The Leith Beer Co is the next evolution of the old Waterline on The Shore.
This review was written for The Leith Beer Company’s first ever lunch service. The newly refurbished bar opened at 5pm on Tuesday the 29th of May 2012 and this reviewer popped in for a lunch date.
First thing’s first – The Leith Beer Co is still a Belhaven pub. A quick chat with the owner helped clear up any possible confusion. The pub has successfully made the case that it need not follow as closely to the Belhaven pattern as many of the others in the franchise do. As a result The Leith Beer Co has a different range of beer and food.
Only time will tell as to whether The Leith Beer Co can live up to its name and bring in a wide range of beers but it is off to a good start. The pub has kept its double bar approach – there is one at the front, facing you as you walk in, which is still the main bar. Up around the back, where most of the tables are for dining, there is a secondary bar too.
In some ways it is a shame to say goodbye to the Waterline’s old maritime heritage. I may miss the old maps and the coiled rope around the pillars but I will admit it was getting very dirty and the back room was very dark. The new look for The Leith Beer Co is more modern, chasing punters with fatter wallets, but it does also have a nod to the past. The pictures on the walls are blown up black and white prints of old beer shipments and deliveries.
The Leith Beer Co. has been clever with its tables and chairs. Taking advantage of the newly enhanced shore front the pub has a large area for outside drinking and dining. I can imagine this will be hugely popular in the summer. Inside they have added very comfortable booths and made sure each one enjoys sunlight from one of the old windows. It may now be a struggle to fit a large office party of 10+ people but it is a far more comfortable fit for groups of around 4.
One of the possible attractions of The Leith Beer Co is that it wields a different menu from much of the other Belhaven line. A change in menu always brings success and failure – failure being the removal of some of your old favourites. I maintain one of the reasons to visit the pub in the past, if you are a veggie, is to tuck into the Halloumi. I’m afraid that’s gone.
How was the first ever lunch sitting at The Leith Beer Co? It was lovely. My partner enjoyed a fish and chips that was perfectly cooked. I tried the Southern style chicken burger and it was tasty. I prefer the new skinnier chips to the old, chunkier, style.
A real concern was that with the name “Beer Company” the pub might be reducing its focus on food. This does not seem to be the case at all. In fact, there’s now separate breakfast and dessert menus.
This blogger will certainly be going back to The Leith Beer Co to sample both the beer and food again.