I drank lots of beer on my trip to Glasgow, Scotland. My trip to Scotland was planned rather last minute and to be quite honest, I had no real itinerary upon arrival. And I loved it that way. I prefer to roam and stumble upon things. In Glasgow, that ended up being beer. Everyone thinks of Scotch Whisky when they think of alcohol in Scotland. I did of course try my fair share of Scotch too. But the beer … that was quite the pleasant surprise.
I was missing beer
In my home country of the United States, we’ve really come to love beer. And no, I’m not talking about Budweiser. I’m talking about microbreweries. My hometown of Cincinnati has at least five that I can think of. That always blows Spaniards minds when I tell them that and the fact that a normal bar in the United States has at least seven different types of beer on tap. What can I say … we love variety.
So after months of ordering cañas of whatever the heck the bar had on tap (seriously in Spain you just say you want a beer … you don’t even need to specify), I was excited to drink good (sorry to any Spaniard reading this) beer again. So this was my little beer journey through Glasgow, Scotland.
4. West Brewery
On my first full day in the city, I wandered to the People’s Palace Museum, which is totally free! I roamed through the museum and had a nice little lunch there. I had a handy little map of Glasgow provided by People Make Glasgow. It indicated that a the pretty building across the street was a brewery. Why not a beer, I thought. It was so good to drink a nice, local brew.
At West Brewery, they specialize in German-style beer. As a native of Cincinnati, Ohio (USA), I love all things German. In fact, I’m part German (but like many generations ago to the point where like what does that really mean?). I love most beers and especially German beer.
According to their website westbeer.com, their beer is rather young. They started back in 2006, my sophomore year of college (ah those were the days). They brew all of their beers in accordance with Reinheitsgebot, which is a German purity law of 1516 that was made in regards to beer. This basically means that beer can only have three ingredients: water, barley and hops. West Brewery is the only brewery in all of the United Kingdom to make beer in accordance with these practices.
I just sat at the bar and enjoyed a beer. The bar tender was super friendly and helpful. If you have interest in taking a tour, they do have that option available as well. Also the brewery has a full food menu if you would like to dine there. I, however, was just coming from lunch so a beer was just fine for me. Day drinking without a schedule is one of my favorite things about traveling.
The important information:
West Brewery, Templeton Building
Glasgow, Glasgow Green
Tours cost 11.50 and are available these times. They also offer private tours for groups of 10 or more.
- Friday at 6pm
- Saturday at 12pm and 3pm
- Sunday at 3pm
From Saturday, March 4th to Sunday, April 2nd, 2017, they will have limited tours as they will be remodeling during this time.
3. Drygate Brewing Co.
On my second full day in Glasgow, I found myself wandering through the Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis. Then my phone died. We all know that feeling, especially as we’re traveling. Luckily I like to be prepared and always carry my charger with me. From my trusty map, I saw that Drygate Brewing Co. was just at the bottom of the hill. I also happened to be starving.
As soon as I arrived, the staff was friendly and eager to help me. They found a place for me to plug in my phone, brought me a food menu and allowed me to try a few beer samples as I made my decision on what I wanted to drink. I remember ordering a burger that had goat cheese. I love anything with goat cheese.
The whole idea behind Drygate is an experiential brewery. You can actually come and brew your own beer. And there’s no need to be an expert as they are there to help you! According to drygate.com, you can come by the brewery on their brew days and brew some beer. How cool! They also have tours available.
Dyrgate Brewing Co., 85 Drygate
Glasgow, G4 0UT
- Brew days are on Wednesdays and Saturdays
- Tours are on Sundays at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and are 10 pounds.
2. Tennents Brewery
After my lovely meal at Drygate, I was in the mood for more beer. I had read about Tennents and saw that it was just around the corner. Why not wander over and see what it’s all about? They had a tour starting in just about an hour and through my student visa in Spain, I got a discount. It was only 5 pounds! Why not?
Tennents is one of Scotland’s oldest beers. It’s definitely more of a traditional lager, so if you’re a person that prefers IPAs and craft brews, this might not be the place for you. I, however, like most beers and love learning about history. And Tennents is a part of the history of the city.
The tour walks you through the history of beer brewing in Wellpark, the location of the brewery. You get a little glimpse into how the beer is made. You have to wear this vest and hairnet since you’re around the production of everything. I took a little selfie in my gear and I think posted it to Snapchat.
Tennents Brewery, 161 Duke St
Glasgow G31 1JD
- Mon – Fri: 10am, 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm
- Saturday: 11am, 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm
- Sunday: 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm
Tours cost 7.50 of 5 if you are a student or are in the armed forces and have the ID to prove it.
1. Shilling Brewery
My beer journey through Glasgow ended at Shilling. I was told that this was a new brewery located downtown and that I should give it a try.
Shilling has a full food menu as well, so I ate my dinner there.. I ordered a delicious margarita pizza and devoured the entire thing. The brewhouse is open for walk-throughs on Sundays as well.
Shilling Brewing Co., 92 West George Street
Brewhouse walk-throughs are on Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m.
I was pleasantly surprised by the beer in Glasgow. If you are a beer aficionado, Glasgow definitely has a lot for you to taste and see.
What do you like in a beer? What’s your ideal beer?