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Plans afoot for Glasgow urban craft brewery

A planning application has been lodged to bring an urban craft brewery to a historic brewing site in Glasgow East End.

The Williams Bros. Brewing Company has chosen Glasgow’s historic Drygate – in the shadow of Glasgow Cathedral – to establish the Drygate Brewing Company. The site, adjacent to the Wellpark brewery – which previously housed a box factory – is owned by C&C Group.

The new venture is a collaboration between Williams Bros. Brewing Co. and C&C Group and will look to develop a centre of brewing excellence as well as a destination for tourists and craft beer aficionados.

The development is a response to the unprecedented growth of craft beer in recent years. Craft beer, which is brewed by relatively small commercial breweries using traditional methods and an emphasis on flavour and quality, has grown by over 40% in the Scottish off trade in the last two years.

Plans for the Drygate Brewing Company development include a visitor centre; restaurant, function suite, and beer garden; and a Brewing Centre of Excellence – at which home-brewers, student brewers and other microbrewers can develop recipes, brewing techniques and share their knowledge and passion for craft beers.

Scott Williams, co-owner of Williams Bros. Brewing Company and MD of Drygate Brewing Company, says: “The interest in craft brewing, both domestically and worldwide, is growing fast, as we know from our own experience, and we are confident that as a city-based microbrewery, the Drygate Brewing Company will be a big success.

“Glasgow’s Drygate is close to many of the city’s tourist hotspots, including Glasgow Cathedral, the Provand’s Lordship, the St Mungo Museum and the High Street area, and is five minutes’ walk from the city centre; it is the perfect location for what we have planned. We think this will be a major regeneration of the Duke Street area.

“The Drygate Brewing Company will be a celebration of craft beer, of brewing excellence and, most importantly, of great tasting beer.

“We are grateful to C&C Group for their support in this exciting new venture, which sees them continue to invest in businesses connected to the licensed trade in Scotland. This new development will also be complementary to the successful Tennent’s Training Academy.

“We’re genuinely excited by the possibilities Drygate Brewing Company offers and can’t wait to brew our first beer and to open the doors to all visitors in spring 2014.”

Williams Bros. Brewing Co. was established in 1988 by brothers Scott and Bruce Williams and, since 2004, has been brewing craft beers at the Forth Brewery in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. The brewery exports to over 25 countries with Russia, Scandinavia and North America all considered key territories.

C&C Group plc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded cider and beer including Magners, the premium international cider brand, the Gaymer Cider Company range of branded and private label ciders and the Tennent's beer brand. C&C Group also owns Woodchuck and Hornsby’s, two of the leading craft cider brands in the United States. The Group also distributes a number of beer brands in the Scottish, Irish and Northern Irish markets, primarily for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Pictured: An artist's interpretation of how the new urban brewery may look

25 October 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor