Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMPAIGN FOR REAL ALE
Volume 15, Issue 2
BEER DUTY ESCALATOR IS SCRAPPED This year’s budget saw an end to the hated beer duty escalator plus a surprise cut in beer duty of 1 penny, giving a huge vote of confidence in beer and pubs. Nearly half a billion pounds has been set aside to fund this duty reduction over the next couple of years. The last time beer tax went down was in 1959! This massive investment will mean fewer pub closures, fewer job losses and lower increases in the price of a pint. CAMRA’s submission to the Treasury and economic argument around this campaign showed that the beer duty escalator was a failing policy with the heavy increase in duty since 2008 causing a fall in beer duty revenue due to falling sales. This campaign win is a small step to get more people back into pubs and drinking real ale paying back the Government investment through beer and pubs market growth. We are delighted that both Heineken and Enterprise Inns immediately promised to pass on the penny duty cut to customers. The duty escalator remains in place for cider, wine and spirits meaning that regrettably real cider was
hit by a 5% duty increase. Our challenge now is to maintain our campaigning momentum and to ensure that Budget 2014 contains more good news. INSIDE THIS EDITION: Ayr Brewing Company Award ...................3 Pub of the Year Presentations ...............4/5 Ardrossan Accies Beer Festival...................7 Fife Beer Festival / Editorial.....................10 Focus on Arran..................................12/13 Ray’s Round Up.................................14/15 Outlets Map......................................18/19 OPINION: Cask vs Keg ........................20/21 Social Groups / Forthcoming Festivals .....22 Just For Fun ............................................23 Natural Landscapes ................................27 Committee / Outlets News / Diary ...........33 Ale Trails / Getting Around ......................34 OPINION: Ken More .................................35
Ayr Brewing picks up top award for Rabbie’s Porter Rabbies Porter was recently chosen as CAMRA’S Champion Porter of Scotland 2012. Brewed locally in Ayr, Rabbies Porter is made using Challenger & Pioneer hops from the UK with Crystal and Chocolate malts to produce a robust and full bodied ale that is tasty and easy drinking. The award ended a successful year for Ayr Brewing which also won SIBA awards for Leezie Lundie and Doctor Hornbrook Blonde Stout. Ayr Brewing Company is also about to rebrand with a new logo and identity – a ‘sneak preview’ is shown opposite! Additionally, the brewery is also looking at moving into new premises soon. More details soon.
Find us online Our branch website address has been changed from the unwieldy www.ayrshireandwigtownshirecamra.org. uk to the simpler www.awcamra.org.uk. The old address will still be available for a short while but will redirect you to www.awcamra.org.uk where you’ll find up to date news about the branch and our events. Additionally, you can now find us on Facebook - search for Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA. The beer festival also has a Facebook site - search for Ayrshire Beer Festival.
Top: Lindsay Grant, A&W CAMRA Chairman presenting Paul Rossi, owner of Ayr Brewing Company, with his certificate.
And finally we are now on Twitter - follow @awcamra and @TroonBeerFest for tweets.
BRANCH DETAILS CONTACT Full Pints
Editorial: Stuart McMahon, 93 Montfode Drive, Ardrossan KA22 7PH. Tel: 01294 603848 firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Bob Wallace, Tel: 07929 990972 email@example.com
Minutes of Branch Meetings
are available to members only from the Branch Secretary, Clare Scott: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Rates Full Page: £50
1/2 Page: £30
will be published in early September. Articles, photos and The next edition of contributions should be sent to the editor no later than Friday 16th August. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the editor or of the Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. © Campaign for Real Ale Ltd
Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA Pub of the Year Presentations Our area Social Groups are asked to nominate one pub for this award every year. The pubs nominated this year were:
• North Ayrshire: Village Inn, Fairlie • East Ayrshire: Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton • South Ayrshire: Prestwick Pioneer, Prestwick • Wigtownshire: The Grapes, Stranraer These pubs were then judged by representatives from each area who deliberated, cogitated and digested each pub’s merits. They agreed that the overall Ayrshire and Wigtownshire Pub of the Year 2012 was the Village Inn, Fairlie. Congratulations to Mark Maclean and his staff on this well deserved award. The photos on this page and opposite show all the nominated pubs receiving their certificates.
This page: Over 30 people turned out for the POTY presentation at The Village Inn, Fairlie. Branch Chairman Lindsay Grant presented the award to owner, Mark Maclean. The Village Inn now has three handpumps, and has recently signed up to CAMRA’s LocAle scheme. After the presentation a lovely spread of sandwiches, chicken dips and bhaji’s was provided and greatly appreciated by those present. 4
Above: There was a good turnout to see Ray Turpie, Branch Vice Chairman present the South Ayrshire Award to Euan Scott, Manager of the Prestwick Pioneer
Above: Ray Turpie, Branch Vice Chairman and Malcolm McNeil present the Wigtownshire Award to Billy Hodge and Sally Whorlow at the Grapes, Stranraer.
