I must admit I’m partial to a nice beer, and have occasionally toyed with the idea of home brewing – partly out of curiosity, and partly out of a deep resentment for paying £4.00 for a pint of fizzy piss in my local. But something has always put me off. Home brew seems like something pigeon-fanciers do. Men in novelty jumpers. Men hiding from the ball-and-chain in an allotment shed.
Drygate in Glasgow offers an alternative to the furtive garage experiments of DIY brewing. This former box factory was converted by Graven Images and is now a full-on professional brewery, and is opening up its doors, and equipment, to groups who fancy making their own beer – the pre-booked sessions are around £200. The main Drygate brewery operation is visible to visitors in the bar through huge windows, so you can see how the ale you’re supping made it to the tap. Beers including Bearface Lager and Gladeye IPA are produced and bottled on site – with label artwork part of tasty branding job by fellow Glaswegians, D8 – and Drygate is hoping to hit one million litres of craft beer in its first year. Award-winning gastro-pub The Vintage is expanding from its Edinburgh base to provide a restaurant aspect to the experience. Drygate is to be found in the city’s East End, surrounded by the industrial scale Tennent’s brewery, the Necropolis and the Drygate housing towers.