The Rise of Glasgow’s Microbreweries

By: Katie Manning

January 10, 2013

With “˜beer travel’ now being heartily embraced as a tourism trend, Glasgow‘s leading the march, positioning itself as one of the most dynamic UK destinations for fans of the fizzy stuff. Microbreweries-cum-bars have become increasingly in vogue, with many of Glasgow’s pubs and bars growing a reputation as ale experts, cherry-picking in bottles and on draught, some of the newest and tastiest ales, lagers and beers being brewed in Scotland.

The Clockwork Beer Company on Cathcart Road has an onsite brewery that produces all of the site’s ales, with four Clockwork ales available on tap daily: The Clockwork Lager, Red Alt, Amber Ale and Hazy Day’s Ginger. Brewery tours with three tasting beers are available should you want a closer look at the brewing process.

The Clockwork Beer Company | Glasgow
The Clockwork Beer Company © Clockwork Beer Company


Elsewhere, WEST on Glasgow Green produces six different German-inspired beers, all brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot (the German Purity Law), so no artificial additives, colours or preservatives are added to the mix. The restaurant-bar attached attracts a chatty mixed crowd, with a large beer garden adding to WEST’s charms when the sun shines.

WEST | GlasgowWEST beer garden © WEST


The most recent and very welcome addition to Glasgow’s scene is the uber-hip Brewdog. Setting their stall near to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the large windows and exposed stonework give it a cool, industrial feel. Although the brewing of the beer happens in Aberdeen, a quick chat with any of the bar staff ensures knowledge of the product is high. And although the Brewdog brand has quickly proved popular, popping up in bars (and whisper it now, the occasional supermarket) throughout the UK, there’s still something resolutely independent at play here – their popular calling cards, such as Trashy Blonde and Punk IPA ensuring there’ll be plenty of footfall for a long time to come.

Brewdog | Glasgow
Brewdog © Brewdog

Glasgow’s pubs have similarly embraced the trend, with the West End’s Three Judges pub offering a 9-strong ale board daily. Nearby, Cottiers (a former church) offers a good range of bottled ales by the Williams Brothers in Alloa. While Blackfriars, in Glasgow’s Merchant City continues to earn its stripes, as a regular Camra Pub of the Year winner, with a global ale selection large enough to ensure you’ll want to make a day of it.


Feature © The Clockwork Beer Company

Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

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