Glasgow & The West Of Scotland Breweries

Brewery Regions Map.Some historians attribute the origin of brewing in Glasgow to the monks of Glasgow Cathedral, built at the end of the 12th century on the banks of the Molendinar Burn. Thanks primarily due to the Reformation, there are no primary sources for this assertion but it is certainly quite likely. As with most major cities and towns, during medieval times, ordinary citizens - usually women - brewed beer for their own consumption as well as for sale in ale houses.

Glasgow was once home to some major breweries, the earliest being Anderston Brewery (est. early 1760s), John Struthers' Greenhead Brewery (est. prior to 1760), as well as the famous Scottish lager brewing firm of J & R Tennent and the Wellpark Brewery (est. 1740). Through the efforts of these breweries Glasgow became well known for the quality of its brewing of Porter, equalling that of the London Porter brewers. Tennent then began the brewing of lager beer culminating in the building of a dedicated lager brewery that opened in 1891. Other breweries came and went during the 19th and early 20th centuries such as the Barrowfield Brewery (est. prior to 1825), the Home Brewery at Parkhead (est. early 1860s), Petershill Brewery at Springburn (est. prior to 1887), and Machlachlan's Castle Brewery (est. 1889) at Maryhill who moved brewing operations to Edinburgh in 1907 and then closed the Glasgow brewery.

Glasgow has not been kind to brew pubs. No less than four came and went during the late 1980s and 1990s. Today, there are a couple of notable exceptions, Clockwork Beer Company (est. 1997) and WEST Brewing (est. 2006). The brewing scene in the area near to but outside of Glasgow is now thriving with breweries producing some of Scotland's finest beers. Near to Glasgow are Houston Brewing (est. 1997) at Houston, Kelburn Brewing (est. 2002) at Paisley, Strathaven Brewery (est. 2005) at Strathaven, and Ayr Brewing (est. 2009) at Ayr. A little further to the west and northwest of Glasgow are Loch Lomond Brewery (est. 2011) at Alexandria on the south side of Loch Lomond, Fyne Ales (est. 2001) at Cairndow on Loch Fyne, Oban Bay Brewery (est. 2009) at Oban, and Isle of Arran Brewery (est. 2000) on the Isle of Arran.