Glasgow Beer Garden Guide
Looking for a beer garden in Glasgow for some taps aff cold beer in the sunshine? Here are a few places we'd recommend
As the sun peeks through the clouds and we begin to remember that maybe there is a time of year when the temperatures climb to the double figures, so our thoughts turn inevitably to drinking outdoors. As it's illegal to drink on the streets or in the park in Glasgow, you're going to need a beer garden to enjoy a cold beverage in the sunshine. Here are some of our favourite spots.
Beer Gardens in the East End
A brief survey of Glaswegians revealed that West Brewery (Building 4, Templeton Building) is far and away the favoured outdoor drinking spot for those in the know. It serves St Mungo’s, brewed on site and a lager so pure it is alleged to offer a hangover-free drinking experience. West is located in the old Templeton Carpet Factory on Glasgow Green, a picturesque spot steeped in genuine Weegie history.
Also in this neck of the woods is Drygate (85 Drygate), with an on-site brewery and a nice little terrace upon which to try the beers from said brewery. The Winged Ox bar at Saint Luke's (17 Bain St) is another good shout, with an enclosed strip of beer garden down the side of the building ideal for a chilled pre-gig pint if you're off to the Barrowlands (or to the gig room next door).
Barras Art and Design centre, or BAaD (54 Calton Entry) to its buddies, also has a bumper outdoor spot in the form of Backyard. It's made of shipping containers. It has multiple bars, and a whole load of chairs.
Beer Gardens in the City Centre
Over in the Merchant City, Babbity Bowster (16-18 Blackfriars St) provides both good beer garden and delicious food, if you’re feeling a bit flush. Down the road, Sloan’s (69 Argyle Arcade) has lots of picnic tables in a central (off Buchanan St) location, but not so much sun. The Social (27 Royal Exchange Square) has extensive seating out front, providing a good vantage point for people watching afternoon shoppers and staggering hen dos.
Heading west, Slouch (203-205 Bath St) is a stalwart of the Glasgow beer garden scene. The Saramago Café Bar at CCA (350 Sauchiehall St) has seats outside, good for students slacking off from GSA, or those who like to people-watch these weird and wonderful creatures.
At Charing Cross, Chinaski’s (239 North St) outdoor bit is small and sophisticated, better for quiet drinks or a date than a session with a big group. It’s not great for sun, but there’s good food, good drinks and it's quiet.
The West End is really where it’s at when it comes to outdoor boozing. Inn Deep (445 Great Western Rd) overlooks the river Kelvin with sunny seating spilling onto the busy walkway. Big Slope’s (39a Kelvingrove St) newly refurbished beer garden is compact and just below street level on the sunny side of the street, and comes complete with hanging baskets and picnic benches.
Ashton Lane boasts a number of decent outdoor-drinking locations. There’s Brel, famed for its mussels and fine beer selection, which has a grassy bit out back that catches the sun. It’s a popular choice so best start drinking early in order to secure a seat. Vodka Wodka and Jinty McGinty’s also have outdoor areas, while Glasgow institution The Ubiquitous Chip has a pleasant if compact rooftop terrace.
With its leafy courtyard, summer barbeques, quality bar food and extensive drinks list, converted church Cottiers (93 Hyndland St) is a favourite with media-ish Hyndlanders and students alike. The Rock (205 Hyndland Rd) has long been a first choice for sunshine pints, although the proximity of a busy road can ruin the atmosphere somewhat.
Although locals will tell you that "most drinking is done in parks in the Southside," there are still a number of popular haunts offering outdoor drinking on licensed premises. Microbrewery Clockwork Beer Company (1153-1155 Cathcart Rd) offer craft beer and pub food in their sheltered beer garden, which has even won awards for its floral displays.
Up the hill at Battlefield you will find Church on the Hill (16 Algie Street), the descriptively named bar and restaurant which looks very much as you would expect and faces onto Queens Park. Their beer garden shows sports, and the premises are child friendly until 10pm. Much-loved Queens Park bar Rum Shack (657-659 Pollokshaws Rd) also has a beer garden complete with strings of fairy lights and the pragmatic inclusion of heaters facilitating outdoor rum drinking come sunshine or Baltic winds, and everything in between.
Additional research by Lewis Macdonald (and posse), Sophie Kyle, Liam O'Brien and Jamie Dunn
Please drink responsibly!