My recent trip to Scotland was a bit of a weird one. You see, I was heading up to Aberdeen to finally meet up with one of my favourite travel couple bloggers, the wonderful Justin Plus Lauren. Now, you can fly directly to Aberdeen but it was less than half of the price for me to fly to Glasgow and take the train to Aberdeen, so that’s what I did.
Not wanting to skip out Glasgow completely as I’d never been before, I decided to give myself half a day to enjoy some of the delights of Glasgow before heading up to Aberdeen the next day.
Apart from BrewDog which is sold all over the UK, I had never had Scottish beer and I knew that needed to change. As luck would have it, Tennent’s lager, the most popular beer in Scotland, is brewed in Glasgow. I couldn’t miss out on this chance to take a tour around their brewery.
Tennent’s Lager was first produced by Hugh Tennent back in 1885 when Hugh discovered pilsner style beer in Bavaria. Since then, Tennent’s has long been established as Scotland’s best selling beer. Brewed to meticulously high standards, Tennent’s Lager contains only Scottish barley and the freshest water from nearby Loch Katrine. With its clean taste and refreshing crisp finish, it’s easy to see why it is so popular with the locals.
Tennent’s have been making beer for over 450 years now, so it’s safe to say they know their beer. They combine their passion for beer and centuries of brewing knowledge with the latest technology which is what keeps their customers coming back for more.
Proud of their Scottish Heritage and long standing supporters of Scottish sports, Tennent’s are the supporters behind Scottish Rugby. This is why the Scottish league is currently known as The Tennent’s Premiership.
Located to the east of Glasgow, Wellpark Brewery is just a short walk from the city centre and is easy to reach on foot or by car.
Originally known as the Drygate Brewery, Wellpark Brewery was founded in 1740 by Hugh and Robert Tennent. It is now owned by the C&C Group plc who bought the Tennent Caledonian Breweries in August 2009.
As well as brewing beer for Tennent’s and a few other companies, Wellpark Brewery is also home to the Tennent’s Training Academy. Dedicated to Hospitality Industry based training, they offer many different types of courses. If you also wanted to take a cooking class as well as a brewery tour, they could easily be scheduled in the same day since they are both at the Wellpark Brewery.
Tennent’s Brewery Tour
If you’re curious about how this award winning beer is brewed, you’ll definitely want to sign up to one of the Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery tours.
The Tour starts at the Tennent’s Story Heritage Centre. It’s worth coming a little before the start time so you can take a little look around first. You’ll get to see artefacts gathered from the first days of brewing as well as examples of old advertising campaigns and even some of the old can designs.
Once the tour is ready to begin, your expert tour guide will call you up the stairs for the introduction. This is also where you’ll received your sexy high visibility jacket and hair net. Yes I’m afraid since you will be walking around an active brewery, some areas will require a hair net.
Tip: If you don’t want to wear the hair net, you can purchase a Tennent hat instead. Or you can simply come with your own hat.
During the tour you’ll get a chance to walk around the brewery while learning about the origins, the production process and Tennent’s place in Scottish culture. For a beer lover, it’s a really fascinating tour.
During the tour, our lovely guide explained what is probably the best job in the world. He told us all about the beer tasters. These flavour experts get paid to taste samples of the batches of beer to ensure quality is maintained in every drop of Tennent’s lager. While it’s not an easy skill to learn, you can bet I’ll be applying for the job if I’m ever good enough!
I found it so interesting being shown around the brewery, learning more about the beer brewing process. Our guide made the tour fun and interesting and I think we all enjoyed it a lot.
Ending with a Reward
Here’s a fun fact for you, during the tour you’ll walk off more calories than is in one pint of Tennent’s lager. So to make up for this work out you didn’t ask for, the lovely people at Wellpark Brewery will reward each person with a pint of Tennent’s lager. Ok, the under 18 year olds probably won’t get this but all the adults do.
I had actually never tasted a drop of Tennent’s lager before this tour so I was excited by this point. Throughout the tour we had been learning about how great the beer was, so I was eager to see why this was Scotland’s number 1 selling beer.
After the tour ends everyone is taken up to the bar. Here I was eagerly awaiting my first pint of Tennent’s lager. When it was served to me I took a moment to appreciate that I was finally getting to sample the beer I had spent the last hour heading about. A beer, I’ll admit, I had never heard of before reaching Glasgow. I know, I know!
I’ve always tried at least one version of a company’s beer before taking a brewery tour. This may sound a little silly but having never tried it beforehand, the first sip had unintentionally had quite a big build up. So when I took that first sip and the beer was delicious as advertised I was a very happy girl!
Tennent’s Beer Tasting
I didn’t realise this when I booked up the brewery tour online but you can also add a beer tasting to the end of the tour. After all the pints of Tennent’s lager have been served up and everyone’s had a chance to sit down and rest for a moment, those who paid for the tasting will get called up to the bar.
Having not realised this was an option, I was gutted to be missing out on the beer tasting. Since Tennent’s was new to me, I would have loved this chance to try out a few more of their beers. I was sat quite close to the bar so I was trying to listen in on what was being said while I enjoyed my pint of Tennent’s lager.
After I had finished my pint, I returned my empty glass to the bar and got chatting to a father and son who had just done the tasting. I explained to them that I hadn’t realised this was an option while they teased me about the beers they had just tried. The barman overheard this and informed me that I could still buy the tasting without having pre-booked it.
A huge smile appeared on my face and I happily gave him the £5 in exchange for the beer samples. The samples by the way were generous so you definitely get value for your money. The beer tasting started with the Tennent’s IPA and then next moved on to their whiskey beer, where the hops are infused in whiskey. I’m not really a fan of whiskey but I actually did enjoy the combination. Last up was the Tennent’s stout which was easily my favourite.
After The Tour
Once the tour is over, you’re free to take your time in the bar to enjoy your free pint. you can also order more drinks at the bar although these will need to be paid for. Of course, you can also head around the corner to Drygate Brewing Co. to try some more Scottish beer. They also offer food if you are looking for somewhere to get dinner nearby.
After the tour is complete, the way out is back through the Tennent’s Heritage Centre. This means that if you didn’t get a chance to look before the tour, you can do so afterwards. There is also a shop if you want to get some Tennent merchandise as a souvenir.
- Address: 161 Duke Street, Glasgow, G31 1JD
- Tel No: 0141 202 7145
- Tours around Wellpark Brewery are available daily
- Time slots are throughout the day with the first tour starting at 11am and the last tour finishing at 6:30pm
- Price of the tour is £12.50 for adults and £9 for OAPs, Students & under 18s
- Family of 4 tickets are available for £30 (2 adults & 2 children)
- Tours last around 1 hour and 15 minutes
- It’s best to book online in advance to avoid disappointment
- Hair nets will need to be worn in certain areas or Tennent hats can be purchased on the day
- There is quite a lot of walking involved so make sure to wear comfortable shoes
- Open-toed shoes, sandals or flip flops are not permitted
- Minimum age for tours is 12 and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
- There are 100 steps during the tour so if you or anyone in your party requires wheelchair access please call to make your booking
- All Tennent’s beers are vegan friendly
* All information correct as of May 2022
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