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Glasgow's best real ale pubs

Glasgow has no shortage of great pubs, especially when it comes to real ale, so we've picked some of the city's best real ale pubs for you to enjoy

Published: September 24, 2015

Don't get us wrong we love being ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest craft beers but for us there's nothing finer than enjoying a great pint of real ale.

And in Glasgow you really are spoiled for choice for places to go to get your cask ale fix.

We have created this handy guide to some of the best pubs in which to enjoy some amazing cask ales from some of Scotland’s (and the rest of the UK’s) best breweries in Glasgow:

City Centre:

The Potstill

(154 Hope Street, G2 2TH)


Situated just a short walk from both of the city's major train stations, the Potstill is not only a mecca for whisky lovers but is also great place for real ale fans too.

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With four dedicated taps, the Potstill always has a decent variety of great Scottish and British beer and you get the added bonus of enjoying a 'Hawf and Hawf' with a wee whisky too.

The Counting House

(2 St Vincent Place, G1 2DH)

Picture: The Counting House

Picture: The Counting House

Ok, so the Counting House is a Wetherspoon's, and though we usually prefer to focus on the smaller pubs, no one can deny that the Counting House doesn't offer one of the best ranges of real ale in the city centre.

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Situated on the Queen St side of George Square, the venue offers no less than 18 pumps, which ensures a great variety of the best of Scottish beers and at a great price too.

Drum & Monkey

(93 St Vincent Street, G2 5TF)

The Drum regularly hold their own ale festivals. Picture: D & M

The Drum regularly hold their own ale festivals. Picture: D & M

Another pub run by one of the bigger chains (Nicholson's this time) however, they are another pub that definitely deserve to be on this list having championed real ale for a few years now.

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Holding festivals and always providing a great selection, the team at the Drum and Monkey are proud of their beer and rightly so. In fact, they take their ale offering so seriously they even have their very own cask master role to ensure the beer is always at its best.

They kicked off their most recent beer festival on the 18th September - to tie in with the rugby world cup - and are always well worth a visit.

Merchant City


(36 Bell Street, G1 1LG)

Picture: BlackFriars

Picture: BlackFriars

Surrounded by a glut of pubs offering everything from cocktails to cabaret, you are almost glad when you enter Blackfriars and find their refreshing, no-nonsense approach to beer. Basically, if its good it gets sold.

Not only do they have a cracking craft beer range, they honour their roots by keeping a regular flow of great Scottish beers pouring from their six taps.

There's also great food available should you get peckish and if you are lucky they usually have some decent live music too.

Charing Cross

The Bon Accord

(153 North Street, G3 7DA)

Picture: Bon Accord

Picture: Bon Accord

Again, another Glasgow pub that's famous for its whisky offering, the Bon Accord sits slightly off the beaten track on the city's North Street, however it is well worth seeking out if you are a real ale fan, as owner Paul McDonough ensures his cellars are always well stocked with some of the best real ale around.

Spacious, with plenty of seating, but also with a cosy atmosphere, you'll find yourself happily whiling away more than a few evenings here.

West End

The Three Judges

(141 Dumbarton Road, Partick, Glasgow G11 6PR)

Picture: Three Judges

Picture: Three Judges

There is no better signifier that a pub takes real ale seriously than the classic 'real ale board' - the humble black board that happily advertises what beers are on tap that day.

And the Three Judges' board perfectly highlights the pub's commitment to great beers, not only in the variety of ales but also in the fact there's no less than nine on offer at any one time.

Not to be outdone by its younger, hipper neighbour Brewdog, we still think the Three Judges is one of the best places to get great beer in the West End.

Cafe Source Too

(32 Hughenden Rd, G12 9XP)

Picture: Cafe Source Too

Picture: Cafe Source Too

A new addition to this list, Cafe Source Too have been quietly strengthening their name as a great place for real ale and it wasn't much of a surprise when they took advantage of the lack of a true real ale festival in the West End to launch one of their own this year.

What was a surprise was how much of a success it was; running over two days, CST managed to create a brilliant festival with some excellent brewers in attendance that left everyone with a smile on their face and seeking out where they could get tickets for next year.


The Laurieston

(58 Bridge St, G5 9HU)

Picture: The Laurieston

Picture: The Laurieston

The Laurieston has built up a reputation over the past couple of decades, as the sort of pub you need your very own reputation to drink in, however over the past few years people are beginning to discover it is a bit of a hidden gem.

Mainly thanks to its location, which causes it to feature on the Glasgow Sub crawl , the Laurieston has begun to see a rising trade, though it is the partnership with Fyne Ales, that has really seen it become a go to destination for beer drinkers.

Great value and usually offering something special, we definitely recommend checking this little pub out next time you cross the river.

The Clockwork

(1153-1155 Cathcart Road, G42 9HB)

Picture: The Clockwork

Picture: The Clockwork

Though the Clockwork has gone through some massive changes of late, the one thing that has remained consistent  has been its beer offering.

Sporting its own microbrewery, which you can tour, and its own range of admittedly great beers, the Clockwork has always got a great selection on the go.

Best of all you can even buy your very own mini kegs to take away should you enjoy their beers.

Just be sure to avoid the place on Hampden match days as it can get more than a little crazy.


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