Last Updated : 11/04/09
kay, so Glasgow's not really "abroad" as such, although trying to understand the local Neds may change your mind! See Steve Westby's account of his visit a week before this here... and the latest updates to Glasgow's beer scene here...
(Glasgow, February 2006)
Friday 17th February 2006.
The airline that cares – my arse!
his trip was had been planned as a kind of “weekend away at home” foray, that is going somewhere in the UK but treating the trip as if it were a jaunt to Europe. It had been born of my visit to Glasgow with work the previous October that had reinforced my liking of the city and, when we found FlyBE offering a return for £41, that was that decided! More good news was that we would be flying from Birmingham (not a brilliant airport but it’s the closest to Worcester!) and, even better, scooping a new type of plane – the hellfire-sounding turboprop “Dash 8”.
The outwards flight was at 07:15 so we arrived at the carpark in darkness at 05:30. Unfortunately, the surface car park at Birmingham is being changed to accommodate more aircraft stands so we were unable to park as close to the exit as I had been able to on my recent works trip to Belfast (we were actually in the new bit about as far from the exit as it was possible to get!) which necessitated the use of the courtesy bus to the terminal, when a quick walk would have been possible if we’d parked where I had wanted to. After waiting 15 minutes for a bus, getting more and more pissed off, two arrived at once (see, the old joke is right) and we were soon in the overheated terminal building wondering what a “wudu” toilet was (there were signs for them everywhere). I have since found out that wudu is an Arabic word for “ablutions” or “ritual purification of the body before offering obligatory prayers”, so now you know.
My previous encounter with FlyBE had been very good, with both flights bang on-time, but I was aware of the airline’s poor reputation for punctuality and actually getting flights to depart at all, so wasn’t unduly surprised when we saw the 07:15 was “delayed” until 08:50; cheers then! It soon transpired that the plane wasn’t in fact late, but was cancelled and being combined with the 08:50 instead – we presumed either the Dash-8 had expired or, more likely, there hadn’t been enough passengers for the 07:15 so the two flights had been combined to save running the service – and people slag Ryanair off! We’ve flown with them about 30 times and have never (yet) had any issues like this!
As we now had two hours to kill before our flight (the boarding passes confirmed that the 07:15 was cancelled as we were now booked on the 08:50) we had a wander around the shops before deciding to scoop the newly reopened “Air-rail” guided vehicle to the nearby rail station and back; after all, a free public transport scoop isn’t something you come across every day! Readers of a certain age may remember the brief period during the 1980’s when the Birmingham airport monorail (“Maglev”) actually worked, well now it’s been totally rebuilt by a Swiss company and winds it’s way between the station and airport every couple of minutes – and the track length is 585.5 metres for those total saddos here…!
We boarded the first vehicle to appear but I was a bit put out that it had no fleet number anywhere to be seen – how are you supposed to scoop something with no obvious means of identification? Luckily, when we arrived at the other end, we discovered that there are only two vehicles which run on unconnected tracks so I arbitrarily named them “left” and “right” for scooping purposes and we took the other one back to the terminal. Sorted, route cleared, ten minutes wasted, only 105 to go!
A Dash-8 in the book.
We had an espresso (which, as usual in the UK, wasn’t) before passing through security and festering in the lounge. Eventually the flight was called and we walked across the tarmac to the waiting Dash-8 that seemed very small; the cockpit was about level with the top of my head as opposed to the usual 737 which are quite a bit larger. Inside was a lot bigger than it looked from the outside, however, although our seats (row 11) turned out to be beside a bulkhead and had no window! We waited until the doors were closed and quickly shifted seats when the stewards weren’t looking to the row in front which was equipped with two windows – sorted!
The flight was an hour in duration and we passed over the lakes at 22,000 feet before skirting Glasgow to the north and landing south-westerly. Somewhat disconcertingly on a Dash-8 the wheels are stored within the engines and, when landing, those sitting opposite the undercarriage are treated to a close-up view of the landing gear hitting the runway at over 100 mph with the accompanying tyre smoke and screeching noises! Within ten minutes we were onboard the 905 bus into the centre of Glasgow (£5 return, every 15 minutes) where we alighted at George square for a peek at the sights.
After the tourist information centre, where we acquired a map and some assorted leaflets, the next stop was Greggs for some sustenance. Those who have visited Greggs in Scotland will know that they serve different stuff to what we get in England – as well as the usual pasties and pies there are Scotch pies, Macaroni pies (a Scotch pie case filled with macaroni in cheese sauce) and, in the butty line, savoury cheese softies which basically do what it says on the packet. Armed with some food, we set off for a walk around the Merchant city and in search of the Mono restaurant but, as we were setting off along Ingram street, Sue suddenly gestured frantically towards a passing bus – and I had a double-take as I read it’s destination board; the city’s routes are divided into colour coded lines such as red, blue, green and the usual suspects but we’d not expected to see a “Beige line” bus… route 75, if you’re interested, and it passes Central station and the Merchant city!
Not so quality hotel.
We spent a while wandering around the Merchant City (basically the southeast corner of town) admiring the Victorian architecture – think Manchester but constructed from orange sandstone rather than bricks – on rare sunny days, which we were experiencing at the time, Glasgow’s towering sandstone buildings give off a rosy glow which makes the city far more appealing than the dull grey granite of Edinburgh or Aberdeen, although when it rains this is muted into a drab brown. There are some glorious examples of Victorian industrial architecture still extant, mostly transformed into apartments and such like, alongside the usual 1960’s concrete monstrosities but there are only so many buildings you can look at so, finding ourselves near to the Blackfriars pub, we decided to try and locate Mono and see if there was any evidence of it brewing there or not.
At the southern end of King Street we found a surprising artefact from the past in the shape of a chopped-off viaduct that had previously served St Enochs railway station, which was flattened in the 1960’s and replaced by the absolutely hideous pyramid-like carbuncle of the St Enochs shopping centre. Just past this viaduct was the small plaza of shops called King’s court and, nestling in the corner of two viaducts, was Mono – unfortunately not yet open as it was only 11:30. Inside I could see a row of what looked like cellar tanks so obviously something was happening there, but it would require an internal visit to ascertain exactly what that “something” was.
We tried to check into our hotel, the gloriously Victorian Quality hotel at Central station, but were told to come back in an hour as no non-cancerous rooms were ready for our occupation. After a while of looking around bookshops at tram books we returned to the hotel and checked in; whilst doing so, I noticed that the walk-in rate was £110 room only with breakfast being an extra £11 each; contrast that with the £40 I had paid B&B for both of us using a special offer on the Quality hotels website! However, all wasn’t well as, when we went up to our room, we found the cleaners still beavering away within – cheers then!
