Established in 2003, Innis and Gunn is an Edinburgh based brewing company, with its beer being among some of the most popular all around. With beer kitchens in Edinburgh, Dundee and St. Andrew’s, anticipation was high when it was announced Innis and Gunn were going to be taking over 3 floors in the well known Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s West End. I was lucky enough to bag myself an invite to the exclusive press event on Tuesday evening to get a sneak peak of the place before it opened to the public on Friday. Innis and Gunn definitely do things big, I arrived home to a package the week before the event with none other than my very own bottle of beer with the invitation and event details plastered on the bottle. Upon receiving this I could only imagine how thought out and fantastic this event would be.
On Tuesday evening I met my +1, my lovely friend Gillian and we both headed to Glasgow’s West End discussing our thoughts about all things beer, although I myself am not very clued up in the world of beer so this would prove to be a first. We arrived a little early so settled for a cocktail in nearby bar Vodka Wodka to pass the time, and what a good choice that was. After our cocktail starter we headed back across to Innis & Gunn where we were ticked off the guest list and handed 3 tokens each to go all out with a beer, gin, vodka or hoptail. This wonderful place spills over 3 floors starting with the ground floor bar, the restaurant and the attic bar, so we decided to start from the bottom and work our way up, which may not have been the wisest idea if you were having more than a few drinks and had to tackle the stairs.
We started off with a pint of Innis and Gunn original, my very first pint of beer so this marked a milestone moment I’d be sure not to forget. One amazing thing making this place distinct from any other beer kitchen is the fact they brew 3 beers on site, with Ashton Lane Pale Ale, Table Beer and Marshmallow Milk Stout all on offer that very evening. Washed down with their pretty great beer were all the bar bites we had the opportunity to sample, with a member of staff passing by every few minutes with a new board carrying some different tasty treats – you were sure to not leave with an empty stomach. From beer fritters, to KFC (Korean fried cauliflower), massaman curry, sausage rolls, and a rather peculiar haggis donuts, Innis and Gunn not only offer great beer but great food too. The haggis donuts were strangely wonderful, one I didn’t think would work with its sugary outside and rather meaty inside but somehow they pulled it off, although I don’t think this dish would be up everyone’s street.
We took the set of stairs to the restaurant and grabbed ourselves a table by the window with some lovely views of Ashton Lane and the pretty fairy lights draped over this narrow little cobbled street. We strayed from the beer this time and went for an Arbikie Kirsty’s gin, a wonderful smooth floral gin whilst we watched the flow of people come and go, and listened to the distinct noise of chatter over the DJ, the place was buzzing and everyone was having a rare old time. Finally, all we were left to experience was the attic bar, and we had certainly saved the best till last. Cosier and less lit than the other two floors, we snuck into a table right in one of the corners and got ourselves a bottle of Innis and Gunn Original. This beer consisted of toffee, vanilla and oak flavours, so for an inexperienced beer drinker like myself this was a good one to settle for, and one that I highly recommend.
So, what did I think about this well anticipated beer kitchen? Impressed is the first word that comes to mind, and trendy is the next. From the brewing section on the ground floor, the lovely views of Ashton Lane from the restaurant, and the cosy little attic bar hideaway – this place has it all and I don’t doubt it will be a huge success in Glasgow’s West End. I’m looking forward to returning sometime soon for a bite to eat and to get my hands on a pint of the highly talked about Marshmallow Milk Stout, but for now check out their website here.