Friday, 23 December 2011

Following The Beer Star To Bruadar


And lo, it appeared in the West, a new beer star; it's brightness burning boldly as a beacon of beervana that offered hope to the hopless, salvation to the stoutless, keg to the converted and some free mini burgers if you were lucky enough to get there early.

Walking down Byres Road, towards Partick Cross, it's hard not to be drawn like a beer moth to an incandescent ale flame of a neon sign that proclaims, 'Cold Beer, Warm Heart' and marks the arrival of Bruadar Bar to the West End of Glasgow.

Fuller Thomson, the people that own Holyrood 9a and The Red Squirrel in Edinburgh as well as Drouthy Neebors in Dundee, have travelled west like modern day Wise Men acquiring, as they go, a 5 year lease on the former site of The Millhouse. You'll know where it is but probably didn't go in when it was the Millhouse as it was a fairly unexceptional place serving dull food and generic beer.

Bruadar Bar aims to be different to what's been before. It has beer. Lots of beer but more about that later. It also sells food with burgers making up most of the menu. A choice of twenty meatily thick 'gourmet' burgers served with thin and elegant crispy shoestring fries that are perfect for picking up and dunking into a dollop of ketchup. Most of them for less than eight quid, which is pretty good value in my book.

Not much has changed in terms of interior from it's previous incarnation save for a fresh lick of paint and the arrival of long tables that produce a conviviality among it's customers that is contagious. The tables, like the food, are made for sharing. The biggest change, however, is the removal of the beer fonts and handpulls from the bar and their relocation to a stainless steel panel attached to the bar's back wall similar to what the Euston Tap has. There are 20 taps serving the most diverse range of keg and cask beers currently available in Glasgow.

To the right hand side of the till sit ten taps that offer a mainstream choice of continental (Staropramen, Peroni, Stella) and home grown (Tennent's, Belhaven and West). The left hand side of the till sit the 10 pumps that showcase the 'cool' beer selection that the hip hopsters crave.

As a statement of Bruadar's beery intent to be at the forefront of a resurgent interest in good beer, opening night was notable for the number of beer 'firsts' that took place.

The first time Lovibonds beers available in Scotland

The first pub appearance north of the border for Magic Rock's excellent beers.

The Glasgow premiere of William's Brothers' Profanity Stout

Keg and cask Tempest beers side by side in a Glasgow debut

Black Isle beginning to make it's presence felt on the west coast.


These weren't mere beer baubles or tannenbaum trinkets brought out for the opening, to tease, entice and attract as headline grabbers only to disappear once the fuss has died down but a window into Bruadar's beer future. They aim to continue as they have started; by offering Glasgow and west coast drinkers a place where some of the best beers from Britain, Belgium and beyond are regularly available. I've seen what's in the cellar and, in terms of breadth of choice and quality of beers, Bruadar will take a lot of beating.

As you would expect from any opening night, there were a few minor hiccups - temperamental tills and bar staff unsure of some of the prices but these are issues that will resolve themselves with experience and some staff training.

I was taken by Bruadar. I liked the choice that Bruadar offers drinkers that want to try different tastes, flavours and styles of beer.

I liked and appreciate the thought that has gone into this pub, particularly the beer range.

I also liked the fact that Bruadar proves that cask and keg beer can co-exist side by side without the beer world imploding. Who would have thunk it?

The arrival of Bruadar means that the west end's quest for Glasgow beer domination moves a step closer. The corner that Bruadar inhabits is also home to one of the best real ale pubs in Glasgow, the Three Judges. BrewDog and the Bon Accord are not far away, either. That, has the makings of a rather fun mini pub crawl.

I've been in Bruadar a couple of times since the opening and it hasn't let me down. I've had a couple of great pints of Tempest's Into the Light and the Lovibonds 69 IPA has impressed me greatly.

On the showing so far, Bruadar's beer light will continue to burn bright for some time to come.



  1. I'd just like to point out that this "Euston Tap" phenomenon has been a mainstay of beer bars in the good old U. S. of A. for many a year.

  2. good point Adrian

  3. Well written article, sir. I'd like to visit Glasgow sometime in the next few years. When I do, I think I'll pay this place a visit.

  4. @Adrian

    yeah, I agree. That method of dispense is pretty much as standard in U.S. craft beer bars.


    Thank you very much.

    You should try and make the trip. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have some nice places to have a beer or two.

  5. Very impressed, when I visited on Friday. That said, it would have been useful if they displayed price of guest beers on the board.

  6. @anon I think that is being taken care of along with tasting notes for the cask and keg beers

  7. I wouldnt even call the taps an American "Craft Beer" staple. They always look like the row of a hundred or so taps that the Yardhouse bars have. I hope your eyesight is better than mine to see them. I had trouble.
    Also i worry about the location . It is a bad sign to me when you look on google street view and it is not the previous tennant shown but the one before that. The turnover is high , even with Glasgows good and great trying to make a go of it there.
    Damn fine beer though. The Tempest Red Eye was fantastic better than the 15 quid bottle we tried.

  8. i wouldn't rush back. i was a regular in the millhouse but went yesterday for 1st time since re launch. for a place that only really sells burgers i gotta say they aren't even very good, and that goes for the beef & chicken burgers. 1st they brought us the wrong burger then we had something floating in one of our drinks. poor show folks.