A £1 million-plus visitor centre has been built to tell the story of “cultural icon” Tennent’s Lager.
Brewery bosses hope the centre, in Glasgow’s east end, will become a popular destination for beer lovers.
Meanwhile tourist chiefs in the city hope the venue, which opens next month, will help Glasgow meet its goal of attracting one million extra visitors a year by 2023.
Tourists spend about £1 billion a year on food and drink while visiting Scotland.
Tennent’s bosses say the visitor centre at its Wellpark Brewery will tell the history of brewing in the area from the 1500s through to the present day, including how founder Hugh Tennent first brewed the lager that bears his name in 1885.
Alan McGarrie, group brand director for Tennent’s Lager, said: “The Tennent’s story is at the heart of Glasgow’s history and with this significant company investment at our home at Wellpark we are bringing the story to life – bigger and better than we ever have before, as we showcase the brewery, the beer and the brand.
“With an ever-growing interest in the provenance story of beer, and subsequent rise in beer tourism, we want to give locals and visitors to the city a behind-the-scenes look at not just a working brewery but the history of Scotland’s number one beer and the cultural icon that is Tennent’s Lager.”
Jim Clarkson, of tourism body VisitScotland, said: “Visitors love the Tennent’s brand for the same warmth of personality that they love in Glasgow itself.”
He hailed the visitor centre as a “great fit for the tourism experience in the city” and added: “It is an exciting time for Scottish brewing with the growing global demand for variety and quality of beer greater than ever. Scottish beer appeals to almost a quarter of visitors to Scotland and this investment demonstrates a real commitment to further promoting Scotland’s brewing heritage.”
David McDonald, depute leader of Glasgow City Council, said the story of Tennent’s Lager was “almost as old as the city itself”. He said: “Our focus is on showcasing Glasgow as an outstanding global city, one that’s welcoming and vibrant with a rich cultural heritage, a flourishing food and drink sector and an unrivalled visitor experience.
“Tennent’s investment in this exciting new attraction strongly reflects our ambition and will undoubtedly boost Glasgow’s tourism economic in the coming year.”
Originally known as the Drygate brewery, Wellpark was founded in 1740, although brewing had been taking place on the site since the 1550s, making it one of the oldest continuous commercial concerns in Glasgow.
The firm originally brewed stout and strong export ales, becoming the world’s largest bottled beer exporter by the mid-19th century. Hugh Tennent took control of the company in 1884, with Tennent’s Lager brewed for the first time the following year.