Glasgow Craft Beer Guide | UK
Glasgow craft beer is high on the agenda for this industrial city with a passion for great food, drinks and living life. Sure it might have a reputation as a hard place but the locals are just trying to keep the best city in Scotland to themselves.
Glasgow might not spring to mind as a must-visit tourist destination, but that’s all changed in the past 5 years. Hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014 really showed the world that Glasgow is a vibrant, cultural and most of all, friendly city which has a lot to offer both residents and tourists. The Glasgow craft beer explosion came right after and Glasgow is a haven for beer fanatics.
Where to Start: Beer Tasting in Glasgow
When you think of Scottish beer, you probably think of Tennent’s Lager… but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Tennent’s, Drygate and West Brewery are all in the same area of town which makes it the perfect place to start your beer exploration of Glasgow. West Brewery adheres to Reinheitsgebot (the German purity law of brewing) and the brewery has strong German influences and a beer hall vibe.
Heading into the city centre you’ll find new brewpub Shilling Brewing Co with an impressive Brewer’s Room (available for hire). They have three core brews as well as seasonal options plus a seriously delicious pizza menu.
Another new addition to the city centre is Hippo Taproom by the folks behind the locally-loved Hippo Beer off-licence in the west end. The taproom is hidden off Glasgow’s main party street, Sauchiehall Street and has 8 keg and 3 cask lines, as well as more than 60 beers by the bottle and can.
Diggin’ Deeper: Beer Experiences in Glasgow
BrewDog are taking the world by storm and their West End bar was the third in their empire.
They’re now opened a second bar, DogHouse, in Merchant City – just a short trip away from Drygate and West with 25 taps, heavenly BBQ offerings and an off-licence for takeaway beers.
While we’re on the topic of takeaway beers, Grunting Growler is one of the leading take home Glasgow craft beer shops. The west end location is hidden gem and once you find it, you’ll never want to leave. Sure, growler can have other meanings in Glasgow but in this case, they’re talking about take home refillable jars of beer. They’ll dish out samples so you can try before you buy and in-store events are on the cards in the near future. Plus there’s an amazing doughnut shop nearby, Tantrum Doughnuts.
If you’re looking for a traditional alternative to Glasgow craft beer, then you need to visit The Bon Accord in Charing Cross. They’re proud to serve over 800 different real ales (on a yearly basis) and also have a reputation for whisky, if you’re looking for a break from the beers. The Bon Accord has a really friendly, welcoming vibe so even if you’re on your own you’ll find a friendly face or two to chat to.
Another loved-by-locals pub worth visiting is The State, just a short walk away from The Bon Accord and Hippo Taproom. Another bar offering cask ale, it’s a traditional boozer with an exceptional range of beers – and at bargain prices.
Heading north will take you to Crossing the Rubicon, another relatively new offering to the Glasgow craft beer scene. Part of the Drygate family, you’ll also find a beer list pages and pages long. Friendly staff and delicious small-plate curries round this place off as a perfect pit stop for something to eat and drink.
It’s a little off the beaten track but 6 Degrees North is worth the trek – this Aberdeen craft brewery is passionate about Belgian beer. With more than 30 taps and 100 bottled beers, they do lean towards European beers but also have the emerging Scottish brews and the best of the UK too.
There’s one last notable mention which is brand new on the Glasgow craft beer scene. Innis & Gunn brews oak aged beers and they’ve recently opened a beer kitchen on Ashton Lane. Plus there’s a brew school for all the beer geeks out there. Their venues in Edinburgh, Dundee and St Andrews get rave reviews so it’ll be exciting to see what goes down now they’re in Glasgow.
While You’re Here: A Taste of Glasgow
Glasgow’s not just the home of beer – it’s a city who are passionate about great food too.
Sure, you might not have read about Glasgow as one of the world’s top culinary destinations but that’s because there’s not a Michelin star to be seen. Glasgow’s offerings are high quality without all the fluff – from Ottolenghi-inspired Alchemilla to relaxed dining at Number 16, there’s something for everyone and every budget.
If you’re looking to do the tourist trail, there’s nothing easier than jumping on one of the tourist buses to get a good overview of the city.
From Kelvingrove Museum in the west end to the Necropolis in the east, Glasgow is jam-packed with interesting and quirky attractions to counter the showiness of Edinburgh down the road.
The locals are incredibly friendly so if you get lost, someone will no doubt walk you to your destination!
- Brewdog Doghouse
- Grunting Growler
- Hippo Taproom
- Meat Bar
- Shilling Brewing Co
- The State
- The 78
- Jaw Brew
- WEST Brewing Co