We loitered around at the end of the corridor for a while until – eventually - the room was ready and we were able to sort out our bags. The view was over central station but, owing to the opaque roof, nothing could be seen and, owing to the windows being screwed shut with lumps of wood and gaffer tape we could hear nowt either! Still, we were now in the hotel, so we spread the gen we had over the bed and planned our moves for the next few days; there was a surprising amount we wanted to do – not all beer related, either – and it took us a while to organise a move to fit it all in. Eventually we were sorted and set off for Clockwork, the most beery of Glasgow’s attractions.
Just like Clockwork.
Buying a ticket isn’t something that should be difficult, is it? All agreed? No it isn’t, but, unfortunately, Glasgow central station seems to have this procedure well and truly arsed up; there are only four ticket windows (never all open) and two ticket machines (rarely both working) so long queues build up across the concourse clogging up the access to the platforms. We both joined different queues to cover all the bases but Sue reached the counter first so had to buy the tickets!
With the time now being past four on a Friday night the place was wedged with normals gibbering around all over the place and, to make things even more of a shambles, ticket inspectors were on-duty on the end of the platforms. We went for the first train to Mount Florida and boarded what we thought was the correct train; my intuition soon started alarm bells ringing, however, and I asked a convenient normal where the train was bound for.
“Largs!” she replied cheerfully.
“Largs!” I bellowed, “Cheers then! Off we get!”
We leapt from the train a minute before it’s departure and found that the Mount Florida service had departed from in front of the one we’d been sat on five minutes previously. Undeterred, we located the next train (they run about every ten minutes) and clambered aboard just before it left. That had been close; being on a Largs train wouldn’t have been a position of strength as they're first stop Paisley!
A short while later we were pulling into the curiously named Mount Florida station from where it is a five-minute stroll to the brewpub. I must say at this point that Clockwork is one of my favourite brewpubs I’ve been to anywhere in the world with good food and a cracking choice of beers, homebrewed and guests, and being out of the centre means it’s not full of suits and “trendies” – not that I know what trendies are, but they sound like the sort of brain-dead consumerist clones I hate so, whatever they are, I’m glad there are none in Clockwork to piss me off.
We sat near the bar and examined the draught beer list; there were 8 Clockwork beers available being the usuals (red, IPA and lager) plus Gösch, Oregon IPA, Stout and Banana hazy daze plus five guest beers; Porter’s porter, a Hopback beer, Blindman’s Siberia and a couple of others as well as the usual fizz including, surprisingly, Budvar dark. We went with the Gösch and Amber which were very good, the amber just shading it with it’s full, nutty and spicy flavour although the Gösch wasn’t as good as when I was there in November – if it had been I’d have been on it all evening! We then scooped the stout (4.2%) and Oregon IPA (5.5%); we thought the stout was too thin, sweet and simple with a pronounced treacly flavour although we disagreed on the Oregon IPA which I liked but Sue didn’t.
We then sampled the Blindman’s (too run of the mill for me) and the Porters (very good, just as I remember it although it’s more of a stout in my opinion) before, with the pub filling up with Friday night revellers, we decided to head back to the centre and try a few of the other pubs on our long list. Just as we were about to leave we realised that, with our usual lack of foresight, we’d forgotten to look at the train times back into the city but - with an amazing piece of luck - just as we arrived at the station a train pulled in and, remarkably, it was a non-stop service! I’ve never seen a non-stop train on this line before but we weren’t going to argue and jumped aboard.
Friday night on the town.
Back in Central station we first checked if the bus connecting Central and Queen street stations stopped at Charing cross – it didn’t – so we had no option but to walk to the Bon Accord out on North street just beyond the racetrack of the M8. We were there within 15 minutes and bagged a little table just inside the door which meant that we were regularly refreshed with blasts of cold air from outside to relieve the sweltering therms inside! There was a good range of beers available and we tried Mallards Quackerjack and Roosters oyster stout (4.7%), both of which were very good, with the Roosters having an excellent mellowness to it’s roasty flavour that we both found very agreeable – so much so we had another!
Friday night was now in full swing and the pub was fairly full so, hoping to return again, we left for the next visit on our list, the State bar on Holland street. I’d only ever been there once before, and that was about six years previously, but I was happy to see nothing had changed and the state was still a gloriously traditional island bar pub with loads of mirrors and wood panelling affixed to the walls and just about everywhere else; it resembles an Edinburgh pub in style more than a Glasgow one in my opinion, but the beer was what we’d come for not to criticise it’s non-conformity to the local norms so we eased our way to the bar through the crowds.
Around eight beers were available and we chose Kelburn dark moor and Tring Walter’s winter ale (4%) which, owing to them both being the same colour, I managed to mix up so my tasting notes were therefore rendered invalid! Ah well. Whichever beer it was I wrote a description for was a good toasty and roasted malt flavoured brew with a touch of bitterness in the finish although both were quite similar in character. Time was getting on, however, and we wanted to visit one final bar that night - the Pot Still on Hope Street, the best whisky pub in the city that now does guest beers too.
The Pot Still, or the Cask and Still as it used to be called, was my local when I worked in Glasgow during the late 1990’s on a regular basis and I scooped a lot of whiskies during my time there although, back then, the guest beer was usually only Orkney dark island - which isn’t a problem as I love the stuff and it goes superbly with whisky. After an invigorating ten-minute stroll from the State we were sat in the raised area at the rear of the pub with two winners in front of us; Kelburn Misty law (4%) and Inveralmond Sunburst (4.8%) which, inexplicably, I mixed up yet again (I really must pay more attention when beers are being poured!) assuming the hazy one was the Kelburn when it was the Inveralmond. Both were good; the Kelburn had subtle rosepetals in the nose and flavour with a full malty, dry and bitter finish and an overall character of Turkish delight, whilst the Inveralmond was hazy, yellow, and had loads of lemony hops in all aspects of it’s makeup then a wheaty, citrussy and quite bitter finish.
As this was our last call of the night we stayed for another beer – but, unfortunately, I’d mixed up which was which and I got a pint of the Inveralmond for Sue, which she didn’t like… this meant I had to drink another pint and a half of it myself, ruling out any whisky that night as we wanted to be feeling good for the following day! Ah well, I thought, we’ll come back tomorrow for a few whiskies…
The beer drunk, we made our way down Hope Street back to our very convenient hotel at central station. I’d got the Toby jug pub opposite on the reserve list; we’d looked in on our way to the Bon Accord and seen they were selling a couple of Kelburn beers, but we’d already had enough Misty law that night so decided to get some doss and leave the pub on the “maybe” list for the next day!
