WOW what a year.
Ive been big into beer since 2007, and the scene in the Edinburgh and Scotland has fair changed since then, but its really been this year that the market has bloomed.
In the First part of this Year in Review i look at Off-Licences
In 2007 the the Fabulous Cornelius was the only beer shop that i found worth a regular trip across town to pick up beer. Yes there were other such as Great Grog, Royal Mile Whiskeys, Vinowines etc that had a few beers of particular interest now and then, but nothing like the range Cornelius had.
But even then i dont think Cornelius could sell the range he now sells. The thing that opened my eyes to this most this year was the introduction of Nogne O beers to the Edinburgh Market, had these beers been available in 2007 im sure Cornelius would have had some of them, but in not sure how well they would have sold. But this year not only did Cornelius sell the full range but so did Great Grog and Appellation wine.
Cornelius is as great as ever but is able to carry an even better range, Great Grog has come on Amazingly (though ive not made it across there i have a handy Squirrel who pick me up beers regularly) Appellation came to my attention this year, and is my main shop as its on my way home from work and i manage to pick up a new beer nearly every visit, and just in the last few months Royal Mile Whiskeys opens a cracking new shop up Tollcross way, and an ex-Cornelius employee has just opened the Beerhive down Cannonmills way while vinowines has just opened a new store in Stockbridge.
More surprising still, one of the oddest beer shop finds ive ever had was Ninas Mini Market just a few doors down from cloisters. This is a bog standard corner store (all be its not on a corner) but recently they have been selling the likes of The Kernel and De Molen beers as well has having 1 of the 2 cases of the Rotgut porter from Tempest. (Though i have just discovered that currently have licence issues and have had to take all the beers down :-( lets hope not for long)
All told the Off-Licence range in Edinburgh has improved logarithmically this year.
Moving out of Edinburgh i need to mention Luvians in St Andrews (with a shop in Cuper), from their twitter feed its clear they carry an amazing range of beers, including some beers that havent made it into Edinburgh as far as i know, but even before i was into twitter i had heard rumours of this place so drove all the way there one day just for a beer shop and it was well worth it. Not only did i manage to pick up 2bottle of "How to Disappear Completely" but the selection was pretty impressive and i came away with a fair few new ones
Im know there are other off-licences in Edinburgh and i have great faith that they have improved just as much, but i cant get into them all :-)