Meet the Professionals The Brewing Shed

Interview with the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival organisers

Beer Festival Leith organisers

May bank holiday weekend will see over thirty internationally renowned brewers pitch up their stands at the 2017 Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival for one of the most eagerly anticipated booze-ups of the year. To whet your appetite for the beery offerings ahead we caught up with organisers Daniel Sylvester (pictured left) and Greg Wells (right) to find out a little more about what’s in store…

There are a lot of beer festivals around at the moment. Why did you decide to put one together?
We have organised successful beer festivals in London and Bristol and the feedback has been amazing. Beer-goers are excited by the idea they will be able to try beers they have never tried before, and find out about breweries they haven’t heard of before. We are bringing the world’s best breweries under one roof and Edinburgh is the perfect festival city to celebrate our love of beer.

You have an impressive line-up of international breweries – how did you decide which ones to invite?
We have great relationships with many breweries, we really respect what they are doing and the beer they are making. Usually, beer festivals tend to focus on local talent, but we really want to make this festival a global celebration of beer.  We reached out to breweries we knew our festival-goers would love to try and we are excited to welcome them to Scotland.

Some come from far-flung places, was it easy to persuade them to fly over to Scotland?
It didn’t take much arm-twisting to persuade them to make the trip to Scotland. The craft beer scene in the UK is really lively at the moment and the brewers are excited by the set-up of our festival and joining a bunch of like-minded people at our global gathering of the best of craft beer.

You’ve also got some of the finest Scottish breweries in attendance. We reckon Scotland is right at the forefront of the craft beer scene – why do you think there are so many great new Scottish breweries springing up?
Scotland has a great brewing heritage that is currently being redefined and given a contemporary edge. Our Scottish partner breweries attending Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival are continually pushing the barriers of craft beer making, coming up with exciting new offerings and building a loyal following.

Unusually for a beer festival, the ticket price gets visitors unlimited samples of beer. Why did you decide to go down this route?
The event is a celebration of world beer so we need to make it accessible and inclusive. We want ticket holders to have the opportunity to try the amazing beers on offer. Festival-goers get small 100ml tasters of beer while other beer festivals tend to charge for half and two third pints.

You’ve also got food lined up for hungry punters. Can we expect deep fried Mars bars?
Deep fried mars bars will not be on the menu! We have teamed up with local food market The Pitt who offer a fantastic array of street-food from pizza to BBQ and everything in between. The Pitt felt like a natural food partner for us following the success of their Pitt St market just down the road from the Biscuit Factory in Leith.

Finally, can you point us in the direction of five great beers you think we should try?
The breweries are still finalising the beers they are showcasing at the festival, but recently our favourite beers have been, of course, some Scottish beers…

Fallen – Chew Chew
Tempest Brew Co – Old Fashioned
Pilot – UltraViolet
Dugges – The Tango Twang
Wiper & True – Amber Ale Red Orange

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival runs from Friday 26 May to Sunday 28 May 207 at The Biscuit Factory in Leith. Tickets are available now:


Photograph by Stewart Attwood

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