Shilling Brewing Co
Our Beer Man’s Verdict
Shortly after the recent opening of the terrific Hippo Taproom – in which I said Glasgow lags behind Edinburgh when it comes to great places selling great beer – there is now another new beer-focused venture in the West.
The Shilling Brewing Co is slap-bang in the centre of Glasgow in a grand old bank just a short walk from Queen Street station.
It’s really impressive. You would never call it under-stated or relaxed – but it certainly makes quite an arresting first impression.
It’s huge. High ceilings. Massive windows which let sunshine stream in on the baking hot day I visited. The loos are even housed in old bank vaults – which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “spending a penny.”
While the bar has 13 draught beers – including some brewed in-house – and a range of bottles, it strangely feels more geared to eating than drinking. It all feels a bit stiff and starchy.
But the shiny brewing equipment prominently on show behind the bar underlines that Shilling aims to be all about beer.
There are five of their own draught beers available on my visit and the focus of the others is distinctly Scottish: Alechemy, Drygate, Williams and Tennent’s. The increasingly ubiquitous – and pish – Heverlee lager is also there, along with a pleasing left-field option in the tasty but challenging Kettle Sour from Norway-based Lervig in collaboration with Leeds’ legendary North Bar.
Staff are friendly enough, although the whole atmosphere – albeit on a weekday late afternoon – is a wee bit flat.
I start with the Timatanga (£3.90 a pint, like all house draught) and it’s a pleasant enough light and hoppy pale ale – although the combination of scorching weather and cask beer means it’s warm and sticky.
The German Suplex is a refreshing kolsch lager, and the Unicorn is a solid if unspectacular British IPA.
After that, it’s a short walk to the train. Shilling Brewing Co is a decent option for a quick pint or two in an excellent central location. The beer won’t knock your socks off – although the décor is impressive – and it’s probably not a place to linger all night, but it’s worth a visit. The food – mainly pizza baked in an eye-catching cupola oven – looks tasty too.
I suspect it’ll struggle to attract serious Glasgow beer lovers away from other city venues like Drygate, Six North or Hippo, but I think they are aiming for a different crowd.
Address: 92 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1PJ