Made in Leith
In 2011, our founders Matt Johnson and Patrick Jones met while studying for their Masters degrees in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt, and soon started brewing together in Matt’s garage. They both felt that there was a gap in the market when it came to beer at the time – something that wasn’t the tried and tested traditional real ales, nor the US-style craft clones that were starting to spring up. From studying and home-brewing they quickly purchased a second-hand brewhouse, moved it to an industrial estate in Leith, and Pilot was born…
An in-house approach
From the very beginning, things have been hands-on at Pilot: from brewing to branding, kegging to canning, sales to social media, we do it all ourselves. This hasn’t always been easy, but it has got us where we are today: a small team doing big things.
Doing things our own way
Our focus has always been on quality, and we’d rather work on a beer that’s really special to us than jump on the latest fad. Drinkability is at the heart of everything we do and we put flavour firmly front and centre, shunning finings and filtration to ensure every beer we make tastes supreme.
We never roll out the same malt bill for a new beer - each recipe is built from the ground up to perfectly suit the flavour profile we’re looking for.
Sustainability at Pilot
We’re committed to making our beer as sustainable as possible and in 2014 we were the first brewery in Scotland to stop using isinglass finings to clarify our beer. Made from the swim-bladders of sturgeon fish (many varieties of which are now at risk of extinction) the use of isinglass in beer production makes it almost impossible for vegans to know which beers are safe for them to drink. Besides being generally rank anyway, isinglass strips out flavour/aroma as it goes, so we prefer the slower clarification over time method.
When it comes to ingredients, our base malt is exclusively grown in Scotland, keeping our malt miles as low as possible. And because we brew and package all our beer in-house, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it hasn’t had to travel across the country just to get put in a can or keg.
Beer for Everyone
Here at Pilot we believe that beer is for everyone and our range encompasses this ethos, with something for all palates. Alongside our core beers, our irregulars give us an opportunity to have fun and explore new things, because beer, above all, should be about having a good time.
We’re also committed to doing our bit for the wider community through our Drinklusion initiative which supports both local and national organisations that promote.