I’ll be arriving at my Coatbridge post very soon. I can feel your anticipation from Southwold. Yes, the Adnams is drinking very well, thank you.
But first to Glasgow’s High Street.
With most of Glasgow‘s Beer Guide entries around the Merchant City, Charing Cross, the West End and south towards Hampden, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t ventured east since a lively walk to Parkhead for a routine victory over Jeunesse Esch in 2000.
Frankly I had no idea the High Street actually existed, beyond the station and the Cathedral.
It’s astonishing, particularly for weird art fans like myself.
The art is a reassuring presence on High Street, which isn’t quite as cuddly as Sauchiehall Street and the Mackintosh sites, it’s fair to say.
I’ve never felt unsafe anywhere in Glasgow, but boisterous pubs like the College Bar certainly aren’t attracting the hordes of Spanish and Italian visitors on their way to the Cathedral and Necropolis*. And not because they’re not in the Beer Guide.
There’s a reassuring whoop of acknowledgement as the Italians approach St Mungos.
“Looook, Tardis“. And it was.
Coupled with St Mungos and the Necropolis, it’s not an obvious tourist area, seemingly more appreciated by foreign tourists than locals. They go big on graves in Italy.
I was here for Drygate, beautifully situated next to the Tennent’s fizz factory. With the other two Beer Guide newbies biting the dust already, this is a lone new tick.
A complex arrangement means it’s backed by C & C (aka Tennents) and Williams, operates under Drygate branding, and sells an odd mix of crafty keg.
The Laurieston is only 20 minutes walk away, but the Drygate is at polar extremes in terms of traditional pubbiness. Long trestle tables full of young groups dragged kicking and screaming into scary Dennistoun where they’re confronted by pop-ups, Bob Marley and well manicured beards.
I liked it, in the way I’d like a modern East Berlin beer bar. Oddly, the tasty Mosaic IPA (£3 a pint) wasn’t as cool as you’d expect, but quite decent (NBSS 3) and served by cheery hipsters, unlike Simon’s recent experience.
More a diner than a bar, something akin to Annie’s Burger Shack in Nottingham or the Brewhouse & Kitchen chain, I did look enviously at dishes called “Orzotto”, “Truffled Mac’n’Cheese” and “Chips” as they emerged to whoops of delight. I was saving myself for the more traditional, and healthy, battered haggis later on.
*I could tell they were foreign tourists as they were the ones who weren’t jaywalking.