Friday, December 23, 2011

#96. World's End, 4 High St, Edinburgh

Situated at the historic point where the world ended and Edinburgh began, right across the street from The Tass, this pub is smaller than it appears from the exterior. The low ceiling only adds to the cramped (cozy?) vibe.

It was very busy, filled with locals stopping in for a pint after work or as a respite from Christmas shopping. Many enjoyed the mulled wine, but I opted for a new beer for me: a Howell's Frosty Bells by Belhaven. Perfect for the holiday season, with a hint of roasted chestnuts.

The pub itself is owned by Belhaven, which would account for the prominence of Best, and the unfortunate lack of other regional cask ales on tap.

I have to figure out who owns Belhaven. Based on the other taps in this pub, I would guess InBev, the axis of lager. I was thinking that I should put together a chart that shows the corporate ties that a lot of the products have; it would be surprising, I think.

UPDATE: Belhaven is owned by Greene King, a publicly traded company with a market cap of over £1 Billion. Greene King owns 1600 pubs in the UK, which they lease to individual operators. One of my favourites, The Wally Dug, is an example of a pub owned by Greene King and leased to an individual operator. Greene King is controversial for its practice of buying old, established breweries (e.g., Morland Brewery, original makers of Old Speckled Hen) and closing them down to move the recipe to their primary brewing facility in Bury St. Edmunds, and for discontinuing production and sale of favourite local ales. Belhaven is an anomaly in that they remain operating in Dunbar, Scotland (for now).

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