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And just like that, it was time to head home again… After a bit of trouble getting my bag packed—adding a couple of T-shirts, a jumper, some whisky and beer glasses, and quite a few cans of beer will have that effect—I had my last breakfast and a coffee at the DogHouse, and I checked out.
I was in the station quite early, so I hung out in the LNER lounge for a bit, until the Azuma to London was ready to board.
In London, I had a couple of hours to kill, which I spent at BrewDog Camden, conveniently close to both King’s Cross and St Pancras International station. But eventually it was time to board the Eurostar, with which my FyneFest trip has come to an end…
After a very good night in the DogHouse—just a tiny bit more comfortable and warm than the yurt—it was time for some waffles and chicken, to get ready for a full day in Edinburgh, starting with a coffee at The Milkman.
The National Museum of Scotland is always a pleasure to visit, even after having seen all the permanent exhibitions. An interesting free temporary exhibition this time was about The Typewriter Revolution, which I then visited, before enjoying the views from the rooftop terrace.
Then it was about beer o’clock again, starting at where it all started for me, BrewDog Cowgate, followed by a place new to me, the Salt Horse. In between I simply had to grab a tattie dog at The Piemaker, because, why not? To change things up a bit, I also had a wee dram at the Bow Bar, where I had a nice chat with some other patrons, who recognised me from FyneFest.
Another place I won’t skip whenever I’m in Edinburgh, is Wings. This time, I tried the Deep Spice Nine rub, and The Genghis Khan, Pyong Damn, and Schticky Wingsh sauces. Again very tasty, but apparently hotness level three is still quite mild for me, so the next time I’ll have to make sure I pick some of level four and higher!
After dinner I had a couple of bar stools booked in The Wee Vault, Vault City’s taproom. Since the place has more taps than seats, a booking was very much recommended! Enjoyed some great pastry sours there, and couldn’t resist the temptation to buy a glass. So add that to the FyneFest festival pint glass, and the whisky glasses received after the distillery tour…
While in the area, I also visited Monty’s—quite a classic bar, but with some great beers, even on cask—and BrewDog Lothian Road. To finish the evening—and basically my visit of Edinburgh—I had a couple of beers in the DogHouse Edinburgh, since it was basically already closed when I arrived late the night before.
After a last bacon and egg roll, it was time to say goodbye to the glen and the coos, and to get on the bus back to Glasgow.
After a pancake brunch at the Stack & Still, and staying at BrewDog Kelvingrove for a couple of hours, for some last beers at one of my favourite bars in Glasgow, and to get the festival blog updates online, I slowly made my way south.
The first stop was at Ride Brewing Co., which didn’t actually have their taproom open, but the brewer was happy to sell me some cold cans. Second stop was of course at the Koelschip Yard.
The final destination in Glasgow was at Eala Bhán. Not for the food or beer though, but to meet up and run with the Glasgow Hash House Harriers. They couldn’t believe I didn’t get my hash name yet, so they named me right then and there! Henceforth I’ll be known as “Out of Kilter”, although my home kennel might have to say a thing or two about that…
Then I caught the last train to Edinburgh, to finally check into my hotel for the next two nights: DogHouse Edinburgh. What a contrast with that yurt!
After a lot of anticipation, on Friday morning, FyneFest finally started for real!
After a pancake with bacon and maple syrup from Hector & Harriet for breakfast, and securing some T-shirts from the merch tent, it was time to get properly started. The ‘doors’ of the main tent opened at 11.00, and I managed to order the very first beer of the first official festival day there! The line of keg pumps and beer engines was impressive, as were the beers listed behind the bar, but as it would be a long weekend, and the servings relatively large for a beer festival—1/3 pint (19cl) or 1/2 pint (28cl)—I decided to take it slow, alternating and combining beer tastings with concerts and food… Speaking about the music: one of the first acts was a proper ceilidh band!
