Design Focus: The Beer Kitchen

May 3rd, 2017 | Posted in: Editors' Picks,Features

 Innis & Gunn’s flagship Beer Kitchen in Ashton Lane is a slick and stylish addition to Glasgow’s West End that, true to its namesake, has brewing at its core.

Anticipation for the venue has been fierce ever since Scotland’s second-biggest craft brewer announced plans to bring its successful bar and restaurant concept West last year.

“From day one we wanted to open in Glasgow. It’s been worth the wait and we’re so excited to be on Ashton Lane. It’s a great location and great space,” says Managing Director of Innis & Gunn Retail, David Hall, who has spearheaded the Beer Kitchen concept alongside the company’s Founder Master Brewer, Dougal Sharp.

Beer Kitchen

The huge brewpub/restaurant, which opened last month, has appeal to beer aficionados and novices alike. With a total capacity of 396, it spans 6,000 square feet across three floors in the former home of Ketchup and its upstairs neighbour The Research Club. The brewer is leasing the building from Stefan King’s G1 Group, but has full control over operations.

A £600K revamp of the site by Edinburgh architect firm Morgan McDonnell, who also worked on the Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchens in Edinburgh, Dundee and St Andrews, began in January and took three months.

Entering from the popular cobbled lane, customers can turn right into the ground floor bar or head left upstairs to the restaurant and Attic Bar. In the bar, it’s clear that brewing literally lies at the heart of this venture. Glasgow’s Beer Kitchen is the first to have an onsite microbrewery and the gleaming stainless steel brew kit sits proudly in the far corner of the ground floor, just metres across from the bar where the end product is served. Customers can even grab a table right beside it to watch head brewer Digger Robinson at work.

Beer Kitchen

Opposite the microbrewery is a corner display “cellar” encased in thick glass panels decorated with artwork by Edinburgh graphic design agency Contagious, who have also redesigned the Beer Kitchen branding.

Guy Morgan, co-director of Morgan McDonnell, led the Beer Kitchen’s design and build. He said the idea was to be “upfront and honest” about the whole brewing process and to make it as open and visual as possible “to highlight the freshness of the beer and allow people to see that process happen.”

A long, grey and metal bar runs along the back right-hand wall. It’s topped with burnished zinc and fronted with textured cement screed. The back bar boasts 17 metal keg taps and three cask taps set beneath a chalkboard sign detailing what’s on offer. Built-in beer fridges display over 50 types of craft beers and cider while rows of mirror and glass shelves boast a select range of spirits.

Beer Kitchen

At the end of the bar sit three 2.5-hectolitre black and silver beer tanks which deliver fresh pints of unpasteurised, rotating special edition and one-off brews made in the microbrewery. This beer goes straight to tap in seconds through a pipe above the bar. A tall U-shape stainless steel “beer infuser” which sits on the bar top shows beer from the tanks being funnelled through ingredients like fresh watermelon for another unique brew, one of many that can be sampled at a nearby tasting table.

While this area has an industrial feel, a simple colour scheme and natural materials create softness, comfort and warmth. There are seven booths in various sizes upholstered in natural tan leather which stand out against the white Osmo oiled vertical timber pallet walls, light oak tables and oak flooring. This combination is used throughout the bar and first-floor restaurant and creates a look Morgan describes as “a Scandi-Scottish hybrid.”

He adds, “We really wanted to push the idea of comfort and went with natural leather and colours because we wanted it to be quite tactile and have a natural feel and colour that is offset against the wood and metal.”

There’s also a nod to the city itself thanks to Glasgow-based artist David Galletly, who has created intricate cityscapes for every Beer Kitchen. His red and black line drawings of Glasgow’s iconic skyline and famous sites are split across multiple black frames and hung in clusters throughout the bar and restaurant. Meanwhile, Contagious have covered the walls of the stairc
ase leading to the upper floors with funky beer-inspired images
and slogans.

Beer Kitchen

A 60-cover restaurant offering casual dining that’s “all about the flavour” awaits customers on the first floor. The design echoes the ground floor by using the same materials and furniture. A smaller replica of the bar runs along the left wall to an open kitchen. Hall points out, “downstairs the theatre is the brewery so here that theatre is the open kitchen, which equally creates a bit of atmosphere and interest.”

The original brick walls have been restored and left exposed around the black window frames on either side of the room. Running the length of the far wall is a row of booth seating above which hangs another intricate Glasgow skyline by Galletly. A chalkboard wall beside the entrance lists daily specials and sums up the concept: “Food & Beer: the Perfect Pairing”.

Head upstairs and the design shifts to a speakeasy-style Attic Bar – a late night venue that will also host live music and private functions. Apart from the toilets, which were completely refitted, Morgan says it was a case of enhancing what was already there. Some existing elements of the loft space remain, including the magnificent wood triangular bar which will serve Innis & Gunn “hoptails” and two craft beer fridges have been installed at
the back wall.

The windows have new wood shutters whilst the natural brown tones of the colour scheme provide a subtle contrast to the muted greys of downstairs. Reclaimed tables, chairs and barstools reupholstered in three kinds of leather are set around the bar, along with some vintage pieces including a rocking chair, cabinet and TV. Two wooden cherubs flank the bar,and point up to a new hanging metal shelf installed beside the impressive wooden beamed skylight to show off Innis & Gunn products, including the recently launched Kith & Kin Stout.

Glasgow’s behemoth Beer Kitchen was made possible due to a crowdfunding project which raised £2.5m for the company last year, and is fuelling a thirst for more openings in the UK and overseas markets.

With its flagship Beer Kitchen offering unique and experimental beers on a regular basis, Innis & Gunn has become an exciting new player in Glasgow’s craft beer and bar scene and is living up to its motto which loudly and proudly meets guests as they step inside: “Born by unique discovery”.


Restaurant boss forced to defend hygiene standards

Wed 19th September 2018

Sukdev ‘Cook’ Gill, co-owner of Cook & Indi’s World Buffet in Motherwell, was forced to defend the restaurant’s... Read more.

Star takes wine support to a new level

Mon 17th September 2018

Star Pubs & Bars has appointed a dedicated wine category buyer. A former wine buyer at Tesco, Roberta Neave’s remit is to increase the... Read more.

BELHAVEN BREWERY SCOOPS FOUR AWARDS

Mon 17th September 2018

Belhaven Brewery has won four awards at the 2018 World Beer Awards. Scotland’s oldest brewery which is set to mark its 300th birthday in 2... Read more.

Happy 50th Anniversary Connoisseurs Choice

Mon 17th September 2018

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range, family-owned whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail has enhanced the... Read more.

REDCASTLE SPIRITS BRING RUM BACK TO ANGUS

Mon 17th September 2018

Redcastle Spirits has announced the pending launch of a Spiced Rum. The Angus-based firm has just created its Scottish & Caribbean Spice... Read more.

STUDENT DEAL FOR MOLSON COORS

Mon 17th September 2018

Brewer Molson Coors has won a new four year solus beer and cider supply deal with the student union purchasing consortium, Northern Services... Read more.

Sue Says

Mon 17th September 2018

Straight talking from our publisher…   It’s certainly been a full on four weeks – but you know me, I love being busy. It was ... Read more.

Design Focus: Nauticus, Edinburgh

Mon 17th September 2018

NAUTICUS 142 Duke Street, Edinburgh EH6 8HR Once upon a time there were three guys with one big dream: to open a bar in Leith that captured ... Read more.

Dip your toe into The Wine Spa

Mon 17th September 2018

The Wine Spa on Broughty Ferry’s Fort Street is the town’s smallest bar, according to licensee John Black. But, according to John, who a... Read more.

WALKABOUT BOOMERANGS BACK AFTER £1M REFURBISHMENT

Mon 17th September 2018

Glasgow’s Walkabout, on Renfield Street, has reopened following a million pound refurbishment over both floors. John Paul McMillan, Deputy... Read more.

Whyte & Mackay and Proximo create joint on-trade team

Fri 14th September 2018

Whyte & Mackay and Proximo Spirits have created a joint On Trade sales team. The combined portfolio now extends across the spectrum of p... Read more.

Buzzworks acquire Linlithgow site

Thu 13th September 2018

The sun rises in the east and Buzzworks Holdings is also on the rise in the east of Scotland after confirming the purchase of The Bridge Inn... Read more.

A Space Apart: Interview with SWG3’s Andrew Fleming-Brown and Meryl Gilbert

Thu 13th September 2018

ANDREW FLEMING-BROWN (AKA MUTLEY), 40, IS DIRECTOR OF GLASGOW’S SWG3. MERYL GILBERT, 32, IS PART OF THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM. JASON CADD... Read more.

Sturgeon outlines plans to reform Scottish business rates system

Tue 11th September 2018

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has just launched her Programme for Government 2018-19, underlining the Scottish Government’s ambitio... Read more.

JOIN THE EVOLUTION REVOLUTION

Tue 11th September 2018

Seventy-three years may seem like a lifetime…is a life time – our lifetime. Founded the year WWII ended, we have existed through some of... Read more.

INTRODUCING THE MACALLAN MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Mon 10th September 2018

The Macallan has unveiled its next Masters of Photography edition in collaboration with Magnum Photos. Marking the seventh limited edition r... Read more.

Coca Cola buy Costa to adapt to changing tastes as sugary drinks sales slump

Mon 3rd September 2018

Coca-Cola is to buy the Costa coffee chain from owner Whitbread in a deal worth £3.9bn. Whitbread bought Costa,  the UK’s biggest c... Read more.

The Spiritualist brings new vibes to Aberdeen

Fri 31st August 2018

Signature Pubs, the group behind Copper Blossom in Edinburgh and Church on the Hill in Glasgow, has opened The Spiritualist at 67 Langstane ... Read more.

New Scotts Restaurant Takes Shape

Wed 29th August 2018

Buzzworks’ Scotts bar and restaurant at Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry is near to completion. The venue is Buzzworks Holdings... Read more.

DOUGLAS LAING ANNOUNCE NAME OF NEW GLASGOW DISTILLERY AND WHISKY

Tue 28th August 2018

Douglas Laing & Co’s new Distillery in Glasgow is to be named the ‘Clutha Distillery’. ‘Clutha’, meaning Clyde in Gaelic, ... Read more.