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Edinburgh, Scotland has plenty of places to drink, but it’s only been in recent years that it has started to see its craft beer scene grow. New breweries such as Vault City have quickly risen in prominence. While there are several good places for craft beer in Edinburgh’s city centre, there are also many a bit further away in Leith. Here is where to find the best craft beer in Edinburgh, including breweries, taprooms, beer bars, bottle shops, & more.
The Best Craft Beer Bars in Edinburgh, Scotland
The Hanging Bat
Opened in 2012, The Hanging Bat is one of the oldest & best craft beer bars in Edinburgh.
The bar is a multilevel spot with a variety of seating, with everything from cozy corners with leather chairs to large group tables. The fun playlist skews toward early aughts rock, indie, emo, & pop punk.
The Hanging Bat has 14 taps & 6 casks, as well as a fridge packed full of good local cans & bottles. They frequently host tap takeovers.
The bar also serves cocktails as well as hearty food, including fish & chips, stew, nachos, & haggis.
Cloisters Bar is located in a former church just down the road from The Hanging Bat. It opened in 1995.
The pub is known a bit more for its cask ales (9 casks total) but also has a robust 10-tap craft beer selection. Both frequently rotate. There is also a food menu with burgers, loaded fries, snacks, and mains, plus a Sunday roast.
As you might expect from the cask selection, it’s an older spot with an older clientele, but it’s a lovely place for a pint whatever your age.
Salt Horse Beer Shop, Bar & Kitchen
Salt Horse Beer Shop, Bar & Kitchen is a centrally located Edinburgh beer bar & bottle shop with perhaps the best selection of craft beer in the city.
In addition to 14 keg lines, Salt Horse also has a massive selection of over 250 different beers. Name a great Scottish or other British brewery, and they probably have it.
This photo is only of about half of their fridges!
You can get beer to takeaway, or stay in and drink it along with some food. The restaurant serves burgers, chips, & wings. There is also a beer garden in the back.
The Holyrood 9A
The Holyrood 9A is a pub in the Edinburgh city centre with around 23 taps and 2 casks. Many of the kegs are a fixed list of house taps, including some macro, but there are also a few taps dedicated to a rotating selection from top Scottish craft breweries.
The brewpub also has a food menu full of a variety of burgers, including vegetarian and vegan options.
The Dreadnought Leith is located in a quiet neighborhood away from the centre of Leith, but it’s also not far away from the Ocean Terminal & the Royal Yacht Britannia.
The neighborhood bar is a cozy welcoming spot that’s clearly well-loved, hosting events, DJs, and more. It’s especially LGBTQIA+ friendly. All are welcome, with the exception of their strict “no bellend” policy. There’s a nautical theme, which makes sense given how close it is to the waterfront.
Dreadnought Leith has 12 taps and 4 casks, plus a selection of local cans. It’s also dog friendly.
The Hanover Tap
The Hanover Tap is a pub in Edinburgh’s New Town that offers 8 taps of craft beer, plus more macro taps. Overall the selection won’t thrill those who are constantly on the lookout for new beers, but there are some things that might be new to others.
There is also a full food menu that includes pizza, burgers, and wings, plus cocktails & wine.
Malt & Hops
Malt & Hops is a Leith pub that has been around since the 1700s. They’re best known for their real ale selection.
Address: 45 Shore, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6QU, United Kingdom (map)
The Best Breweries & Taprooms in Edinburgh, Scotland
Vault City Brewing
Vault City is based in Portobello, located on the coast just east of Edinburgh. The brewery has quickly gained a reputation as being not just one of the best breweries in Edinburgh but in all of the country. They are known for brewing some of the best sour beers in Britain, including interesting combinations of flavors ranging from fruit smoothie sours to full-on desserts. They have even created an Irn Bru sour based on the beloved Scottish drink.
There are two Vault City taprooms in Edinburgh. The first one, called Wee Vault, is in an archway in Haymarket and offers 24 taps (about 16 of their own, plus 8 guests) as well as bottles and cans.
