When we were getting ready to leave Edinburgh this year the coaches were Sold Out, and of course the train fares were either gone or hundreds of pounds. So we decided to seize the opportunity to travel the hour west to Glasgow, and check out a second Scottish city.
Given our general position in life as artists, we got ourselves booked into literally one of the cheapest hotels in town! As is my wont, I made sure they had some free breakfast, of course! Usually we luck out, and this time was no different, the room was cozy, food a nice variety, and only a 5 minute walk from one of the coolest streets in town!
We had two nights to kill whilst waiting for our sleeper coach, so we did the obvious – the Necropolis. Along our way we noticed that the megalithic Tennent’s brewery is housed in this city, and we decide to check it out.
But of course, we wander in on a day when there are no tours. Luckily, the lovely Linda let us into the brand room to have a look around. And then she cracked us a nice Tennent’s, on the house.
Suddenly the receptionist brings a man into the room – and Linda is called away, while we enjoy our fresh lagers. We’re chatting away, when suddenly the man speaks to us from across the room! “Hey, don’t I know you guys?”
Turned out, this fellow, John Martin, a beer historian, had seen our show in Edinburgh! What a small world! We enjoyed an amazing chat, he gave us a book, The Journal of the Scottish Brewing Archive Association, and then he persuaded our host to give us a private tour of the grounds. Fantastic!
So we were treated to lunch in the staff room (I had a corned beef sandwich!), and then a very in depth tour. Now, we have been to quite a few breweries, but this time we got to get intimate – even getting into the lab to see the actual Tennent’s yeast, and into the control room! This was the First really big brewery we’d ever seen. With less than a hundred employees, this was truly impressive, with a fantastically friendly staff who had been with the company for ages.
After our fabulous tour, we stopped off at the pub across the street for a follow up beer. The Ladywell is a traditional local with a garden out the back, and was in full swing with karaoke on this late afternoon. A swing dance later we left the place to jump in a cab (only to get swindled by a cabbie taking us for tourists – always demand they start the meter!!!). And so begins pub crawl one.
Oh – and don’t worry – we did make it to the Necropolis!