Edinburgh’s first beer and whisky festival gets underway this weekend

Hollyrood Distillery will celebrate Edinburgh’s brewing and distilling heritage this weekend, hosting a three-day event that showcases the finest whisky and craft beer in the country.

By Neil Johnstone
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 4:55 am
The Mash Up festival begins today at the Holyrood Distillery
The Mash Up festival begins today at the Holyrood Distillery

The Mash Up festival is Edinburgh’s first beer and whisky festival and invites guests to tour Holyrood Distillery and brewing lab, where they can meet local producers and sample quality drinks from over 18 micro-brewers and distillers from across Scotland.

Craft beer aficionados can taste products from a variety of Edinburgh brewers, including Summerhall’s Barney’s Beer, Leith based brewers Campervan Brewery and C*LD Town Beer and Loanhead’s Stewart Brewing.

Whisky connoisseurs can try drams from eight Scottish distillers, from Edinburgh’s Holyrood Distillery and Leith’s Woven Whisky to enjoying single malts from further afield with producers travelling from as far as the Isle of Islay, St Andrews and the Isle of Raasay.

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Located in Edinburgh’s south side on St Leonard’s Lane, Holyrood Distillery is well placed for the Capital’s first combined beer and whisky festival, situated in an area formerly known as “The Charmed Circle” for its abundant underground water and host of brewers and distillers who once occupied the land.

Visitors to the Holyrood Distillery will have the opportunity to enjoy traditional and contemporary beer and whisky pairings as they tour the centre where they can speak with local producers and celebrate Scotland’s historic 'hauf n hauf' tradition.

The popular age old Scottish custom of ‘hauf n hauf’ is a cultural ritual where a dram and half pint of beer are ordered together allowing the contrasting flavours to complement one another.

Holly Aynsley, bars and events manager at Holyrood Distillery and co-organiser of the festival said: “It’s really a way of us championing Edinburgh breweries and independent Scottish whisky distilleries.

“At Holyrood we draw a lot on brewing history and the heritage in the area. We wanted to be able to celebrate that with a “hauf n hauf” festival which is what we’ve got going on this weekend.

“There are so many young distilleries that are coming up doing really cool, experimental things and we wanted to put everyone in the same place together.”

Holly added: “Off the back of Covid, everyone had a pretty tough time so we wanted to give everyone a stage and bring everyone together as a community.”

To help celebrate the event, five local DJs will play an eclectic mix of music inside the venue throughout the festival weekend and Edinburgh’s Pizza Geeks will have a stall in the distillery courtyard.

The festival gets underway from 12pm today and runs until Sunday June 5 with three available time slots per day.

Festival organiser, Holly, urged whisky and craft beer enthusiasts to come along this weekend and said the event “is not to be missed”.

She added: “Some people forget how many amazing breweries we’ve got in this city and we’re really lucky to have some really great producers.

“We want this to become one of our signature events that becomes a staple in the calendar for people in Edinburgh.

“It’s something I’ve really enjoyed putting together and it’s been nice to connect with all the visitors that we’ve partnered with.”

Tickets for the festival cost £35 and are available on the Holyrood Distillery website with two half pints and a dram are included on entry.