Whisky? In pop-in-the-mouth capsules? Encased in seaweed? WTH? Burn them! That was the general response recently to The Glenlivet’s range of whisky cocktail pods, after they were showcased at London Cocktail Week. Twitter caused a storm in a Glencairn glass as whisky aficionados took it all a bit too seriously. Let’s party with the pods, we say! Talking of good ideas, brewery taprooms. Unless, we’ll concede, you’re designated driver. So welcome news of the recent opening of taprooms at Bellfield Brewery in Edinburgh’s Abbeyhill (fine for those out for a stroll round Arthur’s Seat) and Futtle Brewing located at the food and drink collective at Bowhouse by St Monans (a short diversion from the Fife Coastal Path).



The lesser-spotted wine bar has been sighted in Glasgow. David Kirkwood heads over to Kelvinbridge and meets this new arrival

A s the only Glaswegian entry in The Good Food Guide’s Top 50 UK restaurants (as well as being in our own Hot 100), Cail Bruich is enjoying a bit of a moment right now. They’re a confident outfit, backing themselves to make decisions on wine lists and food fashions that are just far enough ahead of the curve to keep things on-trend but accessible.

And with this swagger they’ve gone half a mile up the street for their second venture: a wine bar in an airy corner unit, plum in the middle of Great Western Road’s main throng. It’s an appreciated addition to a city that hasn’t really embraced the genre, where flights of tasters and nods towards ‘plushness’ have defined recent, short-lived efforts. None of that here. Instead, we have green ceramic tiling and an open, industrial kitchen, with wines five red, five white displayed on a black letterboard as per a craft beer or coffee establishment. It’s all nicely cool.

through options. Producers (organic, Sit on the bar seats and knowledgeable staff talk you low intervention) and countries (old world, always) are displayed; not so often the grapes so it really feels like they’re trusting their customers to trust them, with whites like ‘Rhone Mix’, or a Spanish red blend

of alicante bouschet and mencia grapes. Very solid; somewhat niche. Drawing less focus is a full-blown list of 40-plus bottles, with only a few under £30. European wines from small producers will be pricier, of course, but Glasgow’s drinkers like a bang for their six bucks (the cheapest 125ml). That said, what Brett does, it does well. That means oysters and daily hot plates a butcher’s cut, or hake with capers and butter. Cail Bruich’s emphasis on locality and seasonality extends here. Most popular are the platters of Peelham Farm Scottish charcuterie and robust cheeses from IJ Mellis, which feature in delightful ‘wasted croquettes’ consummate crunch around an oozing, rich and cheddary centre. Major plus points are lots of bread and oatcakes and gluten free too. Brett isn’t for everyone, but Brett is ok with that. It’s a bold attempt to go where no one has gone before. In Glasgow, anyway.

+ A refreshing development in the city’s wine bar scene

- Seats at the bar are too low


321 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G4 9HR, barbrett.co.uk Mon and Wed/Thu 4pm–1am; Fri–Sun 2pm–1am. Closed Tue.

Average cost of two course lunch/dinner: £15

66 THE LIST 1 Nov 2019–31 Jan 2020