Beer Cities: Aberdeen

Aberdeen city guide


Scotland’s Granite City may sound dour, but its grey stone sparkles during the day, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better night out. It’s notable for its large student population, and for the oil industry which tends to cycle between feast and famine, but also more recently for its global impact on craft beer. BrewDog is, of course, the big beast in the room, and - love it or loathe it - has done much to put the city, Scotland and indeed the UK as a whole on the international beery map.

But there’s so much more to Aberdeen than the long shadow cast from Ellon. As well as local heroes Fierce, it’s just a short drive to Stonehaven, where you’ll find Belgian beer impresarios Six Degrees North plying their craft, or up to Peterhead for newcomers Brew Toon, whose punchy, fruit-forward brews are really making waves.

Aberdeen city centre is small and eminently walkable, revolving around its busy working docks. Cobbled streets and steep staircases connect classical architecture with modern glass buildings, giving the whole city an intimate, slightly magical quality; you always feel like you’re feet away from something exciting happening, and usually are.

There’s a lot for craft beer lovers to enjoy here. Obviously the Brewdog bars are an institution, and set the template for its sister sites across the world, shipping containers and all. Fierce’s own bar is well placed and always busy, with a line-up of regular, experimental and guest brews, on-tap and in a wall of colourful refrigerators. 

For an even wider selection of brews (and a well-stocked humidor) craft lovers in the know will inevitably head on to CASC, an unimposing basement bar with a consistently great tap list and relaxed atmosphere. This is basically where the city’s brewers hang out, and it’s easy to understand why.

Beer lovers in Aberdeen are serious about their hobby, and if you’re up for it you won’t find any shortage of folk to geek out with into the wee hours.

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