Enjoy a wee beer session on 18th and 19th of August in Glasgow.
While we obviously love drinking beer, we sometimes like to talk about beer too. There are a few exciting things taking place on Pollokshaws Road these days, and if you are free on the 18th and 19th of August, there’s a chance to check out a new venture in the Glasgow beer scene.
The Wee Beer Shop is heading to the southside very soon but there’s a taster event coming up that will wet your whistle and whet your appetite for the store’s full launch. This is all we needed to hear to get interested, so we caught up with Niall Kennedy about the venture and what we can expect from the shop and the taster event.
You can check out the Wee Beer Shop on Facebook and if you are looking for more information about the Wee Beer Session taking place on 18th and 19th of August, check out the Wee Beer Session on Facebook. The Wee Beer Shop can be found at 623 Pollokshaws Road.
We all like a wee beer, so tell us about the Wee Beer Shop?
Why wee? Well, the shop, physically, is small. And many of the breweries we want to support are, well, small.
The shop will specialise in selling takeaway beer made by independent breweries. We’ll be selling in cans and bottles and will also have a regularly changing range of interesting and fresh draft beer which customers can take away and enjoy at home.
We will also offer a small selection of small batch spirits, and hopefully draft wine.
Any particular reason you are opening in this area of the city?
I’m local to the Southside, just a couple of miles down the road from Wee Beer Shop. I moved two years ago and felt that there was a lack of beer shops that sold me the interesting beers that I had become used to in the West End. At that stage Strathbungo hadn’t become ‘the successor to Finnieston’. There were some good solid pubs, restaurants and shops and it was a favourite area for a night out, full of good people – it felt like a good place to be. Since then it’s become a destination and some great new businesses have opened but it still feels local which Finnieston lost. I’m looking forward to taking my place.
Why should someone who has never tried craft beer before check you out?
The sheer range of beers around can be daunting. Everyone has been at that place where they’re not sure what new beers to try. What I want to offer is a place that people can be comfortable browsing and asking for advice, and be happy that everything there can be relied on to be good quality.
Like Guinness? We’ll have some great stouts and porters that I reckon are much tastier than the old favourite. Usually drink lager but fancy something different? We’d be able to suggest some golden or pale ales that you might enjoy.
We’ll be offering a small range of draft beers to take away and drink at home and I’m happy to let customers have a small sample to help them decide.
I’m also investigating whether I can offer draft wine. If we can cut out the need for packaging it should be cheaper and better for the environment too.
Have you had much feedback or interaction from existing Scottish brewers? If so, how has that been?
I really want to be able to showcase the best of local independent breweries, and spirits makers too. I’m a firm believer in supporting your local community, whether that’s Strathbungo and Shawlands, the Southside, Glasgow or Scotland. Everyone I have spoken to has been supportive, but to be honest, I’m offering them a potential new outlet for their produce so why wouldn’t they be? Nobody has been discouraging.
Will it just be Scottish produce or are you hoping to offer beers from the world?
It certainly won’t just be Scottish beers. I’m a huge fan of American beer. They’ve come a long way from the days when you could have either Bud, Miller or Coors. Some of my favourite beer is from England, breweries like Cloudwater, Verdant and Northern Monk. Germany and Belgium of course have been brewing tasty beers for ages and ages. I’m becoming aware of new beers to consider for the shop on a daily basis from all over the world.
You’ll also be venturing into spirits – any local companies you recommend or are looking forward to providing to your customers?
YEAH! Gin production in Scotland has taken off – I’ve lost count of the number of distilleries. I’m particularly pleased to be stocking McLean’s Gin, who are based in Battlefield, just ten minutes from the shop. They have exciting plans to offer a bespoke gin service where you can buy a single bottle flavoured with botanicals of your choice.
Gin and Mix is a new product which I’m pleased to be promoting too. It’s a ready to drink pre-mixed gin and mixer in a bottle.
A little bit further afield, in Partick, is Wester Spirits, who have just launched one of Scotland’s first spiced rums.
There are plenty of examples of great Scottish spirits that are starting out on their journey and Wee Beer Shop wants to support them as much as possible.
One of your neighbours will be Koelschip Yard. They’ve said they won’t be serving pints, only half pints and two third measures. Any thoughts on that?
The Koelschip Yard concept is a new one for the area. A whole bar dedicated to interesting, and often pretty strong, beer. If the people that frequent the bar are like me they’ll want to try as many different ones as they can, and if they were to do that pint by pint, well it would be pretty messy. A half is enough to taste a beer and then try something else. Personally I’d like to have seen them reserve the right to sell some beers in pints, but they have a couple of successful bars in Edinburgh using the no pints approach, so they’ll know what they are doing. My main concern is that schooners aren’t sold at pint prices and they have said they won’t do that.
What can we expect from the Wee Beer Session?
I like to think of Wee Beer Session as the party that you throw BEFORE you move into a new house. It’s a chance for my new neighbours to meet me and let me explain the concept of the shop (which I hope will open in October) and let them taste some beers that they might not have tried. We’ll be pouring some gin and rum from McLeans, pop along, try some beers, gins or rum. It’ll be basic and cosy. We’ll sell pints and half pints (of beer).
If we can put you on the spot, what’s your top 3 or 5 beers?
Honestly? That’s like asking what my favourite albums are. That kind of thing changes all the time, particularly as I discover new beer and music.
Some current favourites? I’ve made them all local. Yojo is a fruity and sour beer gose from Up Front Brewing (available at Wee Beer Session), Hazy Jane in a murky, juicy, Vermont style IPA by Brewdog, and Big Raspberry Dog Chew is a fruity milk stout by Fallen which is a ‘last beer of the night’ because it is STRONG.
Ask me again next week? I’ll have changed my mind.
Oh, and to save you asking, this week it’s Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis, Come on Die Young by Mogwai and Surfer Rosa by Pixies.
You can check out the Wee Beer Shop on Facebook and if you are looking for more information about the Wee Beer Session taking place on 18th and 19th of August, check out the Wee Beer Session on Facebook.