Above: Clare Scott, Branch Secretary presented the East Ayrshire award to Fraser Pentland, manager of the Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton. 5
Welcoming Family Atmosphere Summer 2013
Traditional Family Fayre with something for everyone... ...where a great meal doesn’t cost the earth.
Open every day Children welcome until 10pm
Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2012
Best Pub Grub 2013 Scottish Entertainment Awards
3 REAL ALES ALWAYS AVAILABLE AMPLE FREE PARKING
Breakfast served daily from 9am - 11.45am Full Classic Breafast including Tea/Coffee/Juice: £6.95 Home-made Traybakes / Scones available all day 2-Course Menu, Monday - Sunday: £9.99 Available between 12 noon - 2pm, and 5pm - 6.30pm Evening Dinner Menu served from 5pm LIVE Music every month with 3-course meal, just £20 per head Outside al-fresco dining area / beer garden
UPPER DECK HOLIDAY FLAT Above the Village Inn, available all year round. Short stays available. For availability see our website: www.holidayflatfairlie.co.uk COMING SOON: 16-18th Aug
The Village INN’s first ever Real Ale Festival. At least 12 ales available, plus food throughout. Entry £3.50 Fri/Sat: 12 - 9pm; Sun: 12 - 6pm
Check our website for menus and entertainment programme
46 Bay Street, Fairlie. Tel: 01475 568432 www.villageinnfairlie.co.uk 6
Ardrossan Accies’ 2nd try at Beer Festival converts into success Ardrossan Accies Rugby Club held their 2nd Beer Festival, featuring 12 locally sourced real ales, on 15th and 16th March. The festival was organised and manned by CAMRA members. Over 150 folk attended this year’s festival, which also coincided with the final day of the 6 Nations Rugby tournament. Beers available were: Ayr - Leezie Lundie and Jolly Beggars; Houston - Zywiec and Slainte; Kelburn - Dark Moor and Jaguar; Strathaven Avondale and Old Mortality; Loch Lomond - Ale of Leven and West Highland Way; and Fyne Ales Avalanche and Vital Spark. Houston’s Polish-hopped Zywiec proved popular and was the first to run out. Opposite are some photos from this year’s event. It has been confirmed that the festival will be held again next year on 14th/15th March 2014. Howzat - if rugby isn’t your preferred sport, then maybe cricket is. Prestwick Cricket Club are holding their first beer festival on 12-14th July 2013. It opens at 7pm on Friday, and 11am on Sat/Sun. Entry is £2.50 for CAMRA members and £3 public. Like the rugby club, there will be around 12 beers available, and an Ashes cricket match will be on television. 7
The Village Inn, Dunlop
The Village Inn, 2-6 Stewarton Road, KA3 4AA.Dunlop Tel: 01560 483130 2-6 Stewarton Road, KA3 4AA. Tel: facebook 01560 483130 E-mail : email@example.com/ “Two minute walk from railway station” E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org/ facebook
“Two minuteDogs walkWelcome from railway station” Dogs Welcome
• • • • • •
A constantly changing choice of real ales Freshly prepared meals using locally sourced produce Fully decked riverside beer garden Families welcome in our dog friendly pub We also cater for private functions Daily fishing permits available for sale at the bar
Failford Inn, Failford, Near Mauchline, Ayrshire KA5 5TF Tel: 01292 540117 Email: email@example.com
The Waterside Bath Street, Largs Tel: 01475 672224
Two ever-changing REAL ALES now available
Fridays - Karaoke Wednesdays - Poker Saturdays - Live Music Sundays - Open Mic Night
Food available every day except Monday
• • • •
Great rooms Fantastic food Ever changing real ales Function Suites
4 DEAN STREET, STEWARTON, KA3 5EQ Tel: 01560 482255
REPORT by Stuart McMahon
Kingdom of Fife CAMRA Beer Festival, May 2013 Having helped the Branch with their logo, I was keen to visit the festival for my first time. So, on Fri 3rd May, Ray Turpie and myself caught the bus from Glasgow to Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls, with other branch members attending on Sat 4th May. There were 42 ales available along with 16 ciders. Of the ales, many were sourced locally, with Fife now being home to six breweries, although not all were represented at the festival. The Branch held their first Champion Beer of Fife competition, with the winner being St Andrews Crail Ale (4.5% ABV best bitter). Beer of the festival, chosen by visitors was Loch Ness Prince of Darkness (10% ABV). For myself, my favourites were St Andrews Columbus wheat beer and MòR Ish. Ray liked Beeches Just Jade!
Above: Fife Council Lord Provost, Jim Leishman, pouring a pint of Fife Champion beer, St Andrews’ Crail Ale.
