2014 is the year of the East End of Glasgow and as much as the BBC will tell you its all doom and gloom, there is plenty to be proud of. Even away from the main Commonwealth areas, there are pockets of interest, especially with respect to the creative arts, and it’s time to start praising what is being done right in the East End.

A new addition that has plenty of potential is Drygate. This is a joint venture between William Bros, one of the stars of the Scottish craft brewing community and Tennent Caledonian Breweries, a small up-and-coming brewer that you may not have heard of or seen in the bars of Glasgow. Okay, it’s a mash-up between a company with a very cool reputation at the moment and one of the oldest, well-known (and sometimes derided) names in Scotland, so clearly this is a venture that is going to get people talking. Drygate is opening up this weekend, a Bank Holiday weekend, and we were fortunate enough to receive a sneak peak just before it opens to everyone.

Some of the more respected Glasgow beer and alcohol bloggers were on hand, so we’ll let them deal with the technical aspects and the nuances of the core drinks on offer at Drygate. As alcoholic blaggers, we’ll focus on what Drygate offers to you.

The core drinks on offer are:

Bearface Lager 4.4%
Gladeye IPA 5.5%
Outaspace Apple Ale 4.7%

The apple ale is the one that jumps out at you and this is one we’ll be returning to again. It had a sweet taste with a lovely smell and quite a nice little kick. Cider may have long been considered as the thirst quencher for a warm Glasgow day (you remember them) but Outaspace is going to be a good shout. We’re also going to flag up this song:

By this guy:

billypreston

And this artwork (by Patch Keyes and Good Press), which also features on the label to Outaspace Apple Ale.

BP1

Billy Preston is a good lad, he made the Beatles behave when they were all falling out with each other, so anything which gives a nod to him is good in our book. Of course, feel free to sing along to “I’m Gonna Send Him To Outta Space” when you drink it…iron shirts are optional.

We also think that the Cyclops from the Gladeye IPA label should be named Cycl-hops…but we really love puns.

Cyclops

When you come in to the bar, you’ll be able to see through to brewing areas, so if you have an interest in finding out more about the brewing process, this will be an excellent stopping point. There is also going to be the chance to brew your own beer or lager and have it bottled up for you. Drygate will even take your artwork and label it all for you so whether you are looking to break into the brewing industry in a small way or you just fancy brewing up a batch and making your way through them with friends and family, you can take control. There was talk of Mogwai getting involved with their own beer (following up their whisky bottles created to coincide with the Rave Tapes album release) and The Skinny magazine as well. It’s not just for organisations and groups though, it’s going to be open to everyone and if you fancy brewing up, make sure you check out what Drygate is up to online and on social media.

Beard

The bar aspect of Drygate is going to be enough of a reason to pop along to the venue but this is just one aspect on offer. There is a very well stocked off-licence on the premises giving you a chance to take home all of the drinks and plenty more. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to hang around, you’ll be able to stock up for all of your home-time drinking.

Another thing that really gives cause for optimism about Drygate was that everyone on hand was knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. They were all very pleasant and polite as well, which is maybe the minimum you’d expect from a place where you hand over your cash, but there was a strong sense of identity and that the staff believe in what they were doing.

Drygate Brewing

Williams Bros. has a 25 year history and Scott Williams was on hand to show that he has lost none of the enthusiasm and passion for micro-brewing in this quarter of a century. Scott was ably assisted by members from all levels of the Drygate set-up and if you come in and have any questions, we’re pretty sure that the team will be able to help you out.

Drygate Beer

This is really important because there are going to be people who are left unsure, wary or downright defensive about craft beer. As a nation and city we have a passion for alcohol but many of us can be stuck in our ways or have found a drink that we really like and have no intention of moving on from that. This is where the Bearface Lager should be considered as the gateway drink to the more adventurous areas of the craft beer world. Whether you just want to dip your toe in or you are looking to take a full-plunge, there will be something available for you and all of your friends.

Drygate2

There will be pint glasses, schooners and beer flights on hand so if you are looking for a taster or you are playing it safe, you’ve got a suitable option. There were also plenty of soft drinks, wines and spirits behind the bar as well so even if you socialise with folk who aren’t interested in lagers, beers and IPAs, there is something for everyone.

UpstairsBar

If you are going to have some tasty booze on offer, you want to make sure that you have a strong dining option. This is where the role of Vintage, a highly regarded Leith bar, rides to the rescue. Well, not just any Leith bar, it was the venue that picked up The List’s Eating & Drinking Guide Award for Best Newcomer. We were treated to a taster of the menu and there’ll be plenty of folk coming along for the dining option. With space for 120 diners in the ground level and space for more upstairs, it’s a venue that could be a meeting place and hub as much as it is a bar. (If you love numbers, the bar promises to have 24 taps for draught and around 200 bottled beers. So there is no need to rush through them.)

WolfDeer

There is also an art space and potential gig venue space. This is the thing that got us most excited (yes, even more so than the beer, it’s just how we’re wired) and chat that Regular Music may be linking up with the venue is great news. It was also said that Drygate will be hooking up with the East End Social for some of their major events, which means the chance of watching Mogwai in Richmond Park while having a choice of lager, IPA and the apple ale is extremely appealing, let’s hope that pans out.

Applepig

You may be thinking does Glasgow need another bar and in some ways, of course not. However, this bar is in an area in the East End that will really benefit from such a venue and with all the changes and shifts taking place in the East of the city, this is another great addition to this area. It would be wrong to dismiss Drygate as just another bar though. For many people, it will be a brewery, for others a restaurant. It will provide a stunning range of craft ales in their off-licence and there is plenty of scope for great events to take place. If all you are looking for is a pub with crafty options, you’ll be delighted but Drygate has the opportunity to offer so much more.

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Drygate Brew