Women gather in first beer industry collaboration

A group of female brewers are set to come together in the industry’s first collaboration to create their very own limited edition craft beer.

Jenn Merrick, founder of London based brewery; Earth Station plans to join together with a leading team of 24 other female brewers, Heriot-Watt University students and lecturers to celebrate the craft, creativity of past, present and future female brewing.

Heriot-Watt currently offers the first and longest running degree on Brewing and Distilling, where 50% of the lecture staff are female.

The team of professional female brewers will work closely with a new generation of brewers from Heriot-Watt, who currently offer the first and longest running degree on Brewing and Distilling, where 50% of the lecture staff are female.5200218267_c1f27410bd_b

Assistant Brewing Professor Rachel Sutherland at the university praised the collaboration and said;

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for our female students to collaborate with some of the leading female figures within the craft beer industry.’

‘Beer has, throughout history, been crafted by women and our students are proudly upholding this tradition, showing the next generation what they can look forward to.’

The limited edition beer will be will be available at beer festivals across the country, hosted by We Are Beer, a company who aim to promote modern beer, bringing breweries, beer lovers, musicians and brands together to celebrate the diverse and dynamism of modern brewing culture.

Founder of We Are Beer, Greg Wells, who commissioned the collaboration project, said;

The kettle sour will be available at each of We Are Beer’s festivals in Edinburgh, London and Bristol, and will later be released in small, limited edition multi packs.


The Perfect Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

Cocktails are perfect for drinking at special occasions, certain to make one feel classy after a few sips.

However, they also come loaded with alcohol meaning they are not a great long-term plan for a night out. The alternatives are hardly attractive either, carrying none of the credibility or subtlety of their alcoholic counterpart.

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This reason is exactly why Dishoom, a popular restaurant based off Irani cafes in Bombay, has an exceptionally popular non-alcoholic cocktail menu. Aimed predominantly at those who cannot or do not drink, whether it be for medicinal, age or religious reasons.

The first thing Jon, the Head Bartender at Dishoom made very clear upon producing the drinks menu, is that what is on offer could not be further removed from conventional mocktails. There is no neon colours or ridiculous amount of sugar on offer here.

Instead, the drinks are referred to as “copy tipples” a non-alcoholic alternative, with the same taste and presentation as popular cocktails.

Each one meticulously crafted to be the closest possible comparison. Right down to the smoky burn of the Dry Old Fashioned, achieved here with a Lapsang Souchong tea infusion. With surprisingly addictive qualities, created through use of “spirit essence and coffee bitters”.

Jon explains how each drink offers a unique mix of “botanicals,
herbs and spices” to pay homage to Dishoom’s Iranian/Indian roots. Authenticity being very important to the outlet, with the bar even named the Permit Bar after prohibition laws in India.

The ingredients include heavy usage of lime, which is used in place of lemon frequently in Indian culture, to tulsi basil giving drinks a distinctive taste that could fool even the most seasoned
cocktail fan.

Click here to read more articles relating to inventive Cocktails

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Five of the best food challenges Edinburgh has to offer

For some reason it’s particularly enjoyable to watch someone suffer through all manners of food challenges; from outrageous quantities of food to ridiculous hot hot heat. Equally mystifying is people’s unwavering desire to go out and do just that!

Scotland has a surprisingly large amount of food challenges. We just love eating that much. Below, I’ve gathered 5 of the most monstrous and difficult trials of the gut that we could find. If you like your meals to be more ‘Man vs Food’ than fine dining, take a look at some of these challenges right here in the capital.

WHAT: Kismot Killer Curry

TIME ALLOWED: One sitting

PRICE: £19.95, free if you finish the whole bowl

Kismot’s Killer Curry Disclaimer

This challenge comes with the biggest and scariest reputation on the list. It’s put 2 people in hospital in 2011 after they spent their evening throwing up and writhing in pain on the floor. Competitors are required to sign a legal disclaimer before taking part, a disclaimer that also encourages participants to pre-plan their suffering by putting toilet roll in the freezer for when they get home… Jeez.

Curie Kim, one of the participants taken to hospital, said: “It was very painful and felt like I was being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw.”

The curry itself has been toned down a little since the events of 2011, but still poses a significant challenge. The curry contains 17 of the spiciest chillies in the world, and participants must give the restaurant 24 hour’s notice so that it can be prepared to its full strength.

If you want to have a peek before you attempt the feat, click here!

