Edinburgh’s altar to the art of craft brewing is not so much a bar as a brewery with chairs, and few other options
Following feedback from the venue we have made amends to the original review.
The Hanging Bat is a peculiarity on the Edinburgh bar scene, in that it seems to have jettisoned many typical bar-like elements in case they get in the way of appreciating a good (read: craft) beer. There’s no cocktail list, although a select group of spirits, especially gin, are available. There are no dimly lit corners for an intimate rendezvous, with bright lights, glass doors and high grey walls bringing to mind the utilitarian feel of a brewery (which isn’t a million miles from the truth – the Bat does brew its own beer on the premises). Most significantly, there are no pints – patrons sip their brews from schooners (ie 2/3 pint glasses), so as not to over-indulge and lose appreciation for the craftsmanship behind the beer, while still paying pint prices.
If this all sounds a little pretentious and exclusive, it is. Of the 21 casks and kegs available on any given day, there’ll be only one or two token concessions to lager (sorry, pilsner) drinkers, while cider-lovers will have to take their chances on the limited selection of bottles behind the bar. The food menu is similarly uncompromising: a hefty selection of hot dogs and meatloaf burgers leaves vegetarians with very little to chew on.
Still, these are considerations to bear in mind only if you’re travelling in a party who don’t unanimously share your love of craft beer. If they do (or you’re willing to limit your group to those who will), there are few other places in town that will pay tribute to the making of good beer with such focused intensity as the Hanging Bat.
|Venue name:||The Hanging Bat|
133 Lothian Road
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu noon-midnight, Fri & Sat noon-1am|