Live near Glasgow? Love great beer? Here is everything you need to know about this year's West End Beer Festival.

We spoke to Conor McGeady of the West End Beer Festival to find out everything you need to know about what to expect at this year’s festival.

What is the West End Beer Festival?

The West End Beer Festival is a celebration of Scottish craft breweries. From local
Glasgow brews to Gypsy brewers it celebrates the best of Scottish craft beer
producers with an emphasis on customer interaction.

Each brewery has their own unique bar, giving those who attend the opportunity to come face to face with the brewers of their favourite products. Now in its 4th year WEBF has expanded, welcoming breweries from as far afield as Coventry and Wales and importing specialty brews from Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark.

This year will also feature the festival’s first ever Distillery.

What will be the highlights/ what’s new & what to look out for

Conor said: “As always there are loads of new additions to the WEBF line up. I’m extremely excited to welcome four newcomers from south of the border. We have new brewery Loka Polly attending all the way from Wales. Loka Polly have really impressed us lately with their abundance of juicy pales and an excellent DIPA that was bursting with Citra.

“Another first timer at WEBF will be Twisted Barrel Ale, a small brewery and brewhouse from Coventry. Family run, the brewery has grown leaps and bounds these past 4 years and focuses on an extensive mix of old and new styles.

“We will also welcome Gypsy brewers Shindigger from Manchester and Dark
Revolution Brewery from Salisbury.

“2018 will also welcome our first ever distillery to WEBF. Hyper-local gypsy gin
distillers Garden Shed Drinks will be pouring their fantastic gin.

“Born in a garden shed (yes, really) just down the road in Scotstoun, the gin is now distilled at Eden Mill in Edinburgh. and the distilling team are very much placing the environment at the heart of what they do, giving a portion of all profits to environmental charities.

“Some attendees might recognise owners Ryan Grant and Ruaridh Jackson. Both
well established professional rugby players for both Glasgow Warriors and
Scotland, the pair took an interest in distilling after Glasgow Warriors sponsor
Eden Mill took the team on a tour of the distillery.

“Rugby fans should note, we have been promised that there is a good chance a few of the team will be down to enjoy the Friday night and Saturday afternoon sessions. Come on down and see if you can spot your favourite Warriors players.

“As always under 18’s can attend the Saturday afternoon for free. There will be a
range of free entertainment provided by Hillhead Sports Club from touch rugby to
tennis and facepainting.

“It’s not just the kids who get to have fun tossing the eggv around this year! We are super excited to be linking up with Hillhead Jordanhill RFC’s  “Tartan Touch” programme on the opening night of WEBF.

Tartan Touch is truly Scottish Rugby’s fun. A non contact, simplified version of the sport means that it is great for beginners and just as fun for experienced player.

“What better way to finish off the session than with a few beers from the festival in our beer garden. You can take part in the touch session AND opening session of the WEBF for just £8. Just come down and register with the HJRC team on the night!

“Finally, we are beyond excited to announce that 2018 will be the first year we pair
up with some of our contributors to bring you the first ever West End Beer Festival
Brew! We have collaborated with both Up Front Brewing and The Shilling Brew
Co. The festival beer will be an Alphonso Mango and Orange Berliner Weisse. I
can’t wait for everyone to try it! The beer will be available to try from Jake at Up
Front Brewing.”

Where will it be held?

The festival is returning to its usual home at Café Source Too at Hillhead Sports Club at 32 Hughenden Road, G12 9XP.

How do I get there?

Picture: Google

Located close to Great Western Road, Hyndland and Hyndland train station, Cafe Source Too is also just a 10 to 15 minute walk away from Byres Road and the underground there (perfect for a nice evening stroll after all that great beer).

Regular buses such as the 6a and 6b (First Bus) to Anniesland, head up Great Western Road and any train on the Partick line from Glasgow Queen Street or Central will drop you at Hyndland train station close by to Cafe Source Too.

When will it be held?

There are 3 sessions to choose from which will run over two days. Sessions are
as follows:

Friday 6th July 5:30pm till Midnight.

Saturday 7th July 12pm till 5pm (Family friendly session. Under 18s attend free! There will be some entertainment for under 18s free of charge).

Saturday 7th July 6pm till Midnight.

Where can I get tickets and how much do they cost?

Tickets cost just £8 and include entry and your festival glass. Members of CAMRA receive a discount at £6.

They are available to pick up in person from Grunting Growler and Café Source Too.

Tickets can also be purchased online, though there is a £1.21 booking fee absorbed in the price (£9.21). You can buy your tickets online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/west-end-beer-festival-2018

Tickets will be available on the door if the event does not sell out in advance! Conor
advises buying tickets in advance.

Will there be food?

In addition to all the great beers, as always Cafe Source will be serving a great selection food at great prices, last year the food offer included cheese boards of local Scottish cheeses that pair wonderfully with beer, hearty stout beef stews and pale ale Mac and Cheese.

As always there will be a BBQ outside in the beer garden (weather permitting of course).

Advice and a note of caution

Please drink responsibly. The beer festival is well staffed and the utmost effort will be made to take care of you while you are there but should you begin to let it all get to your head, take a break and get something to eat or drink some water.

And remember – just one last drink after you think you might have had enough, is never a great idea.

Luckily, the festival runs over three days so you will have plenty of time to enjoy it.

FAQs

Can I keep my glass? Yes, you can keep your glass, if you’re like us you’ll probably want to add it to your already extensive collection of beer festival glasses, or perhaps you’re just wanting to get your new collection started.

How do I become a CAMRA member? If you’re reading this guide then there’s already a fair to middling chance that you’re a fan of  real ales, or at least have an interest in them. Should this be the case then joining CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) can be a great way to extend your knowledge and support the industry.

Membership costs as little as £2 a month and you can find out how to join – or to buy a gift membership for someone who deserves a treat – here.

How will I know what to drink? Luckily, there will be well informed staff (including more than a few of the brewers themselves) at each of the bars to give you information on each of the beers available.

Should I drink pints?  Some of the beers (depending on strength) may be restricted to half pints and as a rule, it’s probably more enjoyable if you try each beer as half pints, as you’ll be able to sample more of the extensive collection but again it’s entirely up to you.

Is there a dress code? No, thankfully real ale and craft beer enthusiasts are a relaxed and friendly crowd and you’ll find nearly all forms of clothing are welcomed.

Keep up to date with information about the West End Beer Festival by following:

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About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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