Scotland’s largest celebration of craft beer returns to Edinburgh this May with a special foodie focus, top-class music acts and a huge selection of craft beers from some of the world’s most innovative brewers.
Taking place from Friday 24 – Saturday 25 May at The Biscuit Factory, the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival will welcome some of Edinburgh’s leading restaurants to serve up a tantalising array of culinary treats, keeping beer lovers well-fed all weekend.
This year the festival has partnered up with two of Edinburgh’s top restaurants to offer revelers something a bit special. Chef Stuart Ralston from Aizle will be creating a menu in miniature, bringing the tastes of his award-winning restaurant to the Biscuit Factory.
Joining Aizle will be Harajuku Kitchen, winner of best street food at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards.
For good old-fashioned street food, The Pitt’s stalwart Buffalo Truck will also be serving up its naughty but nice buttermilk chicken burgers, with more culinary vendors to be announced shortly.
This year’s festival will also play host to another impressive line-up of top-class performers, with DJ Yoda, Belle & Sebastian, Hip Hop Karaoke and Gentelmans Dub Club among the confirmed acts ready to keep crowds entertained all weekend.
Some of the world’s hottest new breweries will be showcasing their products, including Fierce from Scotland, To Øl from Denmark, Canada’s Collective Arts and Stone & Wood from Australia, as well as major names in the brewing world that have never before poured in Scotland.
James Goulding from Collective Arts said: “We’re super excited to come and pour our beers in Edinburgh for the first time. We’re all about creativity, art, music and culture fusing with craft beer. Coming to Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival, an event and city famous for all those things, is an awesome opportunity for us.”
And marking a first for the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival, this year the festival organisers We Are Beer will create a special brew in collaboration with Leith’s Pilot brewery, to be launched ahead of the event.
At 3.5% ABV, it’s a low-alcohol pale brew described as ideal for “lazy summer days, with zingy flavours of watermelon, mint and hibiscus”.
Commenting on the collaboration, Pilot Brewery Director, Matt Johnson, said: “We Are Beer events are hands-down the best beer festivals to be a part of. As a small brewery, it’s really humbling to be in the company of such a high calibre line-up and the atmosphere is always buzzing.
“The opportunity to make the festival beer was one we couldn’t turn down. We wanted the beer to be easy going and ‘sessionable’.
“Although we’ve played around with herbs in our beers, we’ve never used mint before so this was the perfect opportunity to give it ago, and we think it will pair perfectly with the watermelon and citric zing of hibiscus. It’s a semi-sour because we’re going for a nice, refreshing tartness whilst keeping the acidity in check to make sure it’s approachable and moreish.”
This year will also see the return of the Raise the Bar competition, which seeks to find new, up-and-coming brewers and shine a light on creativity and innovation in the brewing industry.
Winners will once again have the opportunity to showcase their products at the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival as well as the London and Bristol festivals, and new Birmingham event, Beer Central.
Greg Wells, Co-Founder, Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival, said: “We can’t wait to return to Scotland with our third Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival, which promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a stellar line-up of music acts and some of the top brewers from around the globe. This year we’re really upping our game in terms of the food offer, bringing along some of Edinburgh’s leading restaurants who will be serving up tempting treats to go with our huge range of craft beers.
“We’re also looking forward to unveiling our special brew created in collaboration with Pilot, which promises to be the perfect drink for the summer with zingy, fruity flavours and a low ABV. Tickets are selling fast and once again Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival looks set to be Scotland’s top celebration of craft beer and great food on the calendar. Don’t miss out!”
Tickets for Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival are priced from £45 and include entry, all your beer, a festival beer glass and magazine, and access to the festival’s pop-up kitchens and music acts, available at edinburghcraftbeerfestival.co.uk/tickets