Big tastes in small bottles: Great Grog Beer Fest

Locals may think of  Great Grog as wine purveyors. Indeed they are, but they also have a large range of beers from many different small breweries. It’s astonishing to realise, also that Great Grog have been in business since 2005 and can count 75 years experience between all the staff. They now deliver across the UK.
Greg Grog Big Bottle Fair in Cafe Caminos Event Space

Greg Grog Big Bottle Fair in Cafe Caminos Event Space

Wanting to showcase some of Scotland’s finest ales, a Small Bottle Fair was held recently. Six Scottish breweries and a couple of distributors were exhibiting. You were On arrival you were provided with a small glass, and tasters from bottles were given – as many as you wanted. There was a supply of water to rinse glasses, and vases to dispose of unwanted liquid (beer or rinse water). And it wasn’t all men! There was a good turn out with a convivial atmosphere with lots of people comparing notes.

Alechemy Beer

Alechemy Beer’s eye catching logo

Mr EF went off to sup some beer and tried the following beers on your behalf!

Alchemy Brewing

Alchemy Brewing of Livingston. Head Brewer & Director James began brewing whilst at university in Edinburgh. After studying chemistry and brewing yeast for his PhD he came back to brewing after working in the pharmaceutical industry. Sadly their website is rather out of date.

Almighty Mofo 7.1%. Very flavoursome.
Carynx – Black Saison 6.0%. Limited Edition to celebrate their 200th brew! A very lively (carbonated) beer.
Onyx Black IPA 6.5%. Quite bitter, and not much head.

Lining up the beer on the Stewart Brewing Stand

Lining up the beer on the Stewart Brewing Stand

Stewart Brewing

Stewart Brewing based in Loanhead set up in 2004. They go from strength to strength winning many awards.If you’ve got a thirst to create your own beer, you can at Stewart Brewing’s Craft Beer Kitchen.

Cauld Reekie 6.2%. This beer has just won Europe Gold in the World Beer Award European 2014. It has liquorice/chocolate flavours, and is quite bitter.

BrewDog as funky as ever

BrewDog as funky as ever


Brew Dog of Aberdeen.  Set  up by Martin and Ian when they were just 24 in 2007. The company now boasts more than 200 staff and in 2013 brewed 53,500 HL of beer, has more than 14,000 shareholders (which is a story in itself) and 13 bars.

Punk IPA 5.6%. Lots of flavour. Grapefruit notes. Spikey finish.

Cromarty Brewing

Cromarty Brewing of Cromarty. This is a family run business started in 2011. Craig the Head Brewer is another graduate from the Herriot Watt Brewing Science course. On this occasion the Kiwheat was not to my liking. It had a rather a sour citrus flavour.

A collaboration between Fyne Ales and Wild Beer

A collaboration between Fyne Ales and Wild Beer

Fyne Ales

Fyne Ales.  started brewing back in 2001. Tuggy and Jamie Delap were determined to bring fine ales to an area of the country where little was to be found.  Their beers have since won many awards.

Cool as a Cucumber – a collaboration with the Wild Beer company based down in Somerset. 2.9%. Cucumbers and a ‘garden full of mint’ incorporated in this beer, which you can taste. Overall a clean pallet cleanser.
Land Slide 6.0%. A bitter brown ale, and a bit fruity. I found this average.
Vital Spark. 4.4%. Lively (carbonated) and dry dark ale.

Top Out

Smoked Porte from Top Out - Our beer of the day

Smoked Porte from Top Out – Our beer of the day

Top Out of Loanhead. This brewery only launched in July 2013. Suffice to say, they are brewing some good beer.

Staple 4.0% Pale ale. Clean, hoppy, slightly citrus.
Schmankerl 4.9% wheat beer. Clean, slightly sweet and fruity.
The Cone 6.8% IPA. Classic IPA, but more carbonated and more fruity. Good.
Smoked Porter 5.6%. Lovely smoked flavour, hint of sweetness, and chocolate. Nicely Hopped. This was my beer of the day!

A fine selection from the distributors

A fine selection from the distributors

The Distributors

Last but no means least two from the distributors:
Berliner. Very sour with a citrus nose. definite pallet cleanser.
Oatmeal stout (from the Netherlands) 9.8%. Big chocolate flavours, smooth and sweetish. Hint of coffee bean flavour.

Visit the Great Grog Shop 2 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh or Telephone 0131 667 2855). You can check out all the prices on their beer list.

Great Grog Beer Shop

Great Grog Beer Shop

Last updated by at .

About Bread Baker Danielle

Danielle founded Edinburgh Foody in 2010. Having qualified as a professional bread baker in France in 2014, she is now on a new adventure in Gloucestershire. Check out Look out for occasional posts for Edinburgh Foody


  1. It was a great day. Your beer reviews are very fair. Top out was also one of my top choices, also ALechemy citra.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.