Beer Gardens in Glasgow

  • The Midgie
  • 1 June 2009
West

Al fresco

Summer is all about the great outdoors, so there’s nothing sweeter than enjoying a pint in the sunshine. Here’s our guide to the best beer gardens in Glasgow.

Brel

Sited just off the West End’s charming Ashton Lane and within textbook-throwing distance of Glasgow University, the sloped back garden of the Belgian-themed Brel is a popular choice when the sun is shining. Its location means that the regular crowd is a vibrant mix of youngsters and bohemian types. And if dark clouds appear, then there’s plenty on offer inside. Food is served in the bar, and there are live jazz events at the weekend - as well as semi-regular acoustic music nights.
39–43 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, 0141 342 4966, www.brelbarrestaurant.com

West

Located in the Templeton Building, West has become an institution of Glasgow’s, err, East End. Primarily an independent brewery which creates a range of German and European-influenced beers according to the Reinheitsgebot purity law, West also provides a considered menu of pub food staples with a similarly Teutonic slant, including sausages and sauerkraut. All of the above can be enjoyed outside on the trestle-tabled seating area, with fine views of one of Glasgow’s most popular parks.
4 Binnie Place, Glasgow (H6), 0141 550 0135, www.westbeer.com

Chinaski’s

Named in homage to American poet Charles Bukowski, Chinaski’s is the kind of bar that doesn’t make a fuss, allowing the dedicated barfly to hunt it down instead. The plain front overlooking the M8 motorway doesn’t seem like much, but the contrast with the enclosed private beer garden at the back makes Chinaski’s into even more of a hideaway. Smoking is permitted outside in the heated ‘cigar gardens’ and an impressive 70 bourbons are available. Bukowski would surely approve.
239 North Street, Glasgow (D3), 0141 221 0061, www.chinaskis.com

Big Slope

Although this slightly out of the way West End basement bar’s small courtyard garden is a pleasant suntrap for most of the day, it’s the little extra touches which win it bonus points. Most of all, the general après ski theme (complete with antlers on the wall and roaring log fire when winter comes around) might even be able to help you imagine you’ve just walked off the piste on a sunny day. While no fondue or raclette is served, a menu which still goes above and beyond the call of regular pub food is popular and does the job perfectly.
36a Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow (B2), 0141 333 0869.

A Brel
39–43 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SG
Boasting a bar, intimate conservatory and expansive beer garden, this Ashton Lane institution serves 60 world beers and a menu of mussels, fondue and burgers.
B Big Slope
36a Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow, G3 7SA
C Chinaski's
239 North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DL
With dim lighting that makes everyone look good, this East Village-style speakeasy does good food and a bourbon range that’d make Bukowski proud.

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