From your new Editor I’d like to thank Graeme Watt for his work in producing for the past few years. Under Graeme’s editorship received CAMRA’s ‘Most Improved’ newsletter award. Graeme has sadly decided to relinquish this task and I have taken over as the new editor. My day job is essentially in graphic design so hopefully will go from strength to strength. With summer fast approaching why not consider writing a few paragraphs on your holiday trips, visits to beer festivals, or maybe you discovered a hidden gem of a pub. Failing that, simply send a letter with some comments and we’ll start up a ‘Points of View’ page. Cheers. Stuart McMahon 11
FOCUS ON ARRAN by Stuart McMahon
Arran is often described as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, and a well deserved summary it is – from the mountains of the north, to the moorland and farmland of the south. And for the real ale drinker there are plenty of outlets dotted around the island. Getting to Arran couldn’t be easier. An hourly train from Glasgow Central takes you direct to Ardrossan Harbour, or there are frequent No. 11 or 585 bus services stopping nearby. During summer 2012 there will be up to 10 Calmac ferries a day leaving Ardrossan going to Brodick. Whether you travel on foot, or with a vehicle, there is plenty to see and visit.
Arriving in Brodick, some early day visitors may be enthusiastic and wish to climb Goat Fell, a mere 2,866ft, before ending the day in some of Brodick’s pubs. Others may use public transport, with the Stagecoach bus stances located just outside the ferry terminal buildings. Heading north, on the outskirts of Brodick you soon reach Cladach, the home to Arran Brewery and their neighbours at Brodick Castle, owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The Arran Brewery is well known and currently produces over eight regular ales, including the award winning Arran Dark and Arran Blonde. Tours and tastings are available at the brewery. Next door to the brewery is Arran Wineport which also serves Arran Brewery Arran Ales. After leaving the brewery and passing through the picturesque village of Corrie (unfortunately no real ale in the hotel) you soon climb up and over the hill to Lochranza. The first place of interest you’ll come to is the Arran Distillery, home to some fine malt whisky. 12
A short distance along the road you’ll come to the Lochranza Hotel, where a real ale and hearty home-made meals can be purchased, and if the weather is good, you can sit outside in the beer garden and maybe spot a golden eagle flying by, or the local red deer grazing by the roadside. A few miles further round the north coast from Lochranza, you will soon come to the delightful village of Catacol, with its row of houses nicknamed the ‘12 Apostles’ – each one looks similar but a closer inspection shows they are all different. The Catacol Hotel awaits also with good homemade food and real ale - a great place to watch a summer sunset over Kilbrannan Sound. Wildlife is abundant here as well, and your author saw his first Scottish Adder not far from Catacol! Next stop heading down Kilbrannan Sound is Blackwaterfoot where both the Blackwaterfoot Lodge and the Kinloch Hotel each have ales for sale. The Best Western Kinloch Hotel is holding the first ever beer festival on Arran on July 20th. There should be Kinloch Hotel up to 12 ales available along with live music, a hog roast and a malt whisky tent! More details in their advert on p30. Sadly, none of the hostelries in the south of Arran currently sell real ale, but having passed through the scenic villages of Lagg, Kildonan and Whiting Bay you’ll soon come to Lamlash on your way back to Brodick. In this little village, where you can get a small ferry over to Holy Island and the Buddhist retreat, the Drift Inn has recently started selling two ales. With Drift Inn the circular tour almost complete, you can savour the delights that Brodick has to offer. Whilst the Auchrannie Resort and the Douglas Hotel offer great accommodation, at present only the Brodick Bar and the Ormidale Hotel have real ale. The Ormidale has three tall founts and a secluded beer garden to sit in if whilst waiting on the ferry back home! And a quick mention for Ayrshire’s forgotten island - Cumbrae. Just a short hop on the ferry from Largs, you can take the bus, cycle or walk to Millport, where a visit to Frasers Bar won’t disappoint. There’s usually two ales on, and the food’s not bad either!
Ormidale Hotel 13
’S ROUND U Y RA
RAY’S ROUND UP by Ray Turpie At the end of the last issue, I said I would report on my trip to Norwich in April for the Members’ Weekend and AGM. It is not the easiest of places to get to but we wended our way down with an overnight stop in a village outside Leeds called Carlton. The B&B was comfortable and very reasonably priced. We strolled along to the local pub called the Unicorn for an evening meal and enjoyed some Sharp’s Doom Bar. That left us with a comfortable journey the rest of the way on Friday morning and gave us plenty Unicorn Inn, Carlton of time to settle in before the evening festivities began with a visit to the Bell Ringer for something to eat and a pint of Adnams new Abbey Ale. You cannot go to Norwich without visiting the Fat Cat just off the Dereham Road. As well as their own beers, there are twenty or so guest beers on tap. I tried Fat Cat Bitter as well as Woodforde’s Ketts Rebellion.
