Meet The Ushers
Our friends downstairs at Usher’s of Edinburgh on West Nicolson Street (sharing the building with ourselves and The Peartree) have been doing some pub-archaeology. Not content with building a pub from the reclaimed timber of Granton Pier, in the old family home of the greatest brewing dynasty Scotland has ever known, they’ve gone several steps further. Where some posh new bars have open kitchens so you can see the chefs at work, they have an open brewery, so you can see your beer being made. In collaboration with the renowned Inveralmond brewery they’ve been researching the original family recipes and resurrecting long-lost Ushers beers, along with a few more modern creations, and we have to admit they’re pretty good…not to mention the environmentally friendly aspect of your beer travelling a grand total of ten metres to get from the brewery to your table.
There were two sides to the Usher family – alongside their highly successful brewing arm, they were also the first to bring blended whisky to the market, a product that took the world by storm. The board of the company included John “Johnnie” Walker, John Dewar, and Arthur Bell, all of them later developing their own brands of whisky which are still loved the world over. So alongside their new brewing operation, Usher’s are also bringing back the original blending tradition. While you can still find rare bottles of the original whiskies, they can be eyewateringly expensive – Bonham’s recently auctioned a bottle recovered from the wreck of the “Cromarty Firth” for over £1,500. Thankfully Usher’s have a bit of a blending expert on hand, and between tiny samples and some contemporary records they’ve come up with what they believe is the closest you can get for sensible money.
They’ve got seven blends available, either by the nip or by the bottle, but if you fancy something a little more customised they’re offering the chance to blend your own! The back of the pub holds multiple half barrels of spirit, and they have all the necessary measuring cylinders and nosing glasses on hand, allowing you to create your own custom blend in the very building where it all started!