Pub/Bar of the Month
WEST On The Green, Glasgow, UK
If there’s ever an award for Britain’s most handsome brewpub, WEST will certainly be in the frame.
This fine institution was established eleven years ago in a wing of a Victorian factory building.
James Templeton & Sons made carpets here from the 1850s but the exterior was refashioned in splendid Italianate style thirty years later, the model apparently being the Doge’s Palace in Venice.
Perched on the fringe of verdant Glasgow Green park, it’s undoubtedly striking from the outside but impressions are just as favourable once you step over the threshold.
The interior is open and cavernous, with bare-board floors and high ceilings – a modern take on the old baronial hall with a mix of dark panelling and exposed ducting.
The bar stands towards the front, with plenty of room around for drinking, and a dining area with stripped-wood tables is set behind.
Scottish and German
There’s a moody shadowiness throughout that is enhanced by candlelight in the evenings and, with hunting trophies on the wall and some potted greenery, the influence is certainly Scottish in one sense.
But WEST also has that robust, no-nonsense feel that you find in a German beer hall and there’s a good reason for this.
The founder of the business is Petra Wetzel, a Bavarian who arrived in Glasgow as a student in 1994 and never left. When her dad visited her and was distinctly unimpressed by what passed for lager locally, she decided to do something about it, opening the brewery in 2006.
All WEST beers adhere to the Reinheitsgebot German purity law. Pride of place in the beer range is St Mungo, a helles lager that reaches beyond Glasgow and can be found in bottles all across the UK.
On tap, you might also find a pilsner, a hefeweizen, a kristallweizen, a Munich red, a kölsch-style beer and an Oktoberfest (depending on the season), but there are also takes on other world beer styles.
To keep up with demand, a brand new brewery has just been installed, taking annual output up to a maximum of 25,000 hl. Tours are available.
Petra’s German influence is evident in other ways, too, not least in the food menus that promise hearty platefuls of schnitzels and sausages, along with more local fare such as fish and chips, smoked salmon, burgers and steaks.
After opening a second bar – WEST On The Corner, smaller and brighter with a more modern feel – on the other side of Glasgow, the business is now heading east.
Pending approval, a site near Edinburgh’s Waverley Station will be the next stop on WEST’s successful journey.
WEST On The Green, Templeton Building, Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1AW.
Tel. (0141) 550 0135
Opening Hours: 11–11; 11–midnight Friday and Saturday