The second festival day had plenty of variation as well. Pellicle’s Matt Curtis was hosting a couple of interesting talks with brewers, and in between I walked up to the Walkers Bar, five kilometre upstream, where they served some gravity poured cask beers.
In the evening the highlight without a doubt was the Massaoke show, which got the whole crowd singing their lungs out.
The last day of the festival started with an awesome bacon roll with egg from Prime Street Food. The beer boards were a bit more sparse, since it was basically leftover day. Still enough beers I hadn’t tried yet to keep me occupied for a while though!
I also booked a Fyne Ales brewery tour this day, so I could see where our host’s beers come from.
After having gone through most of the festival beers, I spent some time in the brewery courtyard to enjoy some of their Origins beers.
After six, the Brewers Lounge tent was the only place still open, but there still was beer—just to drink and enjoy, done with rating—live music, loads of happy and nice people, and a gorgeous sunset!
The last day in Glasgow was spent mostly out of the city. First up was a visit to BrewDog’s Hop Hub, their Scottish, refrigerated distribution centre, which of course also has a bar. It’s a bit in the middle of nowhere though, not particularly public transport user friendly… But I hadn’t visited it yet—it was still closed during my Flying Scotsman Trip—and they had a 2-4-1 pizza offer on, so I had to go!
Once back in Glasgow, after a way too tight connection, another Citylink bus brought us to the Fyne Ales brewery, where FyneFest was about to start for the early birds. A nice cold can as a welcome was very much appreciated! The brewery taproom was only open until six, but luckily the Brewers Lounge was serving some beers after that, already with some live music to kick off the fun.
Cell reception isn’t great, but expect a full report of the next three festival days on Monday! Off for some more beers now…
My second day in Glasgow started with a hearty breakfast—including haggis—at Euro Hostel, followed by a long overdue visit to the Gallery of Modern Art. But yes, de duke of Wellington in front of it is still wearing his traffic cone, in case you were wondering.
After a coffee and biscoff brownie at Gordon Street Coffee, and a long walk, it was time to discover a new place: the Clydeside distillery. New, but just old enough to already have their own whisky, which—as you probably know—has to be matured in oak in Scotland for at least three years, to earn that name.
A quick stop at the Riverside Museum, and a short ride on the Glasgow Subway, and is was time for a bit more CRM: the Mackintosh House in the Hunterian Art Gallery. There I learned that coincidentally, it was a MacLaren—professor of art history Andrew McLaren Young—who saved the interiors when Mackintosh’s house was demolished.
By then it was well past beer o’clock, so a couple of cups (sic) at Inn Deep soon followed. After a nice walk along the Kelvin, I inevitably ended up at my home away from home, BrewDog Kelvingrove, which since the closure of BrewDog Rome, must be the BrewDog bar with the best view again!
After arriving in Glasgow and dropping off the luggage at Euro Hostel, I went straight back on the train again, to Helensburgh. As a Charles Rennie Mackintosh fan, I went there to visit the Hill House, of course.
Back in Glasgow, I had a donut with coffee at Tantrum Doughnuts, and then another coffee at Riverhill Coffee, since it was right next door. By then I thought it was already late enough for some beers, at the Drury Street Bar & Kitchen, and at The Raven.
After a pie for dinner at the Babbity Bowster—and a pint of Jarl—I wanted to go to Blackfriars bar, but unfortunately it seems it hasn’t survived the pandemic… The rest of the evening was then spent at BrewDog Merchant City, which had quite a few very interesting guest beers on draught.
After a shorter hiatus than last time, I find myself once again on my way to Scotland. The main destination is FyneFest this time, but I’ll be spending a couple of days in Glasgow—obviously—and Edinburgh as well.
Lessons learned after last time, I only spent a couple of hours in London in between Eurostar and Caledonian Sleeper, although somehow I still managed to visit two more bars than planned…
I finally made it to the Great Nepalese this time, and the chicken Tikka Bhutuwa with garlic naan didn’t disappoint.