Andy Gem­mell’s Drinks Cab­i­net

Sunday Herald Life - - Drink -

Ed­in­burgh Fac­tory Unit 15 Bankhead In­dus­trial Es­tate Ed­in­burgh

His­tory: While work­ing as former the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ten­nent’s owner C&C Group and more re­cently as the big boss at Scot­tish & New­cas­tle, John Dun­smore al­ways had a dream of start­ing his own brand of beer right here in Scot­land. In late 2015 his dream was made a re­al­ity when The Ed­in­burgh Beer Fac­tory started brew­ing for the first time. This is not a quaint lo­ca­tion or a pic­turesque brew­ery. When de­sign­ing it they wanted to cel­e­brate the in­dus­trial process of mak­ing beer by show­ing off the mash tun, ket­tle, tanks and bot­tling line. They wanted to­tal trans­parency for any vis­i­tors to see ex­actly how the beer is made. They de­scribe the in­dus­trial ware­house space lo­cated in Bankhead just out­side Ed­in­burgh as “a stain­less steel totem to moder­nity”. The com­pany is also owned by him and his daugh­ter, with the name for the venue in­spired by two of John’s idols – Andy Warhol, whose New York stu­dio was called The Fac­tory, and Tony Wil­son, the late founder of Manch­ester’s fa­mous Fac­tory Records.

The beer: They ap­par­ently use a his­toric brew­ing method here based on a Mu­nich style but with “Ital­ian brew­ing tech­nol­ogy”. I don’t re­ally know what that means but it sounds very cool. The main beer to come out of the fac­tory is a craft lager named Paolozzi af­ter Eduardo Paolozzi, the Leith-born print­maker and sculp­tor cred­ited as a found­ing fig­ure of the Pop Art move­ment. Its bot­tles show de­signs from the fa­mous man as well, and a do­na­tion from each bot­tle sold goes to the Paolozzi Foun­da­tion, which was set up af­ter he passed away. Favourite beer: At the 2017 World Beer Awards The Ed­in­burgh Beer Fac­tory saw great suc­cess with its “BUNK!” range of in­no­va­tive beers.

The Ed­in­burgh Brown from the range was awarded the ti­tle of World’s

Best Amer­i­can Brown Ale. If you are look­ing for some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent then their lat­est edi­tion, Cherry Sai­son, may be for you. They have jazzed up the tra­di­tional Bel­gian style with whole cher­ries, adding a hint of tart­ness and sweet­ness to a dry, warm­ing base.

Why visit? On a good day this pace is only 15 min­utes’ drive from the city cen­tre. The tour is great with no strict struc­ture like other tours I have been on, they ac­tively want you to ex­plore and ask ques­tions so that you get the most out of it. For £15 you get two half pints of Paolozzi, as well as a tu­tored tast­ing from an ac­tual brewer of the un­fil­tered ver­sion di­rect from the tanks. You can even sit down after­wards in their Tap­room bar and watch the beer be­ing made. Their brew­ery shop is also open to the pub­lic from Mon­day to Fri­day, 10am to 6pm and on Satur­days 10am to 4pm.

In­ter­est­ing fact: The award­win­ning Ed­in­burgh Brown Ale is de­scribed as a “brew­ing col­lage” in true Paolozzi style: un­pas­teurised and un­fil­tered, it com­bines the sweet UK Brown Ale style – dosed with two Amer­i­can hop va­ri­eties (Cen­ten­nial and Chi­nook to be ex­act) to up the juicy bit­ter­ness – with Ed­in­burgh Ale yeast con­vey­ing a silky tex­ture to the brew.

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