Our Beer Man’s Verdict
An early finish to a meeting and a later pre-booked train ticket home recently offered an excellent opportunity to see what beer delights the Stirlingshire town of Bridge of Allan had to offer.
Initially, it didn’t appear too promising – but a quick Google threw up the intriguing prospect of a brewpub.
Down a lane and tucked away apologetically under some flats, the Allanwater Brewhouse is not bonny from the outside.
But I thought it was a delightful little gem. It’s a pleasingly eccentric place: dark and dusty, with bags of character.
There are nooks and crannies and mismatched furniture. There are shelves of bottles to buy – as well as shelves of bottles emptied in years gone by, gathering dust above the low, home-made serving area fashioned from old barrels.
As far as I could tell, they only sell their own beer – produced on the rickety old brewkit through the back. The beer offering is dominated by cask, with a couple on keg. I debated what to have when the friendly barman offered me the option of a tasting board for £7.95.
That sounded good to me, so I took the plunge. Many bars now offer this option and it can be a good – and usually cost-effective – way to sample a few beers.
But this board was unlike most: offering an outstanding value eight beers presented on a long plank.
The beers – brewed under the Tinpot name – were all solid and familiar takes on traditional styles, including lager, stout and heavy. The Procrastination IPA, the Marmalade Pot and Earl Grey Teapot – all self-explanatory – were the pick of the bunch.
The barman – perhaps sensing eight beers wasn’t quite enough for a quick afternoon session – even added to my board with a free tasting of the 80, which has just come on.
The beer at the Allanwater Brewhouse is all solid enough.
However, the ambience of this odd old place elevates the whole experience into something quite unique – I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the vicinity.
Address: Queens Lane, Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire FK9 4HP