I popped to Deacon Brodies for two reasons. Firstly, I liked the look of the place from the outside, and secondly – and most importantly – I needed a beer. It had been at least five minutes since my last one.
My expericenc here couldn’t have been more different than my deflating trip to the Ensign Ewart just up the road.
The pub was very busy with lunching tourists, but I managed to wedge myself into a spot at the bar where I was served within 30 seconds.
The bar staff were most amiable. The chap who served me called me ‘my friend’ as he took me through the many real ale options which I thought was a nice touch. He even suggested I might like a certain beer which wasn’t actually available at the pub.
I opted for a pint I’d never heard of before, Broughton’s Greenmantle (3.9%), a dark amber ale with a surprisngly fruity after taste.
Deacon Brodies is a classy, well kept boozer.
Large in size, it was busy both upstairs and downstairs, with all seats taken outside too. I did well to find a place at the bar.
The American chap next to me just happened to let slip that he owned a bar in Key West, to which the barman replied ‘Very nice too. Did you come here for the weather?’
I watched the bar staff in action as I supped. Their interaction with customers was impressive, nothing seemed too much trouble. They were more than happy to down tools, talk to the customers and take photos if asked.
These guys were in demand not only because they’re great at pulling pints, but also their attitude was spot-on and they made the everyone feel very welcome.
Deacon Brodies was established in 1806, just the 116 years after the Ensign Ewart but it’s light years ahead of it’s rival when it comes to customer service.
THE INNSPECTRE’S SUMMARY
ADDRESS: DEACON BRODIE’S TAVERN, 435 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2NT. 0131 2256531.
ATMOSPHERE: **** Lively, with plenty of tourists. Plenty of people sat outisde too.
DECOR: **** Classy interior with an ceiling intricate design featuring thistles. The walls were covered with lovely illustrations of old Edinburgh under which a gold plated inscription details the legend of Deacon Brodie.
SELECTION: **** There was plenty of choice to keep real ale enthusiasts happy including Titanic Cappucino Stout, Nicholson Pale Ale and, of course, Deuchars IPA.
PRICE: *** My Greenmantle was £3.80.
SERVICE: ***** Bar staff were exceptionally friendly.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS: So, just who was Deacon Brodie? William Brodie was born in 1741 and was a well respected deacon of the Guild of Wrights. However, his behaviour changed at night when he associated himself with the city’s ne’er-do-wells while gambling and drinking heavily. Brodie was said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. He had to resort to desperate measures such as burglary in a bid to pay off large gambling debts and was hung in 1788.