Carry-out scheme to take draught ale home

Stuart Dinning, of Growler Beers. Picture: Greg Macvean

Stuart Dinning, of Growler Beers. Picture: Greg Macvean

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IT was the traditional carry-out of ye olde times – a flagon of ale or cider carted home from taps of the local tavern.

Now the drinking habits of a bygone era are set to be revived with the launch of Scotland’s first draught beer takeaway.

Ale-lovers will be able to buy top brands freshly poured from the cask and barrel in sealed one, two and three litre bottles when the innovative Growler UK store opens in Morningside this summer.

Owner Stuart Dinning, 37, hit upon the concept two years ago when visiting his then girlfriend in Atlanta in the United States, and was granted an alcohol licence at the City 
Chambers on Monday.

The Edinburgh-born archaeologist is set to leave the trowel and trenches in favour of the ground-breaking business he is financing himself.

He said: “You used to be able to go to the pub with an old milk carton or flagon and take it home so it was there a century ago. But in the last 50 years or more that has slowly drifted away.

“Going back to the old days of the traditional inn this would happen. As I have been speaking to the older generation, even as early as the 50s and 60s, they could remember bringing ales back from the pub. There’s something quite nostalgic about it.

“I have gone along the route of bringing it back from the past.”

Mr Dinning said his motto is to “throw out the beers and bring real ale home”.

He said: “Getting a pint of Deuchars IPA in the pub compared to getting it in a bottle are completely different because one’s been sitting in a bottle for three months to start with.

“So there’s that freshness and realness of the ale that you will be able to take home with you.”

Up to 15 varieties of ale and cider will be on tap – many from microbreweries across Edinburgh and Lothian – with customers ‘renting’ a glass bottle and filling it with their 
chosen drop. The bottles are refundable or can be exchanged for a different size for free.

Takeaway ales have been a smash hit in the US but have so far failed to register on these shores.

Mr Dinning said he is determined to turn that on its head. He said: “I’m really excited about bringing this new venture through and enhancing the ale and craft cider market. I’m maybe going to have to retrain people’s mentality a bit so they don’t just going to the supermarket and pick up four cans while doing the shopping but come to a draught ale specialist.”

Campaign for Real Ale spokesman Neil Walker said: “Camra supports take-home cask conditioned beer and hope this new venture will encourage more people in Edinburgh to discover the unique taste of real ale.”