DRK/G40, by West Beer
Glaswegian Heart. German Head.
Founded by Bavarian-born Petra Wetzel, WEST Beer is based in one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings. The Templeton was modelled after the Doge’s Palace in Venice and was the site of a world-renowned carpet factory until the 1950s.
“I first fell in love with my adopted Scottish homeland on a school exchange to Balfron, near Stirling, when I was just a girl, and returned to Scotland for good in 1994 to study at the University of Glasgow” explains Petra. “The idea for WEST, a German-style brewery producing beers in strict accordance with traditional German Purity Law, was born when my father visited me as a student in Glasgow and was unimpressed by what was being brewed locally at the time. In 2006 I opened WEST Brewery, Bar & Restaurant on Glasgow Green. Ten years later we completed a £5m brewery expansion increasing capacity ten-fold”.
It is the only UK brewery to “officially” adhere to the Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law of 1516, which prescribes the use of only four basic ingredients in brewing. It’s amazing what you can do with water, malt, hops, and yeast as WEST’s range proves. From technically perfect lagers brewed to traditional German recipes, through to more modern takes on other European beer styles.
DRK is a traditional German dark lager. A rich russet beer full of milk chocolate and nutty flavours, the heavily roasted malts are well balanced by generous doses of caramel malt. This beer has a distinctive malty flavour and can be paired equally well with rich hearty stews or indulgent desserts.
G40 takes its inspiration from Belgium golden ales with a perfect mix of wheat and aromatic malts give a fuller body and a beautiful backbone of bread like malt sweetness. The fusion of hops (Herkules, Cascade, Chinook and Saaz) balance the beer with bitterness and deliver a big hit of fresh citrus and tropical fruit.
Having received an Honorary Doctorate for contributions to the Scottish economy from the University of Glasgow in 2015, and not content with beginning a German beer revolution in Scotland’s capital, a couple of years ago Petra also started a “WEST Women investment fund” to give both financial and personal support to other budding female entrepreneurs in the city.
“I was born in Bavaria, but have lived in Scotland for over two decades and consider myself as much Scottish as German by now. You might call me a Gerwegian!” laughs Petra.