WHAT: Wings’ Armaged Wing Challenge

TIME ALLOWED: One sitting, then 30 minutes ‘burn’ time

PRICE: £4.20

Six wings coated in a sauce so hot it’s got 1.2 million scoville units of heat. To put that into context, your average Jalapeno has about 5,000 units. AKA, IT’S VERY HOT.

There is no time limit on eating the wings, but regardless of how long you take, from the second you’re done you have a 30 minute burn time. In this burn time you’re not allowed to move out of your seat or be sick, and the only thing you’re allowed to drink is beer or water.

Very few have defeated this fiery tongue battle and sat out the burn time, but those that do get two free bowls of wings a day for life. If you still want them that is…

WHAT: Taco Mazama’s Giant Burrito

TIME ALLOWED: 10 minutes

PRICE: £14.99, free if you finish


Burritos are often pretty hearty fare anyway but if you’re feeling extra hungry Taco Mazama can provide you with a supersized triple burrito. If you can polish it off in ten minutes, you’ll get the giant burrito for free and your photo on the wall. The fastest time at each Taco Mazama restaurant will then compete in a head-to-head eat-off at the end of the year to try and win a year’s free burritos. You better get practising!

Many professional competitive eaters have taken part, with one man finishing in only 2 minutes and 33 seconds!

WHAT: Boozy Cow’s Chilli Challenge

TIME ALLOWED: 15 minutes

PRICE: £28.50

You get 15 minutes to completely devour 1 chilli dog, 1 chilli burger, 1 portion of chilli cheese fries and 1 milkshake of your choice to cool down with during the challenge. Many have tried, many have failed, some have won!

The chef laces the standard chilli served in the Boozy Cow with Scotch Bonnet and ghost pepper sauce to ensure that the chilli is extra spicy for the contenders. Ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) was the first pepper ever to be registered to have over 1 million Scoville units and trust us, it packs a punch!

Across the restaurants, over 1500 people have tried the chilli challenge, and just over 400 have completed it successfully. That’s a 26.6% success rate. Easy peasy. Right?

WHAT: STEAK’s Man V Steak


PRICE: £160, free if you finish

Livingston FC footballer Keagan Jacobs struggling with the steak. Image credit: STEAK

Do you love steak? Lots and lots and lots of steak?

After you’ve signed the contract absolving the restaurant of liability from any health issues you might experience, STEAK will serve you up a 92 oz rump steak with five sides and three sauces.

Now this is an expensive one, but hey, maybe that will motivate you to finish it! You have one hour to demolish the slab of meat, sides and sauces if you want the £160 challenge struck from the bill, a t-shirt and your picture on display in the restaurants reception. Good luck!

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The Best Bar in the UK

Looking somewhere for a nice drink, why not try the best bar in the United Kingdom?

The Barrelhouse Bar & Grill in Edinburgh has won the titles ‘Star Bar of the Year’ and ‘Best Bar Team’ at the 2017 Star Awards. Coronation Street Actress Kym Marsh presented the Bar Operators ‘Caygill & Smith’ with the awards at a Gala Celebration in Manchester last Thursday.

Caygill & Smith bought over the former Jock’s Lodge Pub in Willowbrae and spent over £280,000 in refurbishment costs before opening as The Barrelhouse in November 2016.

Over a short period of time, the bar has been transformed into a popular and trendy venue.

Pictures of both awards ‘Star Bar of the Year’ and ‘Best Bar Team’ Photograph: Google




Barrelhouse Bar & Grill in Edinburgh Photograph: Google


Barrelhouse Bar & Grill Manager Richard Jordan, believes that the award illustrates the hard work that all the team have contributed.

“It is absolutely amazing! I am very humbled to be honest. We’ve all put a lot of effort over the past eleven months into the bar. It is good that someone has recognised it and given us that award.”

Richard elaborates that the project has been difficult, however taking the title of Britain’s best bar is a proud success.

“It was a very long process we were here for a good few months before opened; breaking it down and starting again but it is all worth it now.”

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Top five Christmas cocktails

With the arrival of Edinburgh’s annual Christmas market, and the magical lights that shine through the city centre, there is no denying that the capital is feeling very festive this winter season. Christmas food and cocktail menus are now on the tables of Edinburgh’s finest eateries and cocktail bars and if you fancy getting wined and dined in Christmas delights, you are not short of a option.

Here is EN4 News’s exclusive top five Christmas cocktails that will get you in the spirit for the festive season.

