The Biscuit Factory, located in Edinburgh is a venue that has attracted the small and niche events since its opening as a venue. This weekend it was home to over 30 brewers from across the globe. The 1st Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival and it feels like it’s found its home.
The first thing that struck me as I entered the venue was the relaxed and sparsely fitted room. With table tennis, shuffleboard and of course stalls lining the room this had the feel of a small group of like-minded people showing how proud they are of the brews they have made.
When asked about the venue Dan Sylvester said : “It was a really easy choice because craft beer and our festivals have a very specific look and feel and going around Edinburgh there was nothing that had that industrial feel that original brewing look. Being Leith with its history, industrial and brewing history, its grit made sense.”
With so many beers on offer and a wristband system that allowed you to try as many as 18 beers per session, the event, of course, had to also supply food. The Food court area located outside the building had its own vibe with an energy provided by conversations about the beers. Just a short time and you could hear conversations discussing the merits of dark vs. light and why “sour beers are the way forward.”
Speaking with the Brewers I got a feel for a community that loves what they do almost as much as they love sharing it with others, and that’s what this festival is about.
Geoff from Amundsen Bryggeri discussed the first night “So far the experience has been great and the people have been wonderful. The venue is amazing, and we don’t have anything like this in Norway.” When asked about the ability to meet consumers he said : “I think it’s really important, especially when you come from a country like Norway where it’s illegal to market yourself. You can be there in person and be able to talk about your brand and beers.”
Of course, even as a reporter covering the event I couldn’t avoid trying some of the beers with particular highlights being Amusden’s Apocalyptic Thunder Juice. The intriguingly named beer is a pale New England type, with a fruity, dry taste that goes down so smoothly.
Another I enjoyed was Siren Craft Brewery’s Fruitea. A fruity, because the name doesn’t give it away, red beer that is beautifully refreshing poured cold it is the ideal accompaniment to a sunny day.
The event ran all weekend with Idlewild supplying the musical accompaniment to the beer.