Yes, I’d managed to arrive in Edinburgh just before the nerds turned up (not the CAMRAs). Almost as good as arriving in Somerset after Glastonbury.

The replies to my request for good Deuchars were discouraging, “Don’t Ever Drink Deuchars” the gist of it.

No Deuchars in Forsyth Tea Room

So I just walked aimlessly round the closes off the Royal Mile for a bit, hoping for inspiration and avoiding the Spanish tourists on Ghost Walks.

An Inspector Rebus murder here

I was impressed with Edinburgh CAMRA’s campaigning for Mild Month.

Dark Lord says “Drink More Mild”

Finally on Cowgate, the basic Lothian boozer of my dreams.

Never walk past one. They won’t be here forever.

I’m still trying to work BrewDog out. Their core beers haven’t impressed in their own bars, though Punk IPA in Spoons is as good as ever. Turnover matters, even in Craft.

You’ll be wanting to see the prices.

Always go strong and hazy

I went strong and hazy.

Hazy Jane is the murk us Bass aficionados can drink between meals. Cool, complex, £8.75 a pint. Job done.

No lacings

Feeling a bit Hazy myself, I followed Matthew Lawrenson advice and popped to the Cloisters.

No Deuchars, walk out.

Time to follow the Rebus trail.

35 thoughts on “HUNTING DEUCHARS

  1. I remember the barman, in the Three Judges in Partick, and his giving me a tutorial on Deuchars about a decade ago.

    “The cellarman shouldnae have tae do the brewer’s job for him” was his terse summary.

    It’s a pity. I loved it in its prime.


      1. I think it depends on what the bar man was referring to. If he was insinuating that the cellar-man was having to coax some condition into the beer, and that condition wasn’t there at the start, then he could have been right, but on the other hand we are talking about cask-conditioned beer, and the clue is that the stuff “conditions” in the cask, so therefore the chap behind the bar was wrong.

        My conclusion is he was just being a grumpy old-git trying to impress.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, to expand, he was talking – unsolicited – in the context of Deuchars’ meteoric rise to national brand, and their inability to keep pace with demand and to maintain quality. He suggested that their beer was being despatched before it was ready,

        But as you say, Paul, cask conditioning is…cask conditioning.

        Whatever, we are honoured, when a hostelryman devotes his time one-to-one with us, and so we conduct ourselves with due deference.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Spot on with last point.

        I guess I’d welcome the opinion of one of the Deuchars strongholds like the Oxford Bar on the quality of the beer they get. I thought it tasted as I remember a decade ago, though the same beer in the Waverley Spoons tasted a different beer and presumably was selling in decent volumes.


  2. Decent ‘Spoons on Lothian Road, Edinburgh. Can’t remember its name. Converted cinema so probably “The Old Picture Palace” or something like that. On three levels so I went to the bar level in the lift.


  3. The Caley Picture House, 31 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ.

    On my last visit, they had five excellent guest ales in addition to the trio of Doom.


    1. Richard,
      I had a decent enough drop of Stewart Pentland IPA in the Cloisters ten days ago but it’s far from my favourite Edinburgh bar and the subterranean lavatories reminded me of a Wetherspoons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Comparing your comments with Paul’s, I think it’s all down to what you want of a pub? Cloisters has really good beer but is probably a bit quirky. Would you rather have that or sit in a very traditional, almost ornate pub (I’m thinking of that Eagle vaults in Worcester) drinking a pint of very ordinary Banks beers? At the end of the day it’s personal taste and each to their own, I know where I’d rather be.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a tremendous point, Richard. Really got me thinking about pubs and greatness.

        I’d pick Cloisters over the Eagle Vaults (agree on beer), in part because I’d already seen it can be boisterous in the evening as well as calm at lunchtime. Definitely a younger persons pub compared to the Heritage pubs of the New Town. It was the keg % Belgian Ale from Fallen that pushed Cloisters into classic territory though, just as the bottled strong Windswept beer made the Queen Vic in Aberdeen special.

        Of course, any pub I share the company of Paul or yourself is a magical pub, and I mean that even if you don’t believe me. Being in the company of people happy to talk to anyone is a joy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I wholeheartedly share your enthusiasm of being in the company of good people; yourself and Paul are definitely in the category of ‘the very best of good people’.

        Having read Paul’s comments I think the Pub Pyramid paradigm of, Place, People, Beer and Time is all you need to evaluate your ideal, or your top 10 or whatever of pubs. The paradigm is almost a lens, or indeed a prism (triangle shaped) through which we can look; different people look for different things, whatever pleases them. And as Paul says, what we look for can change with time. You could do a top ten of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s etc and for each era probably come up with a different set of pubs.

        We are all different and like different things and we should respect that in others.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, a tremendous post there from Richard.
        All I will add is that twenty years ago I couldn’t have imagined how my choice of pub would change as I got old.
        I had 45 years from 1971 seeking out different beers, interesting beers and even some exciting beers but about three years ago I developed an intolerance to strong citrusy flavours and all that finished.
        For the past fifteen years I have increasingly gone for pubs with heritage interiors and that’s no surprise as old age means looking back rather than looking forward.
        Those pubs with proper beers we know and love and heritage interiors, like the Beacon and the Star, are of course my favourites – and I hope they’re still about at the middle of the century for today’s “craft” drinking hipsters.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I don’t quite understand the Pub Pyramid paradigm but I’ve just had a great four days away with Manchester and Derbyshire the ideal Place, plenty of nice People about, not a bad Beer out of thirty pints and Time well spent from 11am to 9pm.

        Liked by 1 person

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