Some places put “wee” in the name and you go, oh, yeah, it’s small, but Vault City’s Wee Vault is definitely tiny. It has almost twice as many taps as seats! It’s a cool spot where you can feel the rumble of the trams as they go by, but get ready to get cozy with your fellow beer drinkers.
Vault City has also opened a larger taproom called Porty Vault near their brewery in Portobello. It has 36 taps, plus fridges full of beer for drinking in or for takeaway.
Address: 7A W Maitland St, Edinburgh EH12 5DS, United Kingdom (map) – Wee Vault Edinburgh – Vault City Haymarket Taproom & Bottleshop
Fierce Beer is based in Aberdeen but has a taproom on Edinburgh’s Rose Street, an area filled with bars & restaurants.
The Edinburgh taproom has 20 taps, including some guests, along with a huge menu of about 100+ cans & bottles. They also have a cocktail menu, plus Scottish whisky & gin.
Campervan Brewery operates two different spaces in the area. The Edinburgh brewery is the brainchild of head brewer Paul Gibson, who wanted to combine the family’s passions for beer & travel. The name of the brewery comes from its beginnings as a mobile brewery & beer dispensing VW campervan dubbed “The Hoppy Camper.”
Their main brewery, taproom, & beer garden is located in a Leith business park closer to central Edinburgh. It offers both indoor & outdoor seating areas. There are around 12 taps, plus cans.
The brewery also operates a taproom & barrel aging space on the waterfront in Leith called Lost in Leith.
Lost in Leith has a selection of around 18 taps from Campervan Brewing & guests. They also host tastings & events.
Address: Bonnington Business Centre, 112 Jane St, Edinburgh EH6 5HG, United Kingdom (map) – Campervan Brewery Tap Room
Cold Town Beer & Cold Town House
Cold Town House is a multi-level brewery & bar on Grassmarket. The views of Edinburgh Castle from its rooftop beer garden are magnificent.
The current taproom is the original home of Cold Town Beer, though they have now outgrown that space & moved elsewhere in Edinburgh.
In addition to its 4 rotating taps of Cold Town Beer & 8 guest taps, the brewpub also serves cocktails and wine, plus pizzas, snacks, and burgers.
Innis & Gunn
There are two Innis & Gunn Brewery taprooms in Edinburgh, one in the city centre and one in Leith.
The city centre taproom has 26 taps, including tank fresh Innis & Gunn beer. They also offer wine, spirits, and cocktails, as well as a food menu (including dinners & pairings).
The Leith taproom has 16 taps, plus other drinks & food, as well as a beer garden.
Address: 81-83 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AW, United Kingdom (map) – Innis & Gunn Edinburgh City Centre Brewery Taproom
Bellfield Brewery – Taproom & Beer Garden
The Bellfield Brewery Taproom & Beer Garden is located just north of Holyrood Park, making it a nice option for a pint after hiking around the area & taking in the views from Arthur’s Seat. It was named Taproom of the Year by the Scottish Beer Awards.
Bellfield Brewery’s key goal is to brew beer for everyone. That means their beers are gluten-free & vegan. They’ve also started making alcohol-free beers. The Edinburgh brewery was started in 2015 by two Coeliac friends, so they take being gluten-free seriously.
For those who have no issues with gluten, don’t be turned off. Their beers are every bit as good as beers that have gluten in them.
Moonwake Beer Co. | Brewery & Taproom
Moonwake Beer Co is a Brewery & Taproom in Leith. They have a large brewing space with a taproom overlooking the brewery floor.
The taproom has around 8 taps of their beer, plus 4 guest taps.
The Best Bottle Shops in Edinburgh, Scotland
The Beer Cave
The Beer Cave in Haymarket has an excellent craft beer selection with frequent new arrivals. It’s a convenient place to pick up some beer before a long train journey (or a short one, no judgment here).
Address: 43 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2BU, United Kingdom (map)
Do you love craft beer? Check out more of my recommendations for the best craft beer around the world!
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh, check out these Edinburgh hotels.