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May 14, 2019

If the mere mention of a cold, thirst-quenching beer has your synapses lighting up in delight then there will only be one place to be on the weekend of Friday 24th/Saturday 25th May: Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival.

Back at the Biscuit Factory on Anderson Place, the event is billed as 'Scotland’s largest celebration of craft beer'.

Your blogger was there a couple of years back and the selection of beers and breweries from all over the world is staggering.

This year, familiar Scottish names such as Black Isle and Fierce Beer - soon to open a bar on Rose Street - are joined by breweries such as Amundsen, Beerbliotek, The White Hag and some with names so exotic that I can't figure out how to write the accents used in them.

 Watermelon, mint and hibiscus semi-sour?

Closer to home, Leith's Pilot Beer have devised a beer specially for the expected warm weather. If you have never tasted a watermelon, mint and hibiscus semi-sour then this is your chance.

Matt Johnson, Director of Pilot, said, 'We’ve probably jinxed it now but the last two years have brought some pretty warm weather to the festival and we wanted to brew a beer to pair perfectly with a warm summer’s day. We wanted the beer to be easy going and session-able, one that festival-goers can enjoy without getting their heads blown off by a high abv.

'After discussion with the team at We Are Beer, we decided on a watermelon, mint and hibiscus semi-sour. We’ve played around with herbs in our beers a few times now and have got some great results. We’ve not used fresh mint before, but have long talked about it so this was the perfect opportunity to give it a go. We reckon the fresh, cool, hit of watermelon and the citric zing of hibiscus would pair up perfectly. It’s a semi-sour because we’re going for a nice, refreshing tartness whilst keeping the acidity in check to make sure it’s approachable and moreish.'

Great food and top tunes

As well as the burgers and other street food you might expect, this year's Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival will feature food from the award-winning Harajuku Kitchen and Aizle.

The former does great Japanese dishes while the latter creates some of the most exciting food in Edinburgh from a constantly changing rota of the freshest seasonal ingredients.

Naturally, there will be music. DJ Yoda, Belle & Sebastian DJs, Hip Hop Karaoke and Gentleman’s Dub Club will all be, er, dropping the platters that matter. Do DJs still do that? We may have lost track in the late Nineties.

Tickets are priced from £45 a session and include entry, beer, a special festival beer glass and magazine, and access to the festival’s pop-up kitchens and music acts.

While all your beer is included in the price of a ticket, visitors are reminded to be sensible. It doesn't take long for a few beers in the sun to make heads go fuzzy.

Besides, you may want to reserve some enthusiasm for Fyne Fest and Juniper gin festival, both of which take place the following weekend.

Main pic is from Facebook page of Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival.