Meet the Makers

Glasgow Beer Works Q&A

An easy one first – when and why was Glasgow Beer Works created? And what was the first beer you ever brewed?

Glasgow Beer Works began life as Merchant City Brewing Co in 2017 with the original idea to create a brewpub-style venue in the space where the brewery’s city centre Beer Barden is now located. The opportunity to purchase a larger than anticipated brew kit meant that plans changed and GBW opened as a fully-fledged craft brewery instead.

During the summer of 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, GBW moved to their new brewing premises at Queenslie Park in Glasgow’s East End. The move saw the brewery adding new canning and bottling facilities with a view to offering contract services to other brewers. This expansion project, along with opening the Beer Garden, lead to rebranding completely as Glasgow Beer Works.

The first beer brewed under the new brand of Glasgow Beer Works was our Pilsner Lager! It’s brewed with German malt and hops, as well as S-23 lager yeast, making a refreshingly crisp, classic Pilsner with fruity, spicy and floral characteristics. Our Pilsner Lager is also the top seller in our city centre Beer Garden – we poured nearly 3,000 pints of it in our first two weeks open this year!

We’re delighted to be featuring three Glasgow Beer Works brews in our Beers of the Month – APA, Krpan, and Europale – what can you tell us about these beers and their recipes?

Brewed with Cascade and Saaz hops, our APA is a zingy American style pale ale infused with Lady Grey tea to present punchy citrus aromas and refreshing bitterness.

Krpan is a Pale Ale hopped solely with Krpan hops, coming from Slovenia. Grapefruit citrus character from the Krpan hops are balanced by malty flavours for a light, crisp Pale.

Lastly, Europale is a session-strength Pale Ale featuring a variety of European hops! Tropical fruit flavours come from German Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria, while Perle and Tettnang provide herbal and spicy notes. Saaz from the Czech Republic and Slovenian Krpan lend grapefruit and lemon aromas, and French Aramis emphasises the herbal, citrus and spicy character even further.

You have an incredible beer garden in the centre of Glasgow, set underneath a fantastic piece of artwork – what can people expect if they come along for a few pints?

Visitors can see GBW in action at the Beer Garden beneath John Byrne’s Billy Connolly mural off of Osborne Street, spread across large shipping containers repurposed into an open, outdoor bar space with socially distant seating. In addition to pouring Glasgow Beer Works beers on tap, GBW makes supporting other local small businesses a priority at the Beer Garden, featuring a range of independent craft producers and street food vendors. Drinking pints and trying some delicious local street food under the Big Yin is an experience worth having in Glasgow! 

Are there any upcoming Glasgow Beer Works releases that Flavourly readers should keep an eye out for in the coming months?

We’ll be brewing more of our Jaggery Imperial Stout, which is a dark, strong stout made with jaggery, a golden brown non-centrifugal cane sugar, and cold brew coffee. But we also have the bigger, bolder, barrel-aged versions of Jaggery available via our website! We have completed three annual releases of these award-winning, special edition stouts, aged in a variety of whisky casks from our friends at Glenfarclas Distillery and Glasgow Distillery.

And finally, is there anyone you’d like the Flavourly community to know about Glasgow Beer Works – especially if encountering your beers for the first time?

At GBW, Glasgow and its people are at the heart of everything we do. We brew our beers to reflect the rich quality and character of the city and use local ingredients wherever we possibly can. We are also an independently owned business that focuses on working with other small, local businesses in our community. This ethos is reflected in all that we do as a company, and we think this is something that the Flavourly community can appreciate!

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