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Barney’s Beer is a very modern Edinburgh microbrewery built on hundreds of years of brewing tradition.
It’s based at Summerhall, once the site of an old brewery which operated there throughout the 18th and 19th century.
And it was founded by Andrew Barnett, who himself has a long history in beer production.
“I started working in a brewery by chance, really,” Andrew says. “I left school at 16, I was looking for a job… and a position in a local brewery came up.
Andrew was hooked. In 1988, he went on to do a degree in brewing and distilling at Heriot Watt University. A successful career with several major brewers and distillers followed, taking him all over the world.
Andrew – “Barney” to his friends - set up Barney’s Beer in 2010 after deciding he wanted to run his own brewery.
Production began at a disused brew pub in Falkirk. Two years later, the microbrewery transferred to the Summerhall complex in Edinburgh, formerly home to the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School.
By 2014, Barney’s Beer had already bagged two SIBA Scotland awards – gold for its Red Rye, silver for its Volcano IPA – and had been named one of the top five craft brewers in Scotland byThe Listmagazine.
“Summerhall opened up in 2012 and we were the first residents to move in,” Andrew says.
“We think the first brewery on the site began in 1705. It closed in 1905 and was demolished 1911 when the old vet school went up in its place. We are based in the stables of the vet school, where horses were once treated.
“That makes us the longest established non-continuously operating brewery in Edinburgh.”
Barney’s strong links with Edinburgh’s brewing past give it a solid platform on which to produce very modern, cutting-edge craft beers.
Edinburgh Beer Box includes one of the microbrewery’s distinctive confectionary-inspired ales, for example - its zingy 4.2% Sherbet Sour Pale.
“In the early days of microbreweries IPAs were dominant,” Andrew says. “But as people’s tastes have developed they have become interested in trying different styles.
“In the last five years, there has been more interest in kettle-soured beers and desert stouts, like our Marshmallow Milk Stout. Unusual styles have become popular.”
“For the Sherbet Sour Pale,” Andrew adds, “we use a New Zealand hop called Motueka, known for its lemony aroma.
“It has fast become one of our most in-demand beers with its sour lemon and lime flavours harking back to sherbet fountains and dip dabs.”
Barney's Extra Pale is a fixture in Edinburgh Beer's Mixed Box. A selection of other beers can be selected below.