Norwich is a historic city dominated by its Norman castle and 13th Century cathedral. It has many nice pubs and on a recent survey, members counted 125 pubs selling 569 ales of which 254 were different. The conference was held in the St Andrew’s and Blackfriars’ Halls and included a members’ bar with over 60 beers, mainly local. Needless to say, I tried a few, my favourites being Orange Wheat from Green Jack and Golden Triangle Bonny’s Gold. More than one thousand members attended over the two days and motions put forward for discussion were interspersed with presentations and awards. I am pleased to say that Scotland did rather well again this year with the Highlands and Western Isles Branch magazine “What’s Yours Then?” picking up the prize for as the most improved magazine and Dumfries & Stewartry Branch runners up for the best Local Real Ale Guide.
What’s yours th en? CAMRA
ds & Wes
tern Isle s FREE New
sletter I Winter 2012/3
The Fat Cat, Norwich
pansion Bandstand at Cairn Autumn Na gorm (s tional firs Beer Festival ee page t for new Grumpyol The 11th Ork Loch Nes ym s Beer Fes ney Brewery Vis pics itor tival Me rger of two Centre island bre weries
Saturday evening started with a visit to the Coach and Horses for some Chalk Hill beers and traditional pub grub. A short crawl took in Lollards Pit for Woodforde’s Sundew followed by some Elmtrees Stout at the Red Lion. A pleasant stroll then took us back along the River Wansum to our hotel.
Adam & Eve, Lincoln Colin Valentine handled things with his typical good humour and managed to slip in the Motherwell score to the proceedings, as usual. Sunday morning saw the rest of the business finished off and most of those that stayed on, retired to the members’ bar which remained open all afternoon. Quite a few familiar faces were in evidence over the weekend and there was a good representation from Scotland. The next morning we set off to tour Norfolk starting at Great Yarmouth, a typical seaside resort with all the attractions. Our next destination was Cromer, another holiday resort which I remember seeing on the old railway carriage pictures in the ‘60s. It was more refined and we found a nice spot for lunch before carrying on through all the coastal villages towards King’s Lynn where we stopped for the night. We got a good deal through the GBG for Stuart House Hotel with three good beers and excellent food. My favourite was Wolf Golden Jackal, also brewed locally. On the way home we spent a couple of nights in Lincoln, another historic city. There were
some excellent pubs up near the cathedral including the Adam and Eve, the Struggler’s Arms and the Victoria. My favourite, however, was the Wig and Mitre mainly because after climbing the Steep Hill, I really enjoyed my pint of Oakham JHB. The week passed too quickly but there are a few outings I’m looking forward to over the summer including the Scottish Real Ale Festival in July and the Victoria, Lincoln Great British beer Festival in August. I hope to see you there or at one of our own upcoming branch events.
Wig and Mitre, Lincoln
Strugglers, Lincoln 15
If you are ever in Stranraer, a visit to The Grapes is one you won’t regret. The Grapes was originally a coaching inn which was erected in 1862. The gantry in the bar is over 100 years old and the bar still has an original working bell-box for the pub. The present owners, Billy and Sally, are only the 5th in line since the pub was built. The bar has a warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere and has had visits from people from various parts of the world. Upstairs the pub divides into two rooms - the quiet room which was said to be the first cocktail lounge in Stranraer is now the ladies powder room, and on the other side is a lounge and snug room which has been refurbished with the 1940’s style of the pub. • Accordion band most Fridays from 5 – 8pm • Real ale on draught • Over 40 malt whiskies - one for each region in Scotland • Occasional Live Music
The Grapes, 4-6 Bridge Street, Stranraer Tel: 01776 703386 www.thegrapesbar.co.uk
Large selection of award-winning Arran beers plus wines, malts and cocktails
Open from 12pm everyday Bar meals featuring fresh, local produce served daily Coffes & Teas | Regular Entertainment | Free WiFi
L A M L A S H
Lamlash, Isle of Arran KA27 8JN Tel: 01770 600608
ISLE OF ARRAN
www.driftinnarran.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/driftinnarran
• Real Food • Real Beer • Real Atmosphere 27 Main Street, Kilmaurs, KA3 2RQ Tel: 01563 538805 www.westontavern.co.uk 17
Lochranza Catacol Arran
Fairlie Beith Ardrossan Kilmaurs
Lugton Dunlop Stewarton Craigie Failford
Troon Prestwick Ayr
Ayr Stair Mauchline Hollybush Kirkmichael
Barrhill Bargrennan Kirkcolm Stranraer
New Luce Glenluce
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data by permission of the Ordnance Survey ÂŠ Crown Copyright 2013
Newton Stewart Wigtown Isle of Whithorn
AYRSHIRE & WIGTOWNSHIRE REAL ALE OUTLETS ISLE OF ARRAN
BLACKWATERFOOT Blackwaterfoot Lodge Kinloch Hotel
AYR Abbotsford Hotel Ayrshire & Galloway Chestnuts Hotel Courtyard Bar Geordie’s Byre Harry’s Bar Malt Cross Market Inn Newton Arms Old Racecourse Hotel Tam O’ Shanter* Twa Dugs Wellingtons Bar West Kirk Willie Wastles*
DUNLOP Auld Hoose Village Inn
ARDROSSAN Ardrossan Rugby Club (weekends) Lauriston Hotel
BARRHILL Kildonan Country House
BEITH Masonic Arms
CRAIGIE Craigie Inn
GLENLUCE Kelvin House Hotel
