This is a guest post kindly written for craftbeerhour.com by Katy Sheen of Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA). It tells the story of last week's Craft Beer Hour hosted by Matt and Patrick of Pilot Beer at the Library Bar at Teviot Row House in Edinburgh.

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Craft Beer Hour comes to Teviot Row House

A Twitter storm was brewing for Tuesday night’s #craftbeerhour, hosted by Leith-based brewery Pilot. Set up in the buzzing atmosphere of the Library Bar, in the historic Teviot Row House, Pilot’s Patrick Jones was inundated with questions from craft beer enthusiasts far and wide.  Those tracking the action on Twitter were treated to some insider knowledge from the brewery, as well as the all-important fact that Rachel is Patrick’s favourite member of S Club. 

Pilot was started by Patrick Jones and Matt Johnson back in 2011, after the two met on the Brewing and Distilling Masters course at Heriot-Watt University. Sitting next to each other by chance in the first lecture, Matt’s background in design and Patrick’s head for business were a perfect combination, allowing the pair to build up a successful business within a few years of graduating.

For last night’s #craftbeerhour in Teviot, two of Pilot’s creations were on offer: the refreshing Iced Tea Ale and the hop-packed House. Both highly enjoyable and beautifully drinkable, the beers were a hit both in the bar and on social media. Matt explained that the Iced Tea brew incorporated tea at every step, from the soaking to the end of the boil, with a healthy dose of lemongrass to give a light, uplifting flavour.

Pilot has grown quickly, with a core range of 6 or 7 beers, and many others being produced in small batches. Fans on Twitter were tantalised by Patrick’s instructions to ‘watch this space’ for a new supply of the Mochaccino Stout and some other exciting new brews. Pilot’s brewery in Leith has room for expansion, and the pair hope to add more fermenters and up their production rate in the coming months.

This week’s #craftbeerhour was not just an online sensation; the event is now a regular fixture in the diary for the EUSA venue. Students from Edinburgh University’s Beer Society were eager to pick Pilot’s brains in person, and of course, sample their fantastic products. Teviot’s Library Bar was filled with students enjoying a pizza and a pint of Pilot’s finest, highlighting the fact that craft beer is in no way constrained to being an old geezer’s drink of choice.

As Matt pointed out, beer drinkers are getting more open-minded about trying new things, and the ‘rules’ are becoming increasingly blurred. At Pilot, the goal is to give a fresh take on traditional concepts, always aiming for balanced, drinkable beers.

It’s no secret that brewing your own beer has its perks. Matt admitted he usually reaches for Pilot beers for a well-earned drink at the end of the day: “Oh aye, if you don’t enjoy your own beer, you’re doing something wrong.”

It was certainly a successful night all round, with the Twittersphere even labelling it the “best #craftbeerhour ever”. Don’t miss next week’s #craftbeerhour, coming to you from Black Isle Brewery in Teviot’s Library Bar.


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