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11th March 2024

Only UK brewery to abide by Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of 1516 celebrates its 18th birthday

WEST brewery in Glasgow is now officially old enough to legally drink a pint, as it turns 18 on Sunday. To start the celebrations and as a thank you to the people of Glasgow, West will be giving away a free pint to the first 180 punters through the brewery’s doors on Sunday. The Germany-style brewery and beer hall which was founded by Bavarian Petra Wetzel first opened its doors on 10 March 2006.

An award-winning independent brewer founded by a German studying at the University of Glasgow is celebrating its 18th birthday.

Bavarian Petra Wetzel fell in love with Scotland on a school exchange near Stirling and returned to study at the University of Glasgow in 1994. The idea for WEST was born when her father first visited her in her adopted hometown and couldn’t find a beer like the ones he enjoyed in Germany.

Now, the German-style female-founded brewery which opened in the former Templeton’s carpet factory building on Glasgow Green on 10 March 2006 has gone on to become one of the city’s most popular venues.

Since day one, the proudly independent brewery has stayed true to its slogan of ‘Glaswegian heart, German head’.

WEST is the only UK brewery to produce all of its lagers and ales in strict accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law of 1516, becoming a Glasgow brewing institution in the process.

MD Matt Munro took over the running of the business when Petra stepped back from day-to-day operation in 2021. WEST is now home to at least 14 brands at any one time – from staples like St Mungo and WEST 4 to Heidi Weisse and Munich Red

Its iconic beers – all brewed, kegged, canned, and bottled on-site in Glasgow’s East End – are ever present in hundreds of venues across the city and beyond, from supermarkets the length and breadth of the UK to taprooms worldwide.

“There was nothing like it in Glasgow when WEST launched, and there still isn’t,” said Matt.

“The industry has changed, the craft beer boom has been and gone in the years since we launched, but we’ve just stayed relentlessly focused on doing what we do best – brewing the very best beer. I think that’s why we’ve endured through recessions, Brexit, Covid and all the upheaval of the last eighteen years! People need a constant and brands that they trust regardless of what’s going on in the world.

“While Petra’s no longer around during the day to day, her vision is what made this place what it is and we’re very much staying true to that. Our job is to protect the ethos of the brand and grow the business in the years to come.”

Entrepreneur Petra added: “WEST was designed to be a third place – somewhere different to work and a home that is sorely lacking in society today. This is more the case now than ever before.

“We set out with a vision to create somewhere truly open to everyone, young and old.

“Being independent, we’ve always been able to focus on what’s best for the customer. Our growth has been organic, it’s all come because of our chase for perfection.

“I love nothing more than returning to WEST for a perfect pint and people watching – it has a very special place in my heart and remains a huge part of my life.”

The company is planning a year of celebration and is set to launch a limited edition range to mark its anniversary, as well as a summer festival on the green.

It’s also preparing to launch a new live entertainment schedule, with a host of different events throughout the year, and an exciting new food and drinks menu.

Munro, who joined WEST after more than 20 years working in the drinks industry, including C&C, said: “While we’re always focused on getting better at what we’re already great at – I don’t think we’ll be drastically different 18 years from now. We certainly won’t compromise on how we brew our beer. We aren’t resting on our laurels as Glasgow is a very different city to 2006 and we are aware of changing audiences. I think customers old and new will be pleasantly surprised with our plans.”

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Issued on behalf of WEST by Story Shop. For more information, images, or for interview requests, please contact / 0781 332 0162

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