinburgh in particular.  I saw little real ale being drunk in Glasgow, even at Spoons’s prices.  Innis & Gunn was everywhere though.

What did impress, when served well, was the quality of a number of the smaller Scottish brewery efforts, which were getting good bar space.

Alechemy’s 4.1% Pale in the Teuchter’s Landing in Leith was a wonderful beer in the best pub I visited in Scotland.


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