8 of the best drinks festivals in Edinburgh

In Edinburgh we’re crossing our fingers for a long, hot summer.

By Gareth Edwards
Monday, 29th April 2019, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 8:35 am
Scotlands largest celebration of craft beer, the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival returns this year.

And since there are few things as enjoyable as a refreshing drink on a warm day, the city is set to be packed with great events centred around some of the country’s most popular drinks.

Here are some of the best drinks festivals and events that will be sure to quench your thirst for a tasty beverage.

Cocktails in the City3-4 May, 6pm - 11pmThe Hub

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The Hub on the Royal Mile will host 16 of Edinburgh's top bars under one roof, allowing you to sip your way through the city's most inventive cocktails. Enjoy interactive tasting sessions and adventure through the immersive Tasting Rooms as you discover a range of delicious cocktails created specifically for the event.

The bars taking part include Nauticus, 99 Hanover Street, Hoot The Redeemer, Empress of Broughton Street and Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Bar. Tickets cost £12.50 and include a free cocktail and cocktail booklet. Cocktails on the evening are £6.50 all night, from any of the participating bars.

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival24-25 MayThe Biscuit Factory

Scotland’s largest celebration of craft beer, the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival returns with a world-class line-up of breweries, headline music acts and Scotland’s finest street food.

Beer lovers will get a chance to try the latest products from some of the world’s best new breweries.

Organisers We Are Beer are even creating a special brew in collaboration with Edinburgh’s own Pilot brewery, to be launched ahead of the event.

This year the festival has partnered up with two of Edinburgh’s top restaurants to offer revelers something a bit special.

Chef Stuart Ralston will bring the tastes of his award-winning restaurant Aizle to the Biscuit Factory, and there will also be food from Japanese eatery, Harajuku Kitchen.

There will be DJ sets from DJ Yoda, Belle & Sebastian, Hip Hop Karaoke and Gentleman's Dub Club Sound System.

Tickets start at £45 and include entry, all your beer, a special festival beer glass and magazine, and access to the festival’s pop-up kitchens and music acts.

31 May - 2 JuneSummerhall

The Juniper Festival returns to Summerhall for its sixth consecutive year, showcasing a selection of gin producers and offering samples.

Past events have welcomed over 150 unique gin brands from around the world and more than 10,000 gin-loving guests.

From gin tasting in the ballroom, to gin cocktails, talks and masterclasses, there will be something for every gin fanatic.

Tickets for the event start at £22.50.

Edinburgh Whisky Festival15 JuneAssembly Rooms

Sample the best home-grown whiskies from Scotland and all corners of the globe. The Edinburgh Whisky Festival attracts distillers from as far afield as Taiwan, India, Japan and the USA.

The event features blending workshops, cocktail masterclasses and a chance to sample some of the rarer, more exclusive whiskies by purchasing dram tokens on the day.

And a festival shop will sell every whisky that you will find at the show.

The 8th annual Currie Beer and Curry Festival7-8 JuneCurrie Community Centre

A community event raising funds for good causes, the Currie Beer and Curry Festival is also a chance to sample some fantastic ales and exceptional curry.

Tickets cost £17.50 and cover entry and three beer tokens, each good for a 1/3 pint of beer.

The Upside Down7 June - 1 SeptemberPop Up Geeks', East Market Street

The weird and wonderful world of Stranger Things will be back on Netflix later this year - and that means a return of the Pop Up Geek’s Upside Down theme bar.

This time the popular themed event will feature some serious 80s nostalgia, with classic cocktails, evil "upside down" alternatives, hard milkshakes and boozy ice cream floats.

The Pop Up Geeks say: "Something strange is coming to Edinburgh... On June 7th, open your curiosity door and join us as we turn 80s cocktails upside down!"

You can book tables to the launch event on their website.

The Rum Festival Edinburgh27-28 SeptemberSummerhall

Back in Scotland for a third year, the Edinburgh Rum Festival has been a popular success and this year’s event features more rum, lots of sampling, live music, street food and hopefully plenty of dancing.

Guests will be able to try over 100 different rums, cocktails and food from around the globe. Tickets from £7.50.

Edinburgh Cocktail Week14-20 OctoberFestival Square and various locations around the city

This week-long cocktail celebration will allow you to enjoy £4 cocktails at more than 80 of Edinburgh's finest cocktail bars.

You'll just need to buy a wristband (£6 weekday / £8 weekend) and use the handy map to navigate your way around all the cocktail locations. Or if you don't fancy wandering around the city, you can park yourself at the festival's epicentre at Festival Square, where you'll be able to sip £4 cocktails at 15 pop-up bars, while enjoying live music.