Q: Can you tell us a little about the “Glasgow Brewery Collective”?
A: We are a group of brewers from Scottish Breweries, based in Glasgow, working together to accomplish a common goal of improving accessibility in craft beer and helping provide jobs for people with disabilities who are otherwise struggling to find employment.
We aim to do this by opening a taproom in the Southside of Glasgow with a special focus on accessibility and job creation.
Q: Who is involved?
Q: What is the inspiration behind “Glasgow Brewery Collective”?
A: Many of us have worked with people with disabilities and are aware of the daily struggle that they face: issues that people who aren’t living with disabilities may not even be aware of. Both Ride and Late Night Hype were founded with the intention of creating jobs for, and working with, people with disabilities. As we had such similar goals, it made sense to work together to realise them.
Q: How long has the project been in the pipeline?
A: Ride Brew Co has been planning a taproom with a focus on accessibility since its inception; however, the Collective was only formed in August 2018 when Simon from Bute Brew and Mike from Late Night Hype expressed an interest in working together in order to get the project up-and-running.
Q: Where are you based and when is the expected opening?
A: The taproom will be located in the Gorbals in the Southside of Glasgow with a goal of opening around Easter 2019.
Q: How’s the place going to work? How are you going to accommodate for everyone’s specific needs?
A: We’re not really trying to do anything new in terms of accessibility; solutions to the issues faced by people with disabilities are already out there. All we’re doing is making a special effort to listen to what is needed and then implement facilities and solutions. It’s the sort of thing public spaces should be doing but is all too often missed.
Q: Are people without disabilities allowed to visit?
A: Of course! The taproom will be open to everyone and will serve the very best of beer from Glasgow, as well as selected breweries from around the country, but we will have a special focus on being as accessible as possible for people with a wide range of disabilities.
Q: Is it just going to be beer or are other drinks going to be available?
A: It won’t just be beer – we can’t have a taproom in Scotland without whisky and gin. We’re also getting a wine list made up of Fairtrade and organic wine and have even been talking to Glasgow-based Rapscallion Soda about serving their sodas and tonic.
Q: How is the menu going to be delivered e.g. are there going to be different formats for visually impaired?
A: A seemingly small, but important consideration is just making sure that there is sufficient lighting so that people with vision impairments can read. We will have large print and easy-read menus, as well as having up-to-date tap lists online allowing the use of text-to-speech software. We also aim to train staff in, at least basic, BSL (British Sign Language).
Q: What kind of events are going to happen in your venue?
A: The usual sort of events you’d expect to find in a taproom: meet the brewers; live music; film nights etc. We’re just going to make sure that they cater to everyone.
We’re also going to ensure that the space is bookable for community groups so that they can host their own events in an accessible environment.
Q: What’s been your biggest obstacle to date?
A: We’ve all got full time, or more than full time jobs, so we have been trying to set up this new organisation and run a crowdfunding campaign during evenings and weekends.
Q: What are you most worried about?
A: If crowdfunding weren’t to be successful. We would still move forward with the project, but it’ll take a lot longer to get set up and we won’t be able to include all the features that will make it as inclusive as possible from day one. It will also take us much longer to be in a position to create the jobs and opportunities that we want to create.
Q: What are you most excited about?
A: Having a space to make and drink excellent beer whist working with a diverse group of people. Also, kettle sours.
Q: In an ideal world, where do you see this project in 5 years?
A: We hope to expand: it’d be great to be able to open up more traditional pubs using what we’ve learned. The bigger we grow, the more jobs and opportunities we can create.
Q: How can I get involved? (leading question for your crowd funding!)
A: We’re in the process of crowdfunding. Go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/glasgowbrewerycollective
And donate what you can. It’s important to have accessible and socially inclusive spaces in society, and we can’t start this one without help from people like your readers. Also, help us spread the word, share posts like this one and tell people about what we’re trying to do.
Thanks to Glasgow Brewery Collective for giving more information about this wonderful project. I really look forward to seeing this come to life and letting great beer be accessible to everyone.