Billy Connolly. The Old Firm. Taggart. Irn-Bru. Just a handful of things Glasgow is famous for. But did you know it’s something of a beer city? Not only it is home to the mighty Tennent’s lager (which I’ll get to later), but Glasgow is also a decent place to be when you want a decent pint.
Knowing where to go, and avoiding the tourist traps is key when you want a good time trying out some great beers in Glasgow. Here, in no particular order, are my picks of the best beer spots in Glasgow, and it all starts with pretending you’re in Germany.
Location: Glasgow Green
Glaswegian Heart. German Head.
It’s the ethos beloved WEST brewery lives by. They have one of the best looking breweries you’ll find not just in Glasgow, but arguably the UK. It’s styled like an authentic German brewery without looking tacky.
They keep things simple with a few core beers and a menu of traditional German food done right. St. Mungo, named after the city’s saint, is their most popular beer and makes for a great session beer. Their Wild West is something else if you’re a fan of hazy lagers with a slight bite.
If you get there early in the day and grab one of the few seats that overlook a brew tank with a view towards Glasgow Green, you’ll probably think it’s the best spot in town for a pint.
Shilling Brewing Co
Location: 92 West George St
I love it when a brewery has a hidden in plain sight feeling going towards it. This is precisely how it feels the moment you go from the busy atmosphere of West George Street and take a few steps up into the art deco interior of Shilling Brewing Co.
It’s never too busy and packs a punch in the taste department. A large screen projects information every beer currently tapped, so you don’t need to ask about what to try awkwardly, and their roaring pizza oven in the back makes it an excellent spot for a few friends to stop by for a few pies and pints.
I recommend trying their Unicorn IPA or the Glasgow Red.
Location: 161 Duke Street
You didn’t think I’d talk about beer in Glasgow and forget to mention Tennent’s, did you? Scotland’s national beer (I would say national drink, but we all know Irn-Bru always wins) is quite surprisingly made close to the city centre.
While most other big breweries are in facilities quite far out of town – take the Guinness storehouse as an example, Tennent’s brewery is less than a mile from the centre of Buchanan Street. And what makes it so great is the ability to see how it is made up close.
Unlike similar big-name brewery tours like the aforementioned Guinness or the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, Tennent’s Tours is a complete brewery tour that shows guests every step in making the biggest beer in the country. It’s been brewed in the same spot since 1885, and they promise that every guest gets to try the freshest pint of Tennent’s lager they’ll ever get to experience.
Location: 85 Drygate
Anyone visiting Tennent’s brewery might be happy to know that arguably the best craft brewery in town is less than a stone’s throw away. Drygate is located in what used to be an old warehouse on Tennent’s brewery grounds. Converted into a trendy brewhouse and restaurant, you can sample some incredibly unique small-batch beers.
Some of the most notable are Disco Forklift Truck; a mango infused American Pale Ale, and Orinoco; a hefty mocha milk stout.
Location: 445 Great Western Rd
The only non-brewery I include in the list, Inn Deep is tucked away underneath Kelvinbridge in the trendy West End. Head by on a typical grey Glasgow day, and you might not notice it. If you go on those days where there is a glimmer of sunshine in the sky, and it is packed.
They have arguably the most varied selection of rotating taps on offer, and their staff are so excellent that they’ll be able to point you in the right direction towards beers that are more suited to your palette.
I suppose it’s nice too that locals go here to bring their dogs to sit outside, so if you prefer a pint and a pup, this is the spot. Just make sure to hit up Valhalla’s Goat back up on the main road two doors down. They have the best selection of craft beers (I’m talking shelves from floor to ceiling) to buy in the city.
Raise a glass on me
I hope you enjoyed this short post on beer in Glasgow and will raise a glass for me if you ever find yourself enjoying a great beer in one of these locations.