Our Beer Man’s VerdictA spare couple of hours in Glasgow gave me an opportunity to finally pay a long overdue visit to one of the city’s most celebrated beer outposts.
Although the Laurieston is a short stroll over the Clyde from the heart of Glasgow, it would be fair to say it isn’t in the most glamorous location – the gentrification which has revitalised some parts of the city clearly hasn’t reached Tradeston yet.
The pub itself is a squat little building on the corner, nestled under the shadow of a bridge.
From the outside, it looks as though it hasn’t changed a bit since the 1960s – and the inside is the same. There’s a lovely old traditional oval wooden bar which dominates, even extending into the lounge next door.
There are fixed tables with bright red formica around the edge of the room, the TV is showing the racing and a heated glass cabinet offers a tempting assortment of baked goods.
Draught kegs on offer includes McEwans, Theakstons, Guinness, Amstel and John Smiths, and there are bottles of Deuchars and Furstenberg available. However, what makes this old pub such a favourite with beer lovers are the three permanent cask taps from Argyle’s fantastic Fyne.
The welcome is as warm and genuine as you’d hope. I’m promptly served by the friendly barmaid and opt for the wonderfully refreshing Jarl to start – although, unfortunately, it goes off with two-thirds of my pint poured so I opt for From The Ashes (£3.10) instead.
It comes served in a handsome large Fyne-branded stemmed glass – chilled, I think – and is pleasantly sweet with a bitter, almost wine-like edge. I’m also given the Jarl as a freebie rather than it going down the sink and, although it’s cloudier than usual, it’s a nice touch of customer care.
The malty Highlander was also on but, having missed out on the Jarl, I opted for the Avalanche (£3.20) instead. Billed as “well-hopped”, it could have been hoppier for my taste – but it was light, drinkable and really hit the spot.
Don’t be put off by the walk from the centre of town – or the lack of glamour in the surrounding area. The Laurieston is one of Scotland’s true heritage pubs – it’s been used for filming period dramas – and is great to visit for a step back into the past.
And that isn’t meant to be condescending, this feels like what you imagine pubs used to be like and too few pubs actually are: friendly staff serving great, reasonably-priced beer in lovely surroundings.