Saturday 18th February 2006.
Saturday dawned bright and cold so, after stuffing ourselves with fry-up courtesy of our free breakfast, we headed off to Queen Street station via Greggs for some supplies for the day. At this point, however, I feel I must mention the lift scenario in the hotel; there were three lifts but only two ever seemed to respond to the call buttons and, as most of the bulbs in the buttons had blown, once a lift arrived it was impossible to tell if it was going up or down which meant we inadvertently visited the basement a couple of times during our stay… we were determined to scoop the one remaining lift we’d not had before we left but hadn’t yet thought of exactly how we would accomplish this – as it happens, it would take a full day on the beer to come up with a workable plan to achieve this goal!
We were off to Summerlee Heritage Park in Coatbridge, where the only operational trams in Scotland could be found, which we’d decided had to be scooped in! After a twenty-minute train journey through the eastern suburbs we arrived at the quaintly-named Coatbridge Sunnyside station (living up to it’s name as it was a gloriously sunny day) which proved to be a fair hike from the park – trams could be seen from the rail station, but to access them we had to walk all around the perimeter, following the busy Sunnyside road, which took a good ten minutes. I’d visited the site around six years previously whilst working for Lanarkshire council and had vowed to visit it again one day; well, here we were!
Eventually we arrived at the entrance only to find the big steam shed, where I’d seen all manner of steam-driven machinery in operation during my last visit, was closed for renovations… at least the trams were still running, as evidenced by Motherwell 53 waiting at the stop (we later found that only the body is original, the truck is actually from Oporto!). We bought our tickets - entrance to the site is free, unlimited rides on the tram is 80p - and, between looking around the various exhibits at the site such as the canal, cottages, class 303 EMU, Garrett kettle and coalmine, had numerous rides on the 1908 vintage open-topped tram back and forth along the half-kilometre stretch of track.
The sociable crew soon worked out that we were tram cranks and began to discuss European tram systems with us – and almost all they mentioned we’d scooped already - Düsseldorf, Oporto, Lisbon, Budapest, Berlin… we even got a quick depot visit to see the other trams in the shed including the two Glasgow ones lurking in there along with the Düsseldorf example although, apparently, their Brussels tram had been wrecked by vandalism a few years previously and had to be scrapped – cheers then you scummy little twats, thanks a lot for that…
We stopped for an espresso in the café which we’d assumed would be rubbish but somehow they managed to turn out the best (and proper sized) espresso of the weekend to go with the traditional “crispiecake” (yes, cooking chocolate and rice crispies!). We then wandered along the restored stretch of canal with it’s unfeasibly green spring grass before being frantically barked at by some rancid dog in the area past the tramway; as tempting as it was to entice it over and then kick the noisy little fucker straight into the canal and imprint my boot on it’s head I refrained and back we went across the verdant grass to have a look down the reconstructed mine workings – and yes, it was very dark!
Eventually it was time to leave – but not before we’d had one final run off No.53! We took our seats aboard but we were in for a surprise; the crew told us that they were putting the tram to bed and would be using the Graz “kriegtram” for the final run of the day! We were greatly impressed with this extra scoop and happily changed trams for the return run on the Austrian beast before taking the ten-minute walk back to the station and the train back to Glasgow. As we left Coatbridge on the EMU we saw the Graz tram shunting onto the depot; scooping her in had been a bit of a bonus for us desperate tram scratchers!
Football – the odium of the masses.
Back in town, we changed onto the “clockwork orange”, or subway as it’s better known these days, for the short hop around to Hillhead (Apparently the Glasgow subway is the third oldest in the world after London and Budapest). Unfortunately for us, there were signs at Queen Street station announcing that there was football at Ibrox – and it finished in 45 minutes! We really should check sporting events more often as they play havoc with trying to spend a peaceful day beer scooping, but when you dislike sport (and especially football) as much as I do these things just doesn’t come to mind, I’m afraid!
We alighted at Hillhead station and quickly found Tennants bar, a famous old pub which I’d never been bothered to visit before, which had ten cask beers on sale. Upon walking through the door I thought we’d accidentally entered the Cask & Barrel in Edinburgh such was the likeness, even down to the beer board and toilets in the same place! There were some decent beers available (Broughton Old Jock, anyone?) alongside some more mundane examples but we managed to get some Orkney Dark Island and something else I forget, both in very acceptable condition, but football full-time was ticking so we supped up and headed off down the hill towards the Aragon.
This was another pub I’d never visited and the beer range soon told me why – boring regionals and multinationals all round, unfortunately, such as Batemans and Shithead Neame, although the pub itself was a very cosy-looking wood panelled bar which, had it been serving some decent beers, we might have been tempted to settle down for a few until the footy had finished kicking out. Having done some more research I think we were a tad unlucky with the beer choice in the Aragon and I’ll definitely be viewing it the next time I walk past on my way to the Three Judges!
On down Byres road we went and soon came to the main target of our quest, the Three Judges. This large corner pub is one of Glasgow’s famous real alehouses and has, for quite a few years now, been the best place to go for rare beers although the revitalised Bon Accord is vying for that mantle nowadays. It is still nominally a Maclays pub although, to my knowledge, has never permanently sold their cask beers – not that it can any more as there aren’t any. The choice of beer reportedly took a downwards slide a few years ago but it’s now back up to near enough what I remember it in the late 90’s, or at least it was on our visit. We scooped Isle of Mull Island pale ale (3.9%) and RCH Steam lovers (4.7%) with the former being a gorgeously full, tangy, fruity, citrussy brew with a long citrussy, malty finish whilst the RCH was smooth and creamy, almost diametrically opposite in fact, with subtle hop flavours and a malty finish.
Alcopop scooping goes large.
Impressed as we were by the Mull, the Rangers game had just finished (the results were on TV) so we legged it over to the subway station in the hope we’d beat the exodus from the ground which is only a short distance from the station at Ibrox. We were a bit concerned as no trains arrived for a good five minutes (they’re supposed to be every four minutes when the football is on) but when one did eventually haul itself I into the dinky little platform it was nowhere near full and, even better, there were no yobs aboard!
Back at St Enochs, we wandered east along Argyle Street and soon found ourselves outside Mono – which was open this time – so in the true spirit of discovery we went inside (avoiding the neds on skateboards outside) to see what we would find. The first obvious thing was a large row of cellar tanks along the right-hand wall, but no obvious brewing kit anywhere. At the bar we witnessed a huge range of fizzy draught beer on sale including Sam Smiths stout, surreally, amongst others. A large pipe-like construction connected the cellar tanks to a row of taps so we had a look what was on draught; pink lemonade and Gingko green tea lemonade, both 1%, but no “proper” beer to be seen. I asked a barmaid if they brewed beer and, predictably, she replied that they didn’t but they did make their own “soft drinks” and gestured towards the taps dispensing the lemonades.
Well, that was that sorted – no brewing here - but we decided to sample the lemonades anyway and found that they were actually very drinkable; they don’t qualify as scoops under my rules (not made with malted barley), but were very refreshing drinks in their own right with the Gingko being particularly pleasant. I noticed that there was a Williams gold pumpclip stuck behind the font which dispensed the pop so (and I’m jumping to conclusions here) either they get the beer delivered in bulk and serve it from one of the cellar tanks or, more probably, it’s from a cask but wasn’t available when we called. What I’m fairly certain about is that they have never “brewed” as such there and the only possibility of a unique beer coming from Mono is a brewery supplying unfermented wort and that then being fermented in one of the cellar tanks… draw your own conclusions.
Proper beer again.
We drank up our alcopops and left, headed for the Blackfriars and, hopefully, something a bit more scoopable than 1% pink lemonade… A brief walk soon got us there and we even managed to bag a table, which is quite an achievement on a Saturday evening in the merchant city! The range of beers available was pretty respectable and we tried Harviestoun Off Piste (4%) which we thought was very average for them, Houston Warlock stout (5.5%) being a touch too caramelly for my taste but still rich and tasty, Kelburn Misty law which was in excellent condition and, finally, Isle of Mull Island pale ale which, yet again, was a fabulously tangy, citrussy and compex beer for such a low ABV of 3.9%.
We stayed for a lot longed than planned, owing to an extra round of the Mull, before reluctantly heading off to see what else we could find. The Babbity Bowster was flagged as I don’t particularly like the place and the limited beer range didn’t really attract us (that and we would have been heading in the wrong direction) so we called in at the Ingram bar - just off George Square at 136 Queen Street - where we’d seen an unidentified pumpclip through the windows earlier on and wanted to see what it was; unfortunately that beer had gone, but this was more than compensated for by Stewart’s 80 Shilling (4.3%) and Isle of Skye black Cuillin (4.5%) which were both sampled; the Stewarts is presumably a copy of the deceased McEwans 80/- and it tasted pretty close to me – but unfortunately, caramelly sticky-sweet beers aren’t really my thing, so we turned to the Skye black Cuillin for some roasty respite.
It’s a long time since I’ve drunk Skye beers and obviously I’d forgotten just how good they are; black Cuillin is made with honey and rolled roast oatmeal and the flavours were so complex and intense I was momentarily speechless! This affliction didn’t last long, however, and I was soon extolling the beer’s praises; it had a huge, soft, roasty flavour with hints of peat and smokiness then a full, mellow, liquorice, malt, caramel and roasted grain finish with a lingering sweet smokiness. There was a hint of wild yeast to the aroma and, less noticeably, in the flavour that I’m assuming comes from the honey but, whatever, it was a stunning beer and easily the best we’d had during the weekend.
We decided that this pub would make an idea bus stop for the following day so, with the promise of more Skye tomorrow, we poked our heads into the famous Horseshoe bar on Drury street – but that was about all of ourselves we could squeeze into the packed interior so, after a quick check revealed Dark Island was the only guest beer (not a bad thing), we cut our losses and trekked up Hope street towards the Pot Still for, hopefully, some more Kelburn misty law.
Gerbils, dogs, cats… all for eating!
Unfortunately for us, the beer range had changed – gone were the Inveralmond and Kelburn and in was Fyne Maverick (4.2%) which I’ve found to be a easily drinkable brew, lacking a bit in the character department, but wholly acceptable. The pub was well filled and we stood by the bar waiting for a chance to make a dash for some spare seats and, eventually, a table by the front window became available so, quick as a ferret down a rabbit hole, we were sorted for seating! We celebrated with another round of maverick and settled down to watch life go by.
Our attention was drawn to three people at the table next to us. Two blokes and a woman, all around 50, were in the later stages of intoxication and were indulging in bouts of loud banter which was quite amusing to watch – and listen to. Naturally, it wasn’t long before we struck up conversation with them and that’s when things got really amusing; one of the guys was an aging rocker and persisted in asking my opinions on various 1970’s spandex rock bands, to which I gave appropriately guarded answers. The woman was the star of the show, however, and she was convinced that, as we were dressed in black (nothing new there then!), we should immediately adjourn to the music bar over the road where they would play music we’d like – allegedly. Fair play to her, she reeled off a list of bands that her daughter liked and some weren’t too bad, but we politely told her we’d think about it the next day… we didn’t want to say we were too old for all that staying out late malarkey and all we wanted was a few beers!
The third bloke was horrified by this list of bands; “Elvis Presley” was his comment on music! He also seemed to have a pathological hatred of the Smiths for, when their name was mentioned in our band conversation, he jumped back as if I’d suggested he take up colonic irrigation; “The Smiths? Their greatest hits wouldn’t be very long!” he declared. For some reason he also seemed to possess a carrier bag with a can of Princes strawberries in it – I’d never seen canned strawberries before and hadn’t even considered they would exist, but here was the evidence! Princes are also funny to me as, in my student days, we regularly filled our food cupboard with their wares and we even went as far as writing a letter to Princes enclosing a photo of our treasured cupboard… we got back a reply from some important bloke who was very amused and enclosed a load of posters and suchlike, but unfortunately no free food!
With the contents of the shopping bag exposed the conversation drifted onto food and what strange and/or unusual things everyone had eaten. I chimed in with my Donkey ragout and Sue’s Horse and chips in Sardinia, which seemed to impress everyone, but then the quiet bloke then leaned forwards as if he were going to tell us something earth-shattering, so we craned forwards attentively so as not to miss a word of this portentous comment.
“Let me tell yae somethin’” he slurred, “In the bible, it says God gave man dominion over the animals, which means they’re all for eating; cows, dogs, cats, gerbils… all for eating!” he finished, triumphally.
We rocked back in our seats with amazement at this pronunciation – we weren’t sure if he was taking the piss or being serious, but he seemed as sincere as a very drunken Glaswegian could be so we nodded our agreement whilst attempting to take in the sheer scooping potential of a man who would eat anything…would there be anything he wouldn’t consume? Unfortunately we’ll never know, unless I meet him the next time I’m in the Pot Still! I could picture him wandering around a zoo, taking bites out of unfortunate beasts, murmuring “All for eating…”!