Apple Crumble Martini, The Dome

One of the cities iconic Christmas sites where golden lights run down its Corinthian pillars and its marble bar surrounds a beautifully decorated ten-foot Christmas tree. The bar is situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town on George Street; its lights make it hard to miss. The apple crumble martini is our Christmas favourite; Dewars Scotch whiskey, sugar syrup and butterscotch liquor, served in a quaint coup glass. Check out their official website.

Sage Against the Machine, The Blackbird

Located on Leven Street near the Edinburgh Links, this funky cocktail bar has just released its Christmas cocktail list. Including all things nice; cinnamon, nutmeg, root ginger and cold brew mulled wine; this is Edinburgh’s ultimate Christmas cocktail menu. From Chai Milk Punch to the Blackbird’s very own Christmas Old Fashion, the list shows imagination and taste. Our favorite is the Sage Against the Machine which pervades sage, roast chestnut, sugar and egg white. Check out their official website.

Chocolate Treacle, Sgyn Bar

For all you chocolate lovers, who could say no to this divine cocktail on Sgyn bars five-pound Christmas drinks menu. Brugal Anejo rum, chocolate bitters & apple stirred down with maple syrup; the cocktail will leave you in a heavenly state of bliss. Charlotte Lane in the West End is home to this hip bar, which hosts a resident DJ on Friday and Saturday nights. Check out their official website.

Taihoko Cocktail, The Voyage of Buck

This newly established bar is located on Williams’s Street in the West End. The quirky drinks menu tells the tail of a man named Buck and his adventures around the world. It incorporates the inspiring flavours he has tasted in Paris and Asia, to create an innovative cocktail menu. Our favourite was the unique Taihoko Cocktail which combines the festive flavours of roast cashew, orange bitters and cherry vermouth. Check out their official website.

Trambell Sour, Juniper

Situated on Princes Street with stunning panoramic vistas across the city skyline, Juniper is definitely worth a visit for a Christmas beverage. The cocktail will be made on it’s striking copper bar and can be enjoyed in the warmth of a armchair. Our Christmas favourite was the Trambell Sour infusing the sugar sweet flavour of agave with vanilla and maple smoke. Check out their official website.

Have we missed your favourite Christmas cocktail? Tweet us @EN4News2016

Header photo courtesy of The Blackbird

Three places in Edinburgh to taste ‘Bake Off’-worthy treats


We’ve spent ten weeks in the company of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, salivating through our television screens at the sight of The Great British Bake Off’s amazing cake creations. Tonight, having reluctantly waved farewell to Selasi (and eight other equally talented bakers), it all comes to an end in a heated showdown between Candice, Andrew and Jane.

We’ve all got our favourites, but there’s a pretty slim chance that we’ll be able to sample the winner’s magnificent creation! Instead, why not head along to one of these brilliant Edinburgh bakeries? Trust us – they’ve got cakes and doughnuts that will send you into a euphoric, sugar-filled stupor!

Lovecrumbs, West Port

Fans of gluten free goodies will fall head over heels in love with this West Port bakery! Open every day and situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Lovecrumbs are known for their showstopper cakes which change every day. Lavender, orange and white chocolate sponge, anybody? Check out their official website.

Deadly Donuts, Argyl Place

Founder Freddie Spindler spent a few years as a chef in London’s Michelin-star restaurants before moving back up north and opening this laid back donut shop! Known for his Kinder Bueno donuts and ‘bacon bars’ (that’s bacon in sweet dough!), Freddie’s always around to have a chat while you snack! Check out their official Facebook page.

The Caffeine Drip, Melville Place

This South African style lunch spot in the West End had a quiet opening back in 2014, but it swiftly became one of Edinburgh’s few ‘Five Star’ food locations. They’re known for proudly embracing stodgy comfort cooking, and their Oreo brownies are pretty much life changing! Not only that, but you can truly head to cocoa heaven by sampling their unique ‘Milo’ hot chocolates! Check out their official website.

Have we missed your favourite bakery? Tweet us @EN4News2016 with your recommendations!

Header Photo Courtesy of Lovecrumbs

Top five spots to try at the Edinburgh Restaurant Fest

Over the past decade or so, restaurants have been popping up all over Edinburgh and the city is becoming increasingly popular for fine cuisine. So it’s no wonder that it now has its own festival to celebrate that – the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival is running throughout October and celebrating the vast array of eateries the city has to offer. But with so much choice, how does one select somewhere to sample the best of Auld Reekie? Good thing we’ve written this Top 5 for you and whatever you might be in the mood for.

