Tennent’s Visitors Centre

Wellpark Brewery


History - The Wellpark Brewery on Glasgow’s Duke Street is one of Scotland’s longest-running businesses and one of the UK’s oldest brewers with the original brewery established in 1556 by Robert Tennent on the banks of the Molendinar Burn. Hugh and Robert Tennent then founded the popular brewery in 1740, before another Hugh Tennent created the Tennent’s lager brand in 1885. From this point on Tennent’s grew into the iconic Scottish brand we know today. In 2009 the then owners Inbev sold to Irish drinks company C&C for an estimated £180 million. Since then there has been significant investment in making Wellpark brewery a visitors' attraction and hub of innovation and education. The sprawling site is also home to craft beer producers Drygate, who runs a hugely successful modern brewery, bar and restaurant here.

The Beer – Tennent’s has always been a pioneer in marketing and innovation. Not only were they the first company to produce the first draught lager in 1924, the first canned lager in 1935 and the first keg lager in 1963 they have also won numerous awards for there advertising over the years. It is genuinely Scotland’s most loved brand, bigger than Coca Cola, Irn Bru and almost five times big-ger than the next beer brand. When I first moved to Glasgow in 1998, I lived just a stones throw from the brewery and if I'm honest, you wouldn't describe it as a visitor attraction for the city. In recent years however its owners have invested in making this a place Glaswegians can be proud of and without being too sentimental I do smile every day I pass it on my way to work.

Interesting fac t- There is evidence of brewing on this site, on the banks of the ancient Molendiner Burn, as far back as the 1550s, over 300 years before Tennent’s opened for business. In 1884, The National Guardian wrote of "the old-established and world-famed Wellpark Brewery ... perhaps the largest export trade of bottled beer enjoyed by any firm of brewers in the kingdom". In the same year, Hugh Tennent, the last member of the family to own and operate the business, trav-elled to Bavaria and returned to build a new lager brewery at the site.

Why Visit? - In November last year, the new £1 million visitor centre opened its door with the aim of bringing to life the story of this Scottish "cultural icon” and bringing an extra 1 million visitors to the brewery by 2023. The state of the art visitors centre features new and archived old artwork as well as Tennent's artefacts which includes a 150-year-old bottle of stout brewed in Wellpark and discovered in a shipwreck off Australia. It is a fascinating journey through the brand and defiantly brings out the Scottish pride in you as well a more than a sprinkling of nostalgia. The east end of Glasgow is fast becoming the new place to explore in the city with loads of new bars and restau-rants opening and as usual Tennent’s brewery is at the forefront of getting people to look East!