Glasgow’s beer community has had a welcome boost in the array of beer’s available for purchase with the opening of Hippo Beers.
We were welcomed in by Derek Hoy who updated us on his thoughts behind the new venture and pointed us in the right direction when we quizzed him on some beer recommendations.
Basically it was out of frustration at the lack of good beer available in
Glasgow. We were increasingly on the lookout for interesting beers and felt
there wasn’t anywhere stocking the range of beers we wanted on a regular
basis. When you visit the likes of London and Edinburgh and see the choice
they have there it makes you realise how much Glasgow has been missing out
on good beer. We wanted to change that.
We also want people to realise there is more to beer than big brand
commercial lager. There are loads of excellent smaller breweries putting
out some amazing beers right across the spectrum and we want to help raise
awareness of them and encourage people to try new things. Right here in the
UK the independent brewing scene has exploded in the last few years as it
had done previously in America. There are also excellent breweries popping
up in lesser known brewing regions like Scandinavia and Italy. Add that to
the traditional British beers and established brewers like the Germans and
Belgians and the choice is massive.
There’s a shop in Amsterdam just off Dam Square called De Bier Konig (Beer
King). It stocks literally hundreds of beers from everywhere imaginable.
Seeing that certainly flicked a switch somewhere. Then when the brewing
scene took off in the last few years we felt inspired to play our part and
help get those beers out there. The brewers are the real inspiration. We
just sell the stuff!
Well we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves so we’ll see how things go.
We wouldn’t rule out opening more shops if we’re successful but let us get
over the stress of opening this one before we decide on that! We’re not
doing this to become millionaires. We’re doing it because we’re passionate
about it and enjoy it. If it turns out we just stick with one shop that’s a
success and that people love then we’ll be happy. The most important thing
is that in 5 years time we can look back and say we helped a lot of people
to discover new beers.
How many beers have we tasted?
Literally no idea. Easily in the hundreds at least. I feel guilty if I see
a beer I’ve not had before and don’t try it ahead of something I already
know and like. The research part of this job is certainly one of the most
appealing aspects of it…
Do we take requests?
Yes we do. We keep a note of what people ask for and then try to source
it. We can’t always get everything but we do try. We will constantly
rotate our range so if there is something somebody has asked for and we
can get it we will throw it in the mix at some stage. We can do case
requests as well so if a customer wants a full case of a particular beer we
can order it in for them. Likewise with mini-kegs from the likes of Fyne
Will we do events?
Definitely. Once Christmas is by we hope to start arranging regular
tasting sessions and meet the brewer events. What we can’t do in the shop
we will try and take out to bars and pubs that will put us up. We’ve spoken
to a number of brewers who are keen to do meet the brewer sessions so
that’s all good!