Taking a break from whisky, my first day in Glasgow included visits to the Drygate Brewery (recommended by an associate of the craft brewery where I have been an apprentice and previously “scouted” by a friend who was in Glasgow approximately one month ago) and the DogHouse (discovered by the aforementioned friend), a brewpub operated by the BrewDog brewery which is based outside of Aberdeen, Scotland. Drygate is located next to a giant Tennents brewing facility (barely visible in the background)
and is only two years old, but thanks to investors with deep pockets they started off big – that shiny brewhouse certainly did not build itself!
Drygate operates a nice restaurant with an eclectic menu; I was there during lunch time and availed myself of a flight of three 1/3-pint pours in order to try as many of their “flagship” beers as I could: a pilsner (very good), an IPA (also very good) and a rye IPA (really good).
The brewery is also home to an excellent bottle shop… lots of well-known American craft beer “giants” were represented, as well as many unfamiliar Scottish and English breweries (there is another world out there…). I had a great conversation with the bottle shop manager (whose name I later learned is Chris) who has also assisted in Drygate brewing operations; we chatted at length about the beer recipes which we had designed/brewed as well as American football – turns out he had lived in Maryland for a brief time and became a Redskins fan! And even though the Packers (my team) beat the Redskins in last year’s NFL playoffs, he gifted me a bottle of a Drygate-Yeastie Boys (a great name for a brewery, they are based in New Zealand) collaboration pale ale with kiwi (!) to accompany my purchase of a bottle of the fantastic Drygate Ax Man.
Later in the evening I walked across town to the DogHouse. I had heard of BrewDog before, and probably tried their Punk IPA before; thanks to a weekly craft beer “alert” email which I receive, I was looking forward to trying a black IPA which BrewDog recently released called Black Hammer. Fortunately it was on tap, and it did not disappoint! Followed up by samples of a blueberry Berliner Weisse and a gluten-free pale ale (both quite tasty), I settled on their B-Side rye IPA as my second beer – not quite as hoppy as Ax Man, but a really unique backbone that balances roasted malt and bitter/spicy rye flavors.
remnants of a Black Hammer sample and a B-Side half pint
The DogHouse has a fun and lively atmosphere (having had dinner beforehand, I did not try their version of Texas barbecue… yeah, maybe it’s good), and at the end of the evening I had another great beer conversation with the brewpub manager, Sam. He is an avid homebrewer whose brother actually works at Drygate – making that connection is how I learned the name of the Drygate bottle shop manager. Brewdog is well represented and distributed throughout the US, so I am looking forward to occasionally augmenting the refrigerator with some of their beers; for the most part, I prefer to drink local… but I will make an exception for breweries and beers that I have visited. Put BrewDog on your list, too! (And Drygate, if they gain US distribution.)