If you are a beer drinker based in Glasgow and it's environs, then November is shaping up to be a decent month for some interesting beer choices. Indeed, there appears to be more than enough beer events, festivals and one offs to appeal to, and whet the whistle of, even the most difficult and hard to please drinker. Some of the beers are rather nice too. Others, well.........
Tonight (Friday 11th Nov) sees the start of The Bon Accord's Winter Beer Festival in which over 60 beers will be showcased on the pub's 10 handpumps until the 27th of the month. The beers are a marvellous mix of new seasonals, old favourites and there's even a couple of new breweries making their Bon Accord debut.
The beer list is extensive but stand outs for me are the trio of tipples from Fyne Ales (Jarl, Hurricane Jack and Avalanche), Highland's Orkney Blast as well as beers from Pictish, Saltaire, York, Dark Star, Thornbridge and Crouch Vale. However, the high point of the beer list is the first Glasgow showing of beers from the rising star of Scotland's microbrewing scene, The Tempest Brewing Co. I've written about them before and I rate them highly, so it's great that thirsty Glaswegians can now get their hands on, and mouths around, something that Edinburgh punters have been enjoying for months: some lovely Tempest beers. Not just one but two Tempest beers will be available during the festival. Hat's off to the Bon's beer man, Russell for getting Tempest's Into the Light blonde and their Citra IPA on to the beer list.
Not to be outdone, the Maclay Inns group that own 26 pubs and inns around Scotland, including in Glasgow, The Three Judges,
Yeah, I know. With the exception of it's not the most exciting line up of breweries ever assembled in one place. If I was to hazard a guess, I'd say these breweries were selected by Maclays not on quality but on price. Get some cheap beers, create a few posters, dress it up as a festival and shift some stock in the process. From what I hear,
I popped into the Judges to see if there was a beer list for the festival but none existed. One hadn't been sent. The only beer that I know that's definately making an appearance is William's Brother's 'Movember Foxtrot Whisky', a red wheat beer.
As Jean Brodie in her prime would say, "For those that like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like". I've seen the pumpclip and it's got a sketch of a big old bushy moustache on it, so I presume that, going by the name and the etching, it's their contribution to St Movember, the patron Saint of not shaving your top lip and cultivating a Victorian handlebar, Mexican bandit or 1970's porn 'tache.
This smashing selection of beers in the Maclays 'craft festival' can be yours for just £2.75 a pint.
Which is cheap but not as cheap as a pint in everyone's favourite vertical drinking establishment, The Wetherspoons Craft Beer Co. Which is where you will find, over the space of a fortnight, one off beers produced by Scottish Breweries such Kelburn, Houston, Orkney, Caledonian and Harviestoun among others. The beers are being produced to commemorate St Andrews day, the patron Saint of shortbread and The Sunday Post.
The beers all have mock jock traditional names such as "Donald, where's ma deep fried mars bar?', 'Haggis, haggis, who the fuck is haggis?' and 'Och aye, the brew'. I'm certain the pumpclips will be suitably adorned with Saltires. The beers will be available in a Wetherspoons near you from the 17th through to St Andrew's Day on the 30th.
I'll be in the Bon Accord.