Leaping for the lift.
We were dithering over whether to stay for another drink and see if our species-scooping friend would come out with any more profound statements but, just as we emptied our glasses, the woman from the other table headed for the door, dragging a very afraid looking bloke with her; I’ve no idea where she found him but he looked terrified (probably with good reason) and we all watched in amazement as the pair vanished through the door.
“Ah well, she’ll nae be wanting this wine noo!” declared the animal scooper and set about her glass with all the dedication of someone who hates to see good drink go to waste.
We took that as a prompt to call it a night and headed back to the hotel; such had been the events in the Pot Still I’d forgotten about the Toby Jug over the road from the hotel, at that time serving various Kelburn beers, so we missed out on some final decent beer that night although what followed more than made up for that…
I hammered on the lift call button for our last required lift but it resolutely refused to budge from floor three so, when another arrived, we reluctantly climbed aboard. Sue, however, had other ideas and pressed the third floor button and I slowly realised what was happening – we were going to leap on floor three for our last lift back to our floor! Does our sadness know any bounds? Reading this now, without the benefit of a whole load of beer, it certainly seems that way… We soon arrived at the third floor, and were withered to see our required lift there with it’s door open! A quick photo to confirm the scoop was made before we leapt aboard the lift – and scooped it all the way to the basement and back to the second floor! The desperate leap completed, and all lifts in the book, it was time for some well-earned doss! Some people just have no shame…
Sunday 19th February 2006.
A final pint.
A visit to the transport museum at Kelvinbridge was on the agenda for our final day so, after more large helpings of breakfast, we staggered out there to see what we would find. We alighted at Kelvinhall and walked past the Three Judges, our stop-off point on the way back, and a ten-minute saunter along Dumbarton road brought us to the museum which I’d thought opened at 10:00 but no, as usual I should have done my homework… it was 11:00 so we had to hang around 15 minutes for it to open!
Eventually we got inside and spent a good few hours gawping at the subway, trams, trolleybuses and milkfloats (!) in the main hall, although the massive array of cars bored me to death after looking at three of the things (what’s so fucking interesting about cars, then? I hate ‘em - they’re just boring metal boxes! Can someone please explain why cars are so fascinating to most of the population?) so, after an espresso and another crispiecake (I was getting quite into them by this time), we made a break for it and headed for the three judges for a swift half to fortify us after surviving the hordes of screaming brats in the museum restaurant.
Sue wasn’t happy as her beer of choice, the Isle of Mull, had run out although she was slightly mollified by the addition to the list of Rooster’s Amarillo (3.9%) which, as should be expected from Roosters (and the delicious Amarillo hop) was very good with a fragrant, perfumed character and an almost bergamot and oriental spicy aroma and finish. We decided to get back to the centre for a last pint and some food in Ingrams bar so we took the subway anticlockwise, so as to scoop in the whole circuit on this visit, and alighted at St Enochs before a short ten-minute stroll to Ingrams.
The pub was even quieter than the previous day (well, it was Sunday!) so we bagged a table in the non-cancerous area, noticing with relief that the Isle of Skye had survived the Saturday night hammering it must surely have received. As we were by now starving hungry, two steaming plates of Haggis, neeps and tatties were soon forthcoming with the obligatory Black Cuillin and we soon realised just how hungry we were when the superb food (with a very beige, but delicious, whisky sauce) vanished without trace in a few minutes - and it wasn’t a small portion, either!
The beer, if anything, was even better than the night before and it’s complex mellow smokiness with a full grainy flavour was totally beguiling, it was just a shame I had to drive when we got back otherwise a couple more would have definitely been scooped in! Unfortunately the time had come to leave, so we walked around the corner to the bus stop and caught the next 905 bus to the airport; these buses go via the M8 and the driver we had wasn’t hanging around either as we tailgated cars at a slightly disconcerting speed along the westbound M8. As we pulled into the stop at the airport there was a taxi blocking our stand so the driver (who was a woman!) had a massive rant at the taxi driver – cabaret included in the £5 fare, what a bargain!
We’d fully expected the flight to be cancelled and combined with the next one as on the way out but, much to our relief, we departed near enough on-time with the booked Dash-8 G-JEDN doing the honours and we were actually a few minutes early into Birmingham and were walking through the front door in Worcester only 45 minutes later, and that was that – next stop Barcelona in March!
As a postscript to this report I can say that we had gorgeous weather in Glasgow but for the last two months it's either constantly pissed down or been snowing; a fortnight after we were there the snow was so heavy on the Friday night that all trains and buses stopped running and the council had to open emergency shelters for people trapped in the centre by the elements! All in all then, I don't think we did too badly...
It’s not really fair and unbiased to write some conclusions as I usually do for one of our European visits due to a number of factors, the main one being I really like Glasgow anyway and also we’ve both been there on numerous occasions; I actually worked in the city for a few months solid in the late 90’s! So, let’s just say, in our “try and pretend you’ve never been here before” type of way, that Glasgow is a likeable city with lots of Victorian architecture (think Manchester but sandstone) and some rather decent pubs selling a surprising variety of real ales. The only problems are the usual British ones of no trams (except at Summerlee!) and a lack of brewpubs in the centre but these are minor matters when taken in the broader context of spending a few days drinking decent beer in a top city.
Glasgow has a reputation as being a bit rough but, in my experience, unless you go wandering around Eastfield goading the neds (as chavs are called up there, meaning non-educated delinquents) you’ll be unlucky to find any problems worse than many other British cities. Overall, we sampled around 30 different beers from well over 15 different breweries, many of them Scottish, and I’d say that despite the growing “yuppification” of the Merchant city these days there are still decent pubs around selling quality cask ales for reasonable prices – you just need to know where they are for, as usual, gen is power!
I’d not recommend visiting Glasgow for a sackload of scoops unless you’ve just started or haven’t had many Scottish beers as it’s unlikely you’ll get many new ticks, but if it’s quality and a good selection of good Scottish beers you want then I’d heartily recommend it. Above all, it seems to have a bit more “Scottishness” and be more “real” than Edinburgh does in the same way Manchester seems more English and less pretentious than London; capital cities are rarely representative of the country as a whole and usually visiting the second city will show you how the place, to pardon the expression, ticks – and Glasgow certainly does that. A few days spent exploring the excellent bars of the city are, in my opinion, a few days well invested in drinking top beer in an interesting city.
Getting there and getting around there.