PORTPATRICK Crown Hotel Harbour House Hotel
FAILFORD Failford Inn
ISLE OF WHITHORN Steam Packet Inn
SANDHEAD Tigh-na-Mara Hotel
GIRVAN Roxy Cafe Bar Royal Hotel (May - Oct)
KIRKCOLM Blue Peter Hotel
STRANRAER Grapes Ruddicot Hotel
BRODICK Brodick Bar Ormidale Hotel Wine Port CATACOL Catacol Bay Hotel LAMLASH Drift Inn LOCHRANZA Lochranza Hotel NORTH AYRSHIRE
FAIRLIE Village Inn GATESIDE Gateside Inn LARGS Charlie Smith’s J G Sharps Largs Sailing Club (weekends) Lounge MacAulays Waterside LUGTON Canny Man MILLPORT Fraser’s Bar SALTCOATS Salt Cot
KIRKMICHAEL Kirkmichael Arms PRESTWICK Eagle Tavern Prestwick Pioneer TROON Bruce’s Well Fullartons Girvans Harbour Bar Lonsdale Bar McKay’s Marr Rugby Club (weekends) South Beach Hotel
Do you know of a pub that sells real ale and isn’t listed? Please let us know. * CAMRA members have noted that real ale is not always available at these pubs.
HOLLYBUSH Hollybush Inn KILMARNOCK Brass & Granite First Edition Wheatsheaf Inn
MAUCHLINE Poosie Nansies SORN Sorn Inn STAIR Stair Inn STEWARTON Millhouse Hotel
KILMAURS Weston Tavern WIGTOWNSHIRE BARGRENNAN House O’ Hill Hotel
NEW LUCE Kenmuir Arms Hotel
NEWTON STEWART Creebridge House Hotel Galloway Arm Hotel
WIGTOWN Wigtown Ploughman
CAMRA members can now score beers for any pubs visited at www.whatpub.com. Scoring guidelines are: 0 No cask ale available 1 Poor: Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment. 2 Average: Competently kept, drinkable pint but doesn’t inspire in any way, not worth moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing. 3 Good: Good beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again. 4 Very Good: Excellent beer in excellent condition. 5 Perfect: Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely. 19
OPINION by Roger Preece
The following article first appeared in the Winter 2012 edition of Edinburgh CAMRA’s newsletter.
What is it about craft beer? Picture the scene. You go into a bar that you do not normally visit. Friends have told you that it keeps good real ale and you are relieved to see several hand pumps or tall founts sitting prominently on the bar. Then you notice that alongside there are quite a few keg taps. Some of them are of course the usual suspects, but amongst them are others with bar clips from well known microbreweries, and indeed one or two of these badges may look similar to those attached to the hand pumps or tall founts. You are puzzled – what is going on here? Welcome to the idea of craft keg. Of course as a regular real ale drinker, interested in the subject, you should not be too surprised. There is always something new in the world of beer. After all, way back forty years ago the idea of ‘real ale’ was itself new. Since then there have been new styles of beer, such as golden ales, black IPAs or revivals of old styles such as porters, oatmeal stouts and 20
even real lagers. One thing can be confusing though – putting the words ‘craft’ and ‘keg’ together. How could anybody be crafting a keg beer? Look up the dictionary definition of crafting - ‘making in a skilful way’ (Oxford Concise Dictionary). What has that got to do with keg beer, the ultimate result of industrial processing? This is perhaps a good example of adopting a marketing idea from elsewhere without really thinking through all the consequences. Craft beer as a description originated in the USA. The reaction in the United States against the overprocessed beer products such as Budweiser and Coors has been greatly admired, ranging from the survival and then growth of small
independent breweries, together with the growth of new and often highly innovative beer producers. The problem was how to describe these companies to really distinguish them in the market place. One of the first attempts was ‘boutique breweries’. Well, that might have sounded fine in California or certain East Coast cities but it does have a rather twee sound to it, hardly likely to capture the hearts or indeed throats of ex Bud drinkers. Because many of the new beers were well crafted and many of the companies could be described as artisan the word ‘craft’ was gradually adopted as a useful description of what was taking place. There is in fact no clear definition of ‘craft beer’ production, not in the same
sense as â€˜real aleâ€™ production. Apparent criterion, such as maximum annual production volume, is changed from time to time. Of course, this side of the Atlantic practically all of the independent brewing sector crafts its beers in the dictionary sense of the word. A number of businesses in the UK small and microbrewery sector currently face a problem during this time of financial uncertainty. In a sense they are victims of their own success because there are now so many of them. Therefore if any individual brewery wishes to expand its business, or even hold onto its marketing share at a time of increasing competition, it needs to find ways of expanding its portfolio, basically of selling more beer to more outlets. However the very nature of real beer itself can cause a problem. Once the cask is breached, the shelf life is limited. With regard to beer storage CAMRA has a strict definition of what is acceptable for the product to be fully described as a real ale. It is a definition that has served the Campaign well and allows little room for confusion. But it does not really deal with the issue of low turnover and short shelf life.