  1. The Outsider


Photo credit: theoutsiderrestaurant.com

Sat along the George IV Bridge, this restaurant attracts the sort of crowd who might be discussing Joyce or Camus over sea bream and a glass of woody Merlot. Quiet, classy and candlelit, it has been a popular place for citizens looking for somewhere away from the crowds and is spacious enough that it feels cosy rather than crowded. You’re best booking a table in advance, though, because this restaurant’s excellent food and service are no little secret.

   2. Bread Meats Bread


Photo Credit: lunch quest.co.uk

A Top 5 wouldn’t be complete without a burger, so here’s our pick of Edinburgh’s vast selection. It opened its first branch in Glasgow and opened one is Edinburgh last year. Since then it has become massively popular, particularly for students looking to crack open a couple of beers and relax after class. Get ready to wait though, this place is really too small for its popularity so there’s usually a queue. However, once you get sitting down the great service and food is most definitely worth it.

   3. Vittoria


Photo credit: onlyinedinburgh.com


If you’re looking for the best Italian food in Edinburgh, look no further than Vittoria on Leith Walk. With neon light fixtures and mirrored walls, it can feel more like an ’80s disco than somewhere to eat tagliatelle, but make no mistake: this is authentic Italian dining at its finest. Partner up with a friend and get the “Meta Meta”, where you can order to dishes between you to try out. But if you’re a veteran of Italian food, you can’t really go wrong.

4. Salt Cafe


Photo credit: lunch quest.co.uk

Currently serving the Morningside crowd its daily bread, Salt Cafe is a relatively new addition to the long list of brunch places popping up around the area. You can order eggs done any way you like, on bacon, smoked salmon or avocado. If you’re looking to dine for Sunday brunch, get there a bit early, as this place is usually full to the brim.

   5. The Kitchin


Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Of course, it would be remiss not to mention this famed Michelin-starred restaurant situated on Commercial Street. Opened in 2006 by Tom and Michaela Kitchen, the decor itself is a sight to behold. Leith might not be where you expect one of the most exclusive restaurants in the city to be, but the area has, in recent years, become a hive for fine Scottish cuisine.

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Are you sick of drinking in the same bars day in, day out? EN4 News has you covered for some cool new watering holes where you can sample some of the finest alcoholic cocktails Edinburgh has to offer (or alcoholic ice cream, if you’re so inclined).


Panda & Sons

Panda & Sons is not a bar. It’s a barber’s shop. Definitely a barber shop. What do you mean you saw bouncers on the door? Of course you did. All barbers have bouncers on the door. Ok, you got us. Panda and Sons calls itself a “prohibition-style speakeasy,” deliberately set up to look nothing like a bar.

Step through their secret bookcase door and into a cocktail lover’s paradise. Their strict no hen/stag dos policy means you’re guaranteed a loud but sophisticated night on the town.

Hoot the Redeemer

You’d be forgiven for missing Hoot the Redeemer on Hanover Street – a bar which takes “hidden gem” to new levels.

Down a flight of stairs just beside Bella Italia is the funhouse-themed bar, which succeeds at making drinking fun again. Sample their delicious alcoholic slushies, or indulge in their boozy ice-cream. Try the Buckfast and Irn Bru one. It’s amazing. No, seriously.


Heads and Tails

Have you met Flora and Caledonia? They’re Heads and Tails two gin stills. When was the last time you were in a bar with gin stills? Heads and Tails is an Edinburgh gin-lover’s paradise.

For those who don’t enjoy mother’s ruin, the bar offers a huge range of beers, spirits and soft drinks, all of which can be infused with their homemade infusions and syrups. Head down for a more refined drinking experience.


Halfway House

If you can’t stick the thought of having to pick something from a 47-page cocktail menu which comes to you served in a broken lightbulb in place of a glass, get yourself down for a wee ale in Halfway House.

You’ll have passed this traditional pub a hundred times on stoats from the Royal Mile to Waverley. They have a huge selection of real ales on offer, and a true old-fashioned pub atmosphere.


Secret Arcade

If you’re a vodka drinker, Secret Arcade is probably what you imagine heaven looks like. Hidden down a lane on Old Cockburn Street, they stock over 100 different kinds of vodka and even offer a variety of Polish snacks from their bar menu.

If you’re one of those people who has a few Smirnoffs and thinks they’re Fatboy Slim, you’ll love Secret Arcade – they have their own dedicated DJ area, where you can show how musically versed you are about vodka, too.

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