Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery
By Lauren Houghton
- Last updated on
The new venture is a collaboration between William Bros. Brewing Co. and Vintage gastro-pub in Leith, with exterior interventions and interiors by Graven Images. It is housed in a two-storey warehouse built in the 1960s and comprises of a restaurant, bar, roof terrace, an events and gallery space and a ‘Studio Kit’ area where customers can have a go at beer brewing themselves and create their own brand.
BigHospitality spoke to operations director at Drygate Brewing Co. Colin Johnston about running a rather different venture, its success so far and what will happen next.
The brewery is located to the east of Glasgow, next to the Tennent’s industrial brewery. It opened in the last week of May and has seen great interest from the public.
Johnston said: “It’s been about 40 per cent busier than we expected it to be. We were quite conservative in our estimates because the only thing that counts against the venue a bit is its location. It’s just a little bit out of the way. What we didn’t bank on is that the area is really quite up and coming.
“There are lots of young professionals and it’s quite an artistic area as all, lots of creative people working in the Merchant City right next to us. We’re seeing a good mixture of local people and people coming from other parts of the city.”
The site has been designed by Graven Images to preserve the old industrial aesthetic and it features materials such as mild steel, cast concrete, solid wood, and polished copper in the bar. The original roof was restored and the company arranged special touches such as leaving old paint marks on the floor to celebrate the building’s history. The downstairs restaurant has had a large picture window put in so visitors can see into the working brewery while they eat.
Drygate Brewing Co. features a bar and restaurant downstairs which seats 120, an upstairs beer hall that can sit 100, and an outdoor terrace with space for 60. There is also an additional event’s space.
One stop shop
As well as having a vast craft beer selections, Drygate Brewing Co. serves food from midday, having a number of different menus both upstairs and downstairs including a la carte and grazing options, with offerings as diverse as charcuterie boards and burger menus to langoustines and Surf and Turf.
When asked what makes the brewery stand out, Johnston said: “Definitely the interaction with the brewery. The venue has the restaurant looking into the microbrewery itself. We’ve got the studio brewery as well where we’re producing two of three different beers every single week just for the bar. Then the shop sells 200 different types of bottled beer including those we produce on site. There are so many aspects to the site; it’s like a one stop shop.”
As part of its future plans Drygate Brewery intends to open an event’s space that can fit 200 people in late summer, and later extend it to fit 400. They will host a number of gigs and comedy shows and the like, hoping to create a multifunctional space and work with a number of promoters.