The Fresher’s Guide to Alcohol Whereabouts
by Metodej Novotny, an alcohol enthusiast
If you want to know a man walk a mile in his boots. With this saying in mind, I went back in my memories back to the time when I myself was still fresh(er) and thought – what was the really hard part of Aberdeen to get to know? In a town consisting of two bigger streets worth mentioning, King Street and Union Street, there are seemingly only a few things you don’t walk across during the first month of your stay here. Nevertheless, like any place, Aberdeen is full of mysteries you only discover after years of being here.
I still think of Aberdeen more as of an experience than a place. Some say it’s a mental state, Aberdream. Feel it. Fight it. Accept it as your fate. Back to the article.
Most of the Aberdeen experience is unique to a person and hence incommunicable. But there’s something I wish someone told me on my first day. Something that cost me dearly in terms of money, time and self-surmounting. I wish someone told me where to go out drinking.
This list is by no means complete. You have to drink your own way to find your own top-ten list. See this as a starting point on this great journey of self-betterment. It includes student favourites just as my personal pick. Cheerz!
Old Machar Bar
What’s better than to drink on campus? Cosy wee pub, good selection of beers and spirits. Relaxed atmosphere, yet can get busy. Some call it old men’s’ pub. Cause it’s vintage. And full of drinking older gentlemen since the early morning.
Popular student watering hole just minutes away from campus. Usually dark and loud in the evenings, better during the day. Hipster selection of beers for hipster prices.
The Blue Lamp
Traditional Scottish pub. Two rooms, bigger one for events and smaller one for very quiet drinking. Traditional music sessions on Monday nights. My ex-flatmate loved it there. He claimed the bartender once fell asleep and he couldn’t order. Legendary.
Modern looking bar with its own brand of beers. Quiet and stylish.
Being close to the Brewdog brewery in Ellon, Aberdeen has not one, not three but two Brewdog pubs! Good selection of craft beers, industrial style pub.
If Brewdog is too mainstream for you already, try Aberdonian local mini brewery and its recently opened funky-hipster-übercool bar. Their Moose Mousse chocolate stout is something to try!
Scotland means whisky and so does CASC. Also cigars. Classy.
You want to go clubbing but do not fancy climbing down to some dubious sparsely lit basement? Cheerz is not only at ground level - it also has many flashing lights in all the colours of the rainbow!
Located in the heart of Aberdeen, this ancient pub offers a great atmosphere, especially on Thursdays when there’s a traditional music sesh, free to listen to with your beer. They also serve deep-fried Mars bar. With ice cream.
Fancy blowing your student loan on top-class cocktails and mid-blowing snacks? Get yourself down to Tippling House then!
At Slain's, every day is Halloween. This place is a Gothic paradise with a pint of Tennent's for £2.30 - who can resist?
The Archibald Simpson
It’s the cheapest place to go out drinking matched only by Lidl prices, great selection of beers, fairly quiet, classy appearance that doesn’t match the prices. Personal top. Due to its classy appearance, I thought it was a casino and didn’t go there for a year. Learn from my mistakes.
Under the Hammer
We end our metaphorical pub crawl with a wild card. Under the Hammer is hidden in the basement below an auction house and, while it may be a little claustrophobic, this place is an absolute gem. No frills, no gimmicks - just good drink, good food and great chat.