These days beer quality has little in common with the mass produced keg beers of the 1970s and 1980s. Surely it must be possible to make these products available even in the remotest country hotel or inn? There have been a number of attempts over the years to solve this problem, including smaller size containers such as poly-pins or cask breathers attached to the cellar-based cask. Each potential solution has come with problems. Could craft keg be regarded as the latest attempt to square this circle? So is a craft keg beer just a keg version of a real ale? Sometimes yes, and in that case it is easy for a real ale drinker to decide whether to try it or not, but sometimes the answer is no, or even partly yes, partly no. This is because a number of the craft keg beers being produced are neither filtered,nor pasteurised unlike their little lamented keg predecessors from the bad old days. In those cases any deleterious effects on the character or taste of the beer are confined to the means of storage in the cellar or elsewhere. Who said life was ever easy for the real ale drinker?
One thing is clear however. The consumer should not end up being confused. CAMRA has always campaigned on the issue of choice and to be able to make an appropriate choice beer drinkers require clarity in the information presented to them at the bar. The Campaign has also been successful because it has almost always chosen persuasion and dialogue, rather than confrontation. So what we ask for is a clear distinction at the point of sale between real cask beers and craft keg beers. After all, any brewery is presumably proud of all its products and would not want to confuse one with another. Many breweries have a distinctive house style for their bar clips or badges. That is completely understandable, but the customer should always be able to distinguish what version of a beer they are getting without having to borrow a magnifying glass. This consumer requirement also applies to bars that are adopting craft kegs as an apparently exciting new trend. A pub or bar may well market itself as a high quality place to be, but will realise that its customers like to be well informed. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
Do you have an opinion on Cask vs Craft Keg? Send your thoughts in an email to the editor (stuart@md93. co.uk) and weâ€™ll feature a selection in the next edition.
FRASERS BAR Millport
Find us just up the road from the pier
Quality Cask Ales Served All Year Meals Served Every Day 12 noon - 2.30pm / 5.30pm -7.30pm 7 Cardiff Street, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae KA28 0AS Tel: 01475 530518
Manager, Frazer Dunn invites you to visit for great food and local real ales from Arran, Houston and Kelburn breweries
Tel: 01505 850510 www.thecannyman.co.uk
Find us on the A736 Irvine to Barrhead Road, at Lugton 22
BRANCH SOCIAL ACTIVITIES Our Branch has Social Groups covering North, South and East Ayrshire, and Wigtownshire. All CAMRA members are encouraged to attend these events, but non-CAMRA members are equally welcome. For more information, please contact the area coordinators listed below: North Ayrshire - meets third Thursday of every month. Contact Ian Middleditch. Email: email@example.com South Ayrshire - generally meets in Troon every 2nd month Contact Graeme Perry. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org East Ayrshire - meets last Wednesday of every month. Contact Bob Wallace. Email: email@example.com Wigtownshire Contact Malcolm McNeil. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, the Branch also holds social outings on a regular basis to places such as Strathaven or Fyne Aleâ€™s breweries - contact social secretary Donald Clark at email@example.com for details of these trips.
