As I type this, I’m sitting in Drygate, for the third time in five days, because I’m in love with the place. Even though it only opened its doors this week, it’s absolutely packed on this Sunday afternoon and there’s a real buzz about the place. It fills its punters with hops and hope, and it seems I’m not the only one keen to call it my local.
I was allowed in for a look around before it opened and I felt the same way Willy Wonka’s golden ticket-holders must have done, as I wandered around the factory, in awe and excitement, admiring the shiny machines and learning about the place that has been kept under wraps for so long. So much more than just a pub, it’s a restaurant, brewery, shop and general hub of creativity and possibility. I get the impression that the sky’s the limit for this place and they’re open to everything, from art exhibitions and events, to allowing punters to brew their own beer and anything else they think possible. They pride themselves on open doors and open minds.
Like Glasgow itself, it’s industrial and inviting, with metal fixtures and bare brick walls, alongside colourful characters and a warm welcome. The staff seem like a real family and they’re as animated as the art all around. It’s an inspiring environment and an overdue addition to the east end.
The words ‘brewed fearlessly’ are emblazoned on the glasses and brewery walls, and it turns out that beer without fear equals a pretty good pint. My preferred pint is an Outaspace Apple Ale, which is crisp, clean, hoppy and refreshing, without any hint of the sickly sweetness of cider. The booze they boast is breathtaking, with a massive menu of bottles, kegs and casks, as well as a shop from which you can buy bottles to take home with you and it’s a much classier carry out than off sales offerings.
This huge, homely haven is my new favourite place and I’m glad they’ve opened their doors and minds to the people of Glasgow, who will welcome them warmly and open their hearts (and wallets) to the city’s most exciting and inspirational establishment in years.
[EDIT] Despite some initial confusion, Drygate has confirmed its beer is not suitable for vegans. See Barnivore for further information and details on vegan alcohol.