Being in the UK doesn’t mean it’s that easy to get to Glasgow; it can be quicker, easier and cheaper to reach some European destinations and, despite what Ryanair might have you believe, there is only one airport in Glasgow – Glasgow International airport (GLA) – which is 9 miles west of the city in Paisley; Prestwick International (PIK) is actually in Ayr, 30 miles to the Southwest of the city, although the train connections (via a covered bridge from the terminal) are reasonably good, running every half hour Mon-Fri and taking around 50 minutes. The main airport in Paisley is in the process of having a rail link built but, until then, make do with the frequent (every 10 minutes or so) 905 or 950 buses into the centre; these leave from bus stops 1 to 3, cost £5 open return (valid for a month), and take around 20 minutes to reach the centre. There is also a bus to Paisley Gilmour street station, 2 miles away, but it’s hardly worth the effort if all you want to do is to reach the centre; have a look at the ever-superb “to and from the airport” website’s Glasgow page here to get the full picture of the buses departing from the airport.
Airlines currently flying to Prestwick are basically Ryanair from Bournemouth, Dublin, Stansted and Shannon and BMIbaby from Cardiff. You’ve got a much greater choice into the main airport although not all airlines are cheap – and, as we all know with airlines, you pays your money and takes your choice! Those flying into GLA include –
FlyBE from Belfast city, Birmingham, Exeter, Norwich and Southampton.
easyJet from Belfast International, Bristol, Luton and Stansted.
BMIbaby from Cardiff and East Midlands.
Of course, you don’t have to fly – Vermin (sorry, Virgin) trains run from Birmingham, for example, about every hour or so and take around 4.5 hours and, if you book far enough in advance, can get a return for around £34 although you’ll have to suffer the rancid new trains they use on the Glasgow route. You could even drive up – and the M74 is one of the nicest motorways I’ve driven for years, just watch the speed traps – although the same journey from Birmingham would take at least 5 hours and then you’ve got to park somewhere!
Glasgow is simple to get around; it’s centre is reasonably small, organised mainly in a grid pattern, and bounded by the racetrack-like M8 sunk into it’s pit like some giant scalextric set – this is the city centre proper although quite a few of the good pubs are outside this arbitrary ring. There are no trams although there is a comprehensive bus system operated by First which was not sampled during our visit although they do run a highly amusing “Beige line” service!
The Glasgow subway is a bit of a let-down if you’re after lots of track to scoop in – it’s basically an egg-shaped loop just over 10km long – but it’s fairly frequent, reliable and, for the lack of any better description, quite cute in it’s diminutive way; the petite 3-car trains and tiny platforms give it a Liliputian feel but it’s no toy, being the third oldest subway in the world after London and Budapest and it’s also still publicly owned thanks to the Socialist foresight of the council, and long may it remain so lest the evil forces of capitalism get their filthy hands on it. The thing to watch out for is the reduced Sunday service which doesn’t start until 10:00 and finishes around 18:00 and the relatively early finish in the evenings during the week at around 11:15.
The best ticket to get is called a “Discovery” which is £1.90, cheaper than two singles, and is valid after 09:30 Mon-Sat; tickets can be bought from machines or the staffed offices at all stations; strangely enough there seems to be no penalty fare system in operation with those caught without a ticket being charged a single fare, currently £1. If you want to visit Tennants bar and the Three Judges then a trip on the subway is by far the easiest way to do them although buses do serve the area.
To get to Clockwork, or if you want to visit the Summerlee heritage park in Coatbridge, then you’ll need to use the local SPT trains although it’s possible – but a lot slower – to use the bus to get to Clockwork. A return to Mount Florida is around £1.55 for the four-station trip (see map) and well worth the investment but watch the size of the queues at Central station and get your ticket early!
The easiest way to see most of the centre, however, is to walk and Glasgow is a fairly pedestrian-friendly city with some car-free streets and wide pavements on most of the rest. Cars travel one-way on almost all roads so it’s also fairly easy to cross the roads, just watch out for the strange turning phases on some junctions! The actual centre is small enough to walk across in about half an hour so unless you’re totally unfit walking between pubs is a good way to shed the excess calories acquired within.
Clockwork Beer Company (). 1153-1155 Cathcart Road, Mount Florida, Glasgow G42 9HB - 0141 649 0184. Open all day from 11:00.
The best pub in Glasgow (ok, it’s not really in the centre, but it’s not far!) for beer range with, usually, 8 of their own brews, around 5 or 6 guest beers, a Caley beer or two, a whole fridgeful of Belgian/German bottles (including some good ‘uns) and a few other bits and bobs such as Budvar dark on draught makes this a mecca for beer enthusiasts. The five-barrel kit is shoehorned in behind the glass panels to the right as you enter and you may see the brewer peeling bananas or suchlike to add to the next „hazy daze“ beer! Decent (and cheap) food rounds up this classic place – don’t leave Glasgow without a visit!
Get a „Cathcart circle“ or Neilston train from Central station (about every 10 minutes, check the screen for stops) and alight at Mount Florida. Go up the stairs onto the footbridge (the one at the end the train is travelling towards), turn right, then left at the end of the bridge and descend the long path to the main road ahead, Battlefield road. Turn left, go under the rail bridge past the car showroom and blocks of flats, then turn right by the church at the traffic lights into Cathcart road. Keep on towards the railway bridge and you’ll see Clockwork almost underneath it on the other side of the road after about 50 metres – you really can’t miss it with that big metal key stuck out of it! It’s only a five-minute walk.
Clockwork Lager, IPA, Red, two „hazy daze“ beers (one ginger and another, served in nips, over £3 a pint!), Gosch (Glasgow Kölsch!) and up to three seasonal beers. Also, up to five guest ales from elsewhere including - sometimes - some rare scoops.
West Brewing Company (). Binnie Place, off London Road. 11:00-late, opens early for coffee.
The Templeton Carpet Factory is an amazing piece of Victoriana set in suburban Glasgow; it looks surreally like the Doge's palace in Venice and is definitely one of the nicest factories I've ever seen! It's not now in production but, thankfully, it's been saved and makes a pleasant comparison with the People's Palace across Glasgow Green! The brewpub is in the old Boiler house and is very well done out with lots of stripped wood (very German!) around the place and huge coppers just as you walk in.
From Bridgeton station, simply turn left and follow London Road for around 500 metres until you see the huge factory (you can't miss is, believe me) and Binnie Place is on your left just after you pass it. Their beers are apparently also on sale in the following pubs; Oran Mor, Byres Road. Republic Bier Halle, Gordon Street and Great Western Road. Firebird and The Goat, Argyle Street. Bar 91, Candelriggs.