There used to be very few beer festivals in Scotland, but CAMRA branches, clubs and publicans are now recognising the benefits of holding small real ale festivals - not least in attracting new customers. Over this summer there will be a veritable deluge of festivals in our area to quench your thirst. Firstly, in June, one of the newest outlets in Ayrshire, the Kildonan Country House, Barrhill, is having a real ale weekend on 21st-23rd June. Not the easiest of places to visit without a car, and a 30 minute walk from the rail station, but if you are in the area it would be good to support it. In July, Prestwick Cricket Club are holding their 1st Beer Festival in the clubhouse, Ayr Road, Prestwick on 12-14th July. Live Ashes cricket will also be shown on TV. See p7 for other details. The Branch is having a Social meeting at it from 2pm on Sat 13th. The same dates also see the Scottish Real Ale Festival (SRAF) taking place at the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, with another chance to socialise with Branch members from 2pm on Fri 12th. The Kinloch Hotel in Blackwaterfoot, Arran is holding the 1st Arran Festival on 20th July with up to 12 ales available as well as a Hog Roast! In August, the A&W CAMRA Pub of the Year, the Village Inn, Fairlie will be hosting their first festival with at least 12 ales available on 16-18th August. See their advert on page 6 for more details and times. To round off the summer, Paisley Beer Festival is now being held on 18th-21st September, just a few weeks before our own Viking-themed Fest in October! It is hoped to hold a Beer Festival in Stranraer later this summer. Dates were still to be confirmed as went to print. Keep an eye on our new website, www.awcamra.org.uk for latest information and times. 23
Family run village inn located on the harbour in the picturesque fishing village of Isle of Whithorn
Friday to Monday 11am – 11pm Tuesday to Thursday 11am– 2.30pm & 6pm – 11pm Timothy Taylor Landlord plus four guest ales Outside seating area on the harbourside All food freshly prepared on the premises. Daily changing chefs specials using the finest fresh produce and local seafood. Lunches 12-2pm. Evening Meals 6.30-9pm. Sunday Carvery 3 Courses £12 Thursday Steak Night – Rump or Sirloin £10 Friday Curry Night £7.95 Children and Dogs Welcome
Comfortable en suite accommodation overlooking the harbour From £30 pppn B&B. Special accommodation offers to CAMRA members.
For bookings, call Alastair on 01988 500334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Just for Fun
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
How many pints are there in a firkin? Which city hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics? What does ABV stand for on a bottle of alcohol? Which land mammal has the highest blood pressure? How many standard wine bottles are the equivalent of a Melchior? On a London Underground map which line is pink? Grenadine is made from which fruit? What is the name of the NASA rover that landed on Mars in 2012? Which brand of beer does Homer Simpson drink? Scottish Who won the Wimbledon menâ€™s singles final in 2011?
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SUDOKU Each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once.
Puzzle 1 (Easy, difficulty rating 0.40)
A KME O V E OMO T R AWE T S A L NO I RDNA T S D L S GB A Y E R RNURH E L N K A VOB E L HA V A T A MO D A OWD L H T ONRNMC E A A O L HODO L HHA T H S B B UMN L AH L N H A L R L K E TWA S E I V R AHV R I S BN Y N S R A E I N S C A L L A E T NAD E V E R L E V E NU S T O N S N H N N R QW I PME T E I L U A E E K Y E N F Y A B R P N EMY NDG S L T T L S L E D I S E E DA Y L L A F H L DK Y R B GORMNO L L T E H
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H E L O R A A E E N V S L M NA H I T L C L H I VW DN I E G I S T SM S N E L E D
Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/~jdhildeb/software/sudokugen/ on Fri Apr 26 09:24:00 2013 GMT. Enjoy!
Alechemy AnTeallach Arran Atlas There are 50 Scottish Ayr Breweries hidden in the Barneys Wordsearch. Belhaven BlackIsle Broughton Can you find them all? Burnside Cairngorm Caledonian Colonsay Cromarty Deeside Devon Eden Fallen Fyne Glenfinnan Harviestoun Highland Houston Inveralmond Islay IsleofSkye Kelburn LochLeven LochLomond LochNess Luckie Madcap Moulin Solutions on Page 30 Oban Orkney Plockton 25 RiverLeven ScottishBorders StAndrews Stewart Strathaven
WELLINGTONS BAR Traditional Bar Traditional Ales Traditional Music Two ever changing ales available, mostly from the tried and trusted range from Kelburn and Fyne Ales Renowned for our promotion of traditional music, session every Sunday night. Longest running Quiz night every Wednesday Bar food served daily :: Small parties catered for
17 Wellington Square, Ayr KA7 1EZ Tel: 01292 262794 Email: email@example.com www.welliesbar.weebly.com
REAL ALES SERVED HERE Meals Served Daily 12-2pm and 6-9pm Traditional Roast Served every Sunday Extensive Bar Menu Award-winning Table D’Hôte and À La Carte Dining Available
Telephone: 01671 402121 Fax: 01671 403258
www.creebridge.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Creebridge House Hotel, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire DG8 6NP 26
