Salt Horse | Edinburgh

A full on Matt The Trips : Edinburgh edition is long overdue, but in the meantime, let me point you towards one of my favourite beer haunts in the city, Salt Horse. Right in the centre of the Old Town, tucked in between the Royal Mile and Cowgate on Blackfriars Street, is a superior beer shop and bar split across two spaces. You can sneakily move between them by heading downstairs and back up again, which also reveals the route to a small but perfectly formed beer garden, ideal for those days, or rather that day, when it’s not raining. P.S. They may well have covers and outdoor heating.

The shop has a great, affordable selection of exciting beers from the likes of Cloudwater, Mikkeller, 3 Fonteinen, and Crooked Stave, plus the best of Scottish of course. You can drink in til 10pm, seven days a week, and there’s always enticing food on offer from various chef / street food residencies. Across both rooms, they sell beer by the glass from sharing bottles that might otherwise be out of your price range, or more than you want – there’s usually something from Cascade or The Bruery on offer that you should never say no to! It’s something I’d like to see at more beer bars and pubs across the UK.

The bar has 12 taps of the good stuff, and they often hold tap takeovers and special beer releases that draw in the crowds from opening time til late (1am close at weekends). We happened to be there for Cloudwater’s DIPA V12 & Birthday launch, and Salt Horse was heaving at four in the afternoon. Non beer drinkers are also welcome – there’s a decent selection of wine, sherry and spirits behind the bar, plus the aforementioned food, to keep everyone happy. What’s not to like?


57-61 Blackfriars St, EH1 1NB


Matt The Tips : 5 more top spots for beer in Edinburgh

The Bow Bar (whisky & real ale), The Hanging Bat (beer bar & brewpub), Brewdog (you know the drill), Ushers (underground beer haven), 6 Degrees North (modern space with 40 taps)

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