Thursday 1st May 2014
This pub is described as being in many different districts of the city. It is said to be between Fountainbridge and Craiglockhart. It’s also described as twixt Dalry and Merchiston. I had previously not heard of the district of Ardmillan in Edinburgh and that was another area that was mentioned, yet I couldn’t find that place on a map. But it has to be somewhere, so Dalry it is! This was where I caught the bus to on that day and I think it is correct!
For such a city as Edinburgh where history is omnipresent, it has proved surprisingly difficult to discover the story of this pub.
Obviously there is a clue in the name as it is not far from the Caledonian Brewery and it is said that it was once their official sampling room. What I find difficult to comprehend is why that function was not conducted within the brewery itself, as I’m sure it occurs today.
Please look at the photograph of the pub’s exterior. It doesn’t look like it was built as a pub. In fact it is quite ugly compared with the stone tenements around it. The only previous reference to it I can find was that it was in existence in 2004. Inside it is completely different, however. Although the decor is modern there is a pub feel about it, mainly because of the long bar.
It is also a restaurant and is highly rated for its food but don’t let this put you off if you’re only are here for the beer. When I visited the tables nearest the windows were laid up for dining and those nearest the bar were without cutlery etc. Additionally, there are also a number of bar stools. The two side walls are of bare brick with a minimal number of old brewery advertisements.
The pub serves a number of “craft” beers and has an extensive range of foreign bottled beers but of course it was the cask beers that attracted me here and they had a very good range indeed.
There is just one regular offering and that is appropriately:
Caledonian (Edinburgh) Deuchar’s IPA (3.8%).
Another seven hand pumps dispensed an eclectic selection that on this visit, comprised of:
Tempest Brewing (Kelso, Roxburghshire) Cascadian Blonde (4.1%).
Alchemy Brewing (Livingston, West Lothian) (St) Ella Burst !PA (5.3%).
Redwillow (Macclesfield, Cheshire) Mirthless Pale Ale (3.9%).
Tiny Rebel (Newport, Gwent) Dirty Stop Out Smoked Stout (5.0%).
Arbor (Bristol, Gloucestershire) G Bomb Galaxy Pale Ale (4.7%).
Highland Brewing (Swannay, Orkney) The Duke IPA (5.2%)
and also their Rockallryse Rye Beer (4.2%).
So, as can be seen, this pub is a beer destination in its own right. Even more so if you’re after some good dining.
The Caley Sample Room, 42-58 Angle Park Terrace, Edinburgh EH11 2JR
Tel: 0131 337 7204
Open: Monday-Thursday 12.00-24.00; Friday 12.00-01.00;
Saturday 11.00-01.00; Sunday 11.00-24.00
It’s possible to get to the pub by bus and I caught one to Dalry and then it was a walk of less than ten minutes. The best way is to use the 34 or 35 routes which run past the door. They both start at Leith Ocean Terminal. The 34 runs through the city centre along Princes Street and the 35 operates via the Old Town.