Having spent Christmas at different ends of the country, myself and Dom decided a few nights away before New Year would be the perfect opportunity to visit a city we had both heard great things about, but never properly visited. Although admittedly a little far for a day trip, our pre-booked returns from Crewe to Glasgow were £30, and the hotel not much more so it was a perfectly affordable couple of days away.
Less than a five minute walk from the station, Shilling Brewing Company provided a warm welcome to a rather nippy Glasgow. The brewpub sits in an imposing building on the corner of West George Street. Alongside an excellent range of guest beers, four of the brewery’s beers were on the pumps, all brewed a couple of meters away. The full series could be purchased in a stylish flight deck and included Brew Tang Clan (5% coffee porter), Unicorn IPA (5.2% IPA) and Glasgow Red (4.4% red ale).
Throughout the evening we also visited a number of pubs and bars down Argyle Street on our walk into the city centre, sampling Magic Rock Dairyfreak (5.2% ice cream porter) in the Taphouse, Drygate Chimera (5.9% India pale lager) and ending in the CAMRA award-winning Bon Accord drinking Black Iris Snake Eyes (3.8% pale) and a couple of single malts. A highlight of the evening was being served Leffe on ice in a champagne bucket at a local Indian restaurant.
The following morning spent at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum listening to the free Organ Concert and learning a little more about Scottish History, before setting off for the West End. The first stop was at BrewDog directly opposite the Museum, where my drink of choice was admittedly something mulled in an attempt to combat the chill.
Lunch was enjoyed at the Kimchi Cult, a tripadvisor recommendation that certainly didn’t disappoint, and after that a five minute walk up Byres Road led us to the Curlers Rest where we enjoyed a pint of 2018’s Champion Beer of Britain, Siren Broken Dream.
Following this we headed to an unassuming little lane which all the locals kept telling us was a must visit on our trip. Ashton Lane had whisky bars, Belgian beer bars an Irish pub and everything in-between. Our first stop was the Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen where we settled in for a couple of hours, with Dom trying most of their tap beers and a couple of bottles (Blood Red Sky, a 6.8% rum-barrel aged red ale, and Don’s Choice, a 6.2% coconut and rhubarb black IPA, stand out as highlights), and me repeatedly ordering Magic Rock Stiggy Pop (7.3%), a brilliant example of the NEIPA style.
Popping over the road our next stop was Brel, famed for its impressive beer menu incorporating everything from Belgian to Scottish beers, and its beautiful beer garden. Favourites sampled here were the classics including Leffe, St Bernardus, Boon, and a wee Drambuie too! A notice in the beer garden did make me smile noting no hill climbing or head dives – a subtle nod to the 45% angle that the tables were perched upon. By this time we decided to have a break from beer and try some more whiskies in the wonderfully-named Ubiquitous Chip – we were in Scotland after all.
A full Scottish breakfast and surprisingly clear heads rounded off a much-enjoyed weekend in Glasgow, a trip we will definitely be making again.