NATURAL LANDSCAPES by Bob Wallace As you may be aware from the frequent adverts and recent television programmes, 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, promoting the best experiences that our country can offer visitors. And close to many of these features, a real ale pub is never far away. Historic sites The Battle of Largs in 1263 was when the Vikings were defeated in Scotland. Vikingar, on the Clyde coast seafront, is a multi themed attraction which, along with the annual Largs Viking Festival and this year’s Ayrshire Real Ale Festival in Troon, commemorates the event. A visit to Largs has many attractions for real ale fans too with five outlets in the town centre plus Largs sailing club and the 2012 A&W pub of the year - The Village Inn - at nearby Fairlie, providing great beer choices. Great countryside walks Failford Gorge, part of the River Ayr Way, provides a fine four mile walk from Stair, and the Stair Inn, to the hamlet of Failford, where the 2006 Scottish Pub of the Year is aiming to recapture old glories. You can also continue your walk up the river to Mauchline, where the famous Poosie Nansie’s Inn will be delighted to show off it’s connections to Robert Burns and provide a good ale too, or continue a little further to Sorn and the Sorn Inn. Galloway Forest Park Offers two mountain biking centres, fabulous hill and forest walks, wildlife and bird watching and the first dark sky park in the UK. For great real ales after exploring the park, House o’ Hill hotel at Bargrennan, Glen Trool - in the heart of the forest - offers great Scottish ales and food. Newton Stewart is a great base for stays in the area and Creebridge House and Galloway Arms Hotels will slake the real ale drinkers thirst. Birdwatching Take a boat trip from Girvan to Ailsa Craig to see over 40,000 Gannets as well as Puffins and round the day off at the Roxy Cafe Bar or Royal Hotel. For the birdwatcher heading down to the RSPB reserve at the Mull of Galloway, the Clashwhannon in Drummore and the Tigh na Mara in Sandhead will help quench the thirst from watching the seabirds on the cliffs whilst the delights of Portpatrick’s Crown Hotel and Harbour House Hotel will provide a welcome ale and meal on the return home. 27
regional which is packed with features on pubs, beers and local groups. and breweries. ■ The opportunity to campaign to save pubs and breweries under threat of closure. ■ Our monthly newspaper, ‘What’s Brewing’, informing you on beer ■ The chance to join CAMRA / Brewery and pub news and detailing events and Complimentary Clubs that are exclusive beer festivals around the country. to CAMRA members. These clubs offer a variety of promotions including free pint www.awcamra.org.uk ■ Reduced entry to over 160 national, vouchers, brewery trips, competitions, regional and local beer festivals. and merchandise offers. ■ Socials and brewery trips, with national, ■ Discounts on all CAMRA books including regional and local groups. the Good Beer Guide. ■ The opportunity to campaign to save Costing from just £23 a year, that’s less than a pint a month, you can join CAMRA pubs and breweries under threat of closure.
CAMRA Membership Benefits
using the form printed opposite,■or online atjoin www.camra.org.uk, andamazing enjoy the Plus these discounts... The chance to CAMRA / Brewery following benefits: Complimentary Clubs that are exclusive • • • • • • • • •
to CAMRA members. These clubs offer a
1 of promotions £20 worth of JD Quarterly copy of the excellentvariety ‘BEER’ magazineincluding free pint N Wetherspoon Real Ale vouchers, brewery trips, competitions, s Vouchers.** Monthly ‘What’s Brewing’ newspaper and merchandise offers. Reduced entry to over 160 national, regional and ■ Discounts on all CAMRA books including 1 10% savings at lo local beer festivals the Good Beer Guide. Cotswold Outdoor. H Social Groups and brewery trips An opportunity to campaign to save pubsamazing and Plus these discounts... 10% discount on booking 1 with cottages4you. w breweries under threat of closure The chance to join CAMRA / Brewery Complimentary discount with £20 worth of JD 10 For more on your15% CAMRA Membership Benefits please visit w Clubs offering a range of promotions National Express coach Wetherspoon Real Ale to * This price is based on the Direct Debit discount. ** Joint CAMRA membersh services. Vouchers.** withdraw any offer at any time without warning and members should check C Discounts on all CAMRA books including the Good Beer Guide 15% off boat hire with start 10% savings at 2 locations form Falkirk to Cotswold Outdoor. ta £20 of Wetherspoons’ Vouchers for use against real Hilperton. ale purchases. U 10% discount on booking 10% discount on booking PLUS a huge range of discounts from various at with cottages4you. with Hoseasons. to national retailers, some of which are shown opposite. ...plus many more
For more on your CAMRA Membership Benefits please visit www.camra.org.uk/benefits
* This price is based on the Direct Debit discount. ** Joint CAMRA memberships will receive one set of vouchers to share. CAMRA withdraw any offer at any time without warning and members should check CAMRA website for updated and details of current offers
The nationâ€™s beers are dropping into London
Great British Beer Festival London Olympia 13-17th August
A fantastic fun packed festival atmosphere with over 800 quality beers & ciders, variety of food, live music, entertainