Drink:" A scrum at the bar
A sports bar Edinburgh-style: the best traditional beers, home- made pies and rugby on the TV screen
Saturday 04 September 1999
At weekends Graham lets younger sports fans have the run of the place, but sometimes he can't always resist returning on a Saturday when there's a match at Murrayfield, and the bar staff at Bert's take four times as much on the till as usual. At lunchtime Graham and his colleagues head here for a pint and a pie, for they consider that Bert's pies - filled with minced steak, haggis, chicken or chilli - to be the very best in town, and at pounds 1 a go, a bargain to boot.
But never mind the pies, it's the beers that attract the connoisseurs. There are five ales lined up all the time: Burton, Marstons Pedigree, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Deuchars IPA from the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, and Caledonian Brewery's 80/-. In addition there are two or three guest ales every month. Beers from the Tomintoul, Harviestoun and Orkney breweries always go down well. But anything from the Kent brewery Shepherd Neame is appreciated too - only when Scotland is playing at home and all eyes are on the TV screen, do Bert's customers display an unswerving partiality to their country. Even then they're probably more gentlemanly about it than most sports fanatics.
When the Rugby World Cup kicks off in October there will be three qualifying matches on Scotland's home ground. If Scotland go through there will be more matches at Murrayfield and ensuing scrums at Bert's. Graham and his gang can't help hoping it will be a busy autumn for the Edinburgh bar which most closely reflects their tastes.
Bert's, 27-31 William St, Edinburgh (0131 225 5748)
Captions: Bert's drinks
Edinburgh's Caledonian Brewery won the Camra Scottish Beer of the Year award in 1997 and 1998 for this "heavy", a malty Scottish brew that's darker and sweeter than an English bitter. It is russety brown, smoothly creamy with a soft, hoppy finish. The 80/- refers to a tax once levied on beers in Scotland according to the strength of the brew. Some Scottish-brewed beers are still called 60/-, 70/- or 80/- denoting their relative strengths. Caledonian's 80/- is 4.1 per cent ABV. Of the beers on draught all the time, this is Bert's biggest seller. They get through three 18-gallon barrels a week, all served in straight glasses.
Of the monthly changing roster of guest beers, anything from Shepherd Neame, the old-established, family-run Kent brewery "always goes down fantastically well".
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 will function as 'mobile wallet' following Apple deal with Visa - reports
Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...