Achtung beer lovers. Edinburgh will soon be getting a brand new bierkeller - a public house, selling German beers.
The Keller Taproom will be opening on May 19, at 23-27 Broughton Street Lane, with reservations open now.
The wunderkinds behind this project are business partners and couple, Emily Jones and James Meikle, both 30.
“As a child I always wanted to be like Peggy Mitchell and have my own pub,” says Emily, who met James while they were working behind the bar at No 8. Lister Square at the capital’s Quartermile. “It wasn’t until I moved to Edinburgh, six years ago, that I started my career in hospitality. The vibrancy and sense of community provided by a pub atmosphere changed my entire career path; I knew this was what I wanted to do”.
The couple also have their own brewery and distillery on site, and, after finding out that one of the property’s former residents was a lithographer, will be screen printing their own gin labels. The first pouring of their very own beer is pencilled in for July.
However, in the interim, once they’re open and restrictions have lifted, there will be other refreshments.
“Our signature drinks are the traditional German schnapps and our own gin - my personal favourite is Coorie, our heather and raspberry leaf gin,” says Emily. “And of course, there’s our beer. We have 10 draught lines with five German beers and three lines dedicated to Scottish beer which will rotate on a monthly basis”.
Their range, which will be served from a bar made from planks of wood that’s been reclaimed from old ships, includes the Bavarian ABK beer on draught, as well as wares from Edinburgh businesses, Barney’s and Bellfield Brewery.
As far as food goes, they’ll be offering bar snacks at first, then something more substantial as the business develops.
The most striking thing about this new venue is its decor, in neutral and natural shades. There are well-upholstered chairs, as well as a pair of swinging seats by the window, and a wood-burning stove.
“We wanted the pub to be warm, to feel solid, and we especially wanted to bring the outside in. Green and living spaces make us happy,” says Emily. “Our hops strung along the ceiling brings a magical quality to the space, and the walls that we plastered with our own hands gives a sense of permanence that you often miss in new, modern venues. We also have a wee plant installation from a local business, so not only can people admire the living space we’ve created but they can buy the plants and take home their own little piece of the Keller”.
The couple are relieved that their project has come to fruition. They started just before the pandemic, and can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“No one would choose to start a new venture in such difficult conditions, given the option, but for us the impact has been one of true appreciation for the industry”, says Emily. “We wanted to create a space that celebrates Scotland, that gives our community a hub that they can make their own, and allows people to connect in the way we have sorely missed this last year”.