Where to go for craft beer in Leith

Posted by in February's Magazine

Siobhan Hewison aka @britishbeergirl runs the rule over a few of the burgeoning artisanal ale outlets dotting the map of Leith


Steel Coulson, named after an old brewery in Abbeyhill apparently

As a self-confessed beer snob, as well as a beer blogger and Leith resident, I like to think I know where the best spots are to get a good pint of something tasty and interesting. So, here is my list of the places in our lovely part of north Edinburgh that I think consistently have a great selection of craft beer. It is by no means exhaustive – I have excluded some of the places that I go to on a regular basis because I don’t think their beer selection is quite as top-notch as it is at these pubs. If you think I’ve made a grave error by omitting one of your favourite spots, you may as well come and tell me in person – you can most likely find me in one of the following places taking hipster photos of my beer for my Instagram account:  


First up is my local, and it’s also arguably the funniest pub on Twitter. Tucked away just off Lindsay Road, they now have a tiny beer garden out front, so you can avail yourself of their excellent selection of craft brews and real ales whilst enjoying some sunshine(!). The staff are super-friendly, they always have an exciting range of beers to sample, it’s awesomely decorated, and there’s usually a dog or two to pet. They have regular events on – their pub quiz is ridiculous silly fun, and they also put on lots of good live music – plus you can get pizza delivered from Origano or East Pizzas (two of the best pizza joints in north Edinburgh).

Steel Coulson

Next up is my other local. Jointly operated with Dawkin’s (a Bristol brewery), Steel Coulson has the CAMRA seal of approval due to its extensive range of real ales, and it also has an awesome craft beer selection on tap and in bottles. The decor is modern-casual shabby-chic, so it’s a really nice space to relax in, and they have regular events like pub quizzes, live music and meetups. 

Malt & Hops

This is a great old-school pub, and it dates back to the 1700s so it’s one of the oldest pubs in Leith. It has a traditional interior, including dried hop vines and loads of classic style pub mirrors adorning the walls. The huge selection of very decently priced real ales, the cosy open fire, and the sizeable outdoor seating space make this little gem the best place to head to whatever the weather – especially due to the window seats for people watching! You’re likely to see just as many old regulars as you are hipster youngsters, and once again there’s usually a cute dog or two to say hello to. 

Stewart’s Dockside Tap 

This little spot is a relative newcomer to the Leith beer scene. Formerly Growler Beer, this northern subsidiary of popular Midlothian craft brewery Stewart Brewing is a welcome addition to the area. They offer a huge selection of bottles and cans in the fridge, and some tasty snacks from independent providers. But most importantly, they have 10 taps of quality beers so you can get your fix of Stewart’s either sitting in, or to take away in a 1 or 2 litre growler. They often have one-off or limited edition brews on tap here, and it’s worth keeping an eye on their social media pages for events such as beer and cheese pairings and beer launches. 

Campervan Brewery 

The taproom of this local brewery has recently started opening on weekends, and it’s such a nice space to have a tasty beer! It’s definitely worth a visit if you like sours, but they also have lots of other exciting beers to try, and always have a couple of taproom exclusives. You can get East Pizzas delivered here too, and with a great selection of board games, it’s a fun and relaxed place to spend an evening. 


Now, this is a gorgeous spot to enjoy a drink or two – Nobles is utterly charming, with its beautiful Victorian decor and nautical-themed stained glass windows, plus there are lots of quirky paintings adorning the walls. It has a small but always expertly selected range of craft beers, and they have a couple of decent real ale options too. The raised section as you come in makes the perfect spot for people watching (both inside and outside) and the atmosphere is always chill even when it’s busy.

What’s your favourite spot for a beer in Leith? Let me know on:

Twitter @britishbeergirl 

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