Aragon (). 131 Byres Rd, Glasgow, G12 8TT - 0141 339 3252. Opening hours unknown but likely to be all day.
A T&J Bernard pub but don’t let that put you off – it serves a decent selection of beers, around six, with a few of them being guests although on our visit they were only boring regionals. It’s very handily placed between Tennents and the Three Judges, on the same side of the road as Tennents, so you may as well poke your nose in whilst passing.
From Tennents bar, simply carry on down Byres road, down the hill, towards the Three Judges and you will see the Aragon near the junction with Havelock street after no more than 150 metres.
Babbity Bowster (). 16-18 Blackfriars Street, Glasgow G1 1PF - 0141 552 5055.
I must say I don’t like this pub – in my opinion it’s right up it’s own arse having won loads of awards such as “Guardian gastro pub top 150” and similar so, consequently, I’ve not been for a long time and even when I did frequent it the prices were very high for the low level of service you received for your money. Has a couple of guest beers which you’ll probably find elsewhere plus a very poncy and expensive “Schottische” restaurant (see what I mean?) upstairs. A Babbity Bowster is a traditional Scottish dance, by the way. Try the pub yourself and let me know what you think…
Close to the Blackfriars pub and High street. From Blackfriars, turn left down Albion street then right into Walls street and carry on straight where the road becomes pedestrianised – this is Blackfriars street and the pub is just on the left near the end. From High street station, simply turn left and walk along High street until Blackfriars street appears on your right after about 125 metres.
Blackfriars (). 36 Bell St, Glasgow, G1 1LG - 0141 552 5924. Opens all day.
This place divides opinion; I’ve always loved the pub but some people don’t like it at all – as they say, you pays your money… A long, open-plan bar which is steadily becoming more upmarket as the surrounding areas do, yet retaining a sense of being a Glasgow pub but without the bad parts, like toxic smoke and gangs of delinquents. Serves six cask ales, usually Scottish, at slightly high prices but usually in good condition as well as a reasonable list of world beers with a few half-decent Belgian ones featuring. Overall, a good pub in an unpromising area nowadays, but a few years back the Oirish bar over the road, housed in an impressive old warehouse, used to be the brewing Fruitmarket and Firkin.
Reasonably easy to find, right in the heart of the Merchant City. From George square, leave by the road next to Greggs – Queen street – calling in at Ingrams bar on the way past. Turn left by the modern art museum (ostentatious roman-looking thing) into Ingram street and walk down for around 350 metres until you turn right into Candleriggs on the right-hand side. Go down here for 100 metres until Bell street appears on your left – the pub is just down there on the right. Easy.
Bon Accord (). 153 North St, Charing Cross, Glasgow, G3 7DA - 0141 248 4427. Should be open all day but not confirmed.
A pub with a long real ale history attached to it, the Bon Accord began selling real ales in 1973 to a thirsty populace. It’s had some ups and downs since then but now it’s firmly on the up and an excellent selection of beers (12 I think) including the rarest beers in the centre (well, it’s just over the M8 so, by my earlier definition, it’s not in the centre but bollocks to that, it’s close enough to the State Bar!) alongside some old favourites. A classic old wood-panelled bar with loads of mirrors, looking very “Scottish”, but it also extends way back from the road allowing a capacious quota of customers can be accommodated. The best stop for a chance of a few scoops in the centre of Glasgow although a little bit out of the way.
Easy to get too, if a little off the beaten track and centre –it’s about a ten-minute walk from Central station – head up Hope Street then turn 3rd left into St Vincent street, and follow this road all the way to the M8; around half a mile distant. Cross the bridge over the motorway (watch the traffic here, it comes from all directions!) and turn immediately right into North St; the Bon Accord is about 100 metres on the left, past Majestic wines. just before the Mitchell Library (big pompous stone thing). Conversely, from the State bar, turn left out of the door then right onto Bath Street, follow this road over the motorway and turn left past the Mitchell and the Bon Accord is just there on the right, only about 500 metres in all. Finally, from Charing Cross station, turn left onto Bath Street, cross the M8, then turn left onto North Street and the pub is a mere 50 metres on your right.
Ingram Bar (). 136-138 Queen Street, Glasgow G1 3BX - 0141 221 9330. Open all day including Sunday.
A quiet retreat from the noise and bustle of George square, this excellent bar is owned by Belhaven (or Greede King nowadays) although you’d never guess – they serve three real ales, which might all be guests, plus a large selection of the commoner whiskies and decent food too. Dark, atmospheric and wood-panelled, this place is a welcome addition to the Glasgow beer scene.
Find Greggs on George square and Queen street is the road heading south towards Argyle street; the pub is literally metres from the square on the left hand side.
Horseshoe bar (). 17-19 Drury Street, Glasgow G2 5AE - 0141 229 5711. Mon - Sat 11:00-00:00, Sun 12.30-00:00
Grade B listed building dating from the 1870’s with, arguably, the longest bar in the UK at 104 feet (it’s an island bar too) and loads of mirrors as is customary in Scottish bars, this pub is well worth a visit for it’s hectic yet interesting atmosphere and cheap food (pie and beans is the customer’s favourite!). Tucked down a back alley near central station, this pub shouldn’t receive the amount of trade it does but, owing to it’s popularity with locals, it’s always full. The beers are nothing special being Caley and a guest – usually Dark Island – but pop in for a half to admire the architecture.
From Central station turn right down Gordon street, then left into Renfield street. Take the first right into Drury street and the bar is a few metres on your right.
Mono (). Kings Court, 10 King St, Glasgow, G1 5QP - 0141 553 2400. Open Daily 12pm-10pm
Not really a beer brewpub, as has been attributed to it, but a strange sort of “alcopop” brewpub squeezed into a corner underneath two railway viaducts, this unusual place has a row of conditioning tanks along the right-hand wall but nothing in the way of brewing kit could be seen and no real ale was available on our visit although, allegedly, they have conditioned beers brewed by Williams brothers… Includes a record shop called Monorail in the bar area! Ostensibly a vegan restaurant but many of the multinational beers available surely must contain dodgy additives?
Not the easiest place to find and not really worth doing so... but if anyone wants to, hey ho here we go. From the Blackfriars, turn left along Bell street then left again down Candleriggs. Cross busy Trongate, the road turning into King street, and after passing the chopped-off viaduct on your left King’s court is a small development of shops and suchlike, again on your left. Only 300 metres in all but it’s not really worth the walk...
Pot Still (), 154 Hope St, Glasgow, G2 2TH - 0141 333 0980. Previously the Cask and Still, open all day presumably!
This excellent little bar has really come along in the beer stakes recently; when it was my local in the late 90’s the choice was Dark Island and McEwans 80/- but now they seem to have anything up to three Scottish guest beers available to complement the real meaning of this place – the whiskies! There are said to be around 500 of them (I reckon nearer 250) but if you’re a whisky scooper then there aren’t many distilleries not listed here; you can even get gems like Longrow and Littlemill and the prices, on the whole, are very democratic indeed unless you go for a 25-year old or suchlike. Highly recommended and the landlord, Big Kenny, is very sociable!
Easy to get to; from Central station head north (uphill!) up Hope street and you’ll find the bar on the corner of West Regent lane, on the right hand side of the road, after about 250 metres. From Queen street, head along West George street away from George square untill you reach Hope street, turn right, and the Pot is on the corner of the next lane. A classic little place, don’t miss it.
State Bar (). 148-148a Holland Street, Glasgow, G2 4NG, 0141 332 2159. Open Mon-Sat 11:00-00:00; Sun 12:30-00:00
Another cracking wood-panelled bar festooned with mirrors and, even better, an Island bar (if you don’t know what this is, basically the bar is in the middle of the room!) and a good choice of real ales make this place a convenient stop on the way from, or to, the Bon Accord. I think there are around eight beers on cask with the usual bias towards Scottish brews (which isn’t a bad thing!) and a cosy atmosphere making this pub an essential visit when in town.
The State is in the North-east of the city centre, close to the M8 and Bon Accord, just off Bath street. See the description from the Bon Accord or, from Central station it’s about 1km if you go up Hope street then turn left into Bath street and just follow it along until you get to Holland street on the right.
Tennents Bar (). 191 Byres Rd, Glasgow, G12 8TN - 0141 341 1024. Assumed all day opening by the looks of things.
Yet another of the famous old Glasgow real ale houses, this one is situated a stone’s throw from Hillhead subway station. Those of you who have visited the Cask & Barrel in Edinburgh may well be amazed by the likeness between the two pubs, I was, but I have no idea if they are related in any architectural way. A classic island bar dispensing around ten real ales, four of them guests, but even some of the regulars aren’t commonly seen – Broughton Old Jock for example. A lovely example of Scottish drinking heritage with it’s mirrors and alcoves and highly recommended.
Dead easy. Take the subway to Hillhead, turn left onto Byres road, and you’ll see the bar on the opposite side of the road at the Highburgh road junction.
Three Judges (). 141 Dumbarton Rd, Glasgow, G11 6PR - 0141 337 3055. Open all day.
Another of the “old guard” pubs in Glasgow which has been serving guest beers for years, the Judges is a classic corner pub with no food (except pork pies!) and no other distractions to your drinking pleasure. It went through a bit of a rocky time in the late 90’s and early 00’s with bad reports coming in thick and fast from scoopers but, if our two visits last weekend are anything to go by, it should be on anyone’s schedule for a visit to Glasgow – and, even better, it makes a good crawl with the next two.
The easiest way is by the subway – get off at Kelvinhall (NOT Kelvinbridge!), walk down the very dodgy-looking passage from the station onto the main road, Dumbarton Rd. Turn left and try to cross the road; I say try as it’s a really busy junction, and you’ll see the Judges across the road on the junction of Byres Rd. The best way to do the pub, however, is from Tennents bar – but make sure you do it from Tennents as it’s then downhill all the way to the Judges!
Toby Jug (). 97-99 Hope St, Glasgow, G2 6LL - 0141 221 4159. Opening hours not known but, seeing where it is, should be all day.
A very handy bar for Central station, this cosy-looking place has several guest beers available from Scottish brewers (Kelburn on our visit) and looks to be well worth a visit when in town.
Leave Central station, turn left, and when you reach Hope street the bar is almost opposite, maybe slightly to the left near to Waterloo street, no more than 100 metres away.
Other pub gen.
There are plenty of other bars around Glasgow which sell beer – unfortunately most of it is fizzy, pasteurised junk from the local beer factory, although some other bars will have a token real ale available which is usually Deuchars IPA. Wetherspoons seem to be attempting a takeover of the city centre at present with what seems like hundreds of the things springing up everywhere but, as I don’t really like them, I have no gen – go and see for yourself! The only one I’ve been in is the Counting House on George square which is a converted bank and very well done it is too with a huge ceiling and dome towering over the bar. The beers used to be Scottish but I’ve not been in for years so can’t comment.
Gazza's Beers of the weekend.
Not as difficult to choose this time...
1) Isle of Skye Black Cuillin in the Ingram Bar.
2) Isle of Mull Island Pale Ale in the Three Judges.
3) Kelburn Misty Law in the Pot Still.
This by Rick Pickup, 07/08/06 - cheers Rick!
An interesting addition to the
Glasgow area is the
Brewing Company which opened in March 2006. Based in the 1930s
addition to the
Helles (4.9%), a Munich-style lager was crisp but quite well rounded in taste. It was just a little bit disappointing compared to German beers of the same type tried in the past, although I suspect that it may be that due to the recent opening it hadn't had enough time to lager properly perhaps.
Hefeweizen (5.2%), a Bavarian style wheat beer was wheaty and had definite fruit peel tastes to it. I think this was my favourite of the three.
Dunkel Hefeweizen (5.2%), a dark version of the above which had a pleasant malty taste with the fruit flavour tending to moorish banana/russet apple sort of taste. It could perhaps have been a bit more Dunkel though.
Interesting to note is that the beers are served in 0.3l, 0.5l and 1l glasses, although they are as available in 1/2 and pint measures too, apparently after a visit from Trading Standards. And despite the bar having more stools that most pubs, Mr Westby need not worry as waiter service is the norm. I didn't eat but the food, also mainly of a German style, looked good and was served very quickly.
A quick note that, along with several Glasgow pubs, a strict "no football colours" policy is in place. It should also be noted that a number of "interesting" bars are passed on the walk down from Bridgeton station; Union flags and graffiti such as UVF should also suggest against the wearing anything emerald green!
Some phots ...
|Skyrail leaves NEC for Airport||G-JECE Dash 8 at Glasgow BE818||Classic architecture at the corner of King st and Osborne st||Motherwell 53 at Summerlee Coatbridge||Graz seminar at gate Summerlee Coatbridge|
|Birmingham NEC 17/02/06||17/02/06||Glasgow 17/02/06||18/02/06||18/02/06|
|Bon Accord Glasgow||Clockwork Glasgow||Clockwork Glasgow looking down at the bar||Mount Florida rail bridge Glasgow - go under this and you can't go wrong...|