Top Out is an Edinburgh craft beer brewery. Schmankerl is their Bavarian-style wheat beer. So, how does their beer compare to the German versions? Pretty good actually. It is made with Bavarian yeast and has a fruity aspect that makes it a delightful drink.
Top Out was established in 2013. The head brewer loves climbing, so all of the bottle labels show Ordnance Survey maps of famous, mainly Scottish, moutains. That's a really cool concept for a bottle cover and it works brilliantly as the product stands out on the shelves next to other bottles.
The word Schmankerl means 'treat' or 'delicacy' in the Bavarian dialect. They have used a Bavarian strain of yeast to make this beer, so there is clearly a passion to make this as authentic as possible. Now, I love German wheat beers and I found Top Out's version a very good effort, although I thought that the wheat taste is not as prominent as it is in many German beers. However, that is no bad thing as many people prefer a lighter wheat taste. There is also a fruity taste, which brings an additional flavour element that you do not get with the German wheat beers. The label says that it is banana and this is exactly the aftertaste I get.
What you have here is a combination of Scottish and German brewing techniques that works really well. Personally I still prefer the German wheat beers, but I enjoyed this very much and would not hesitate to have it again.
The Union Canal is a great place to go for a bike ride. The path alongside the canal is traffic-free, starts in the city centre and takes you into the countryside. When its time for coffee why not stop at The Counter where your cappuccino is steamed and foamed onboard a canal boat?
The Counter is located near the start of the canal at Fountainbridge in Edinburgh city centre. The converted pale blue canal boat really stands out and is a welcome addition to an area of the city that is looking more and more exciting and attractive.
The windows of the canal boat have been converted into serving hatches. I like how the drinks menu is printed onto the hatch so that it is right in front of you when you make your order. The coffee is high quality, sourced from local roasters, Mr Eion of Stockbridge. There is also hot chocolate, tea and some bottled juices. Drinks are served in biodegradable cups. Homemade cookies and brownies keep the sweet toothed happy.
There are no seats inside the boat, but tables outside provide a nice spot when the weather is good. In fact, it is delightful to sit here in the sun for a while. You are right next to the historic Leamington Lift Bridge. This is an impressive piece of engineering that can be raised up to allow boats to pass beneath. You might just be lucky enough to see it in action during your coffee break.
What could be more delightful than watching canal boats glide by as you drink great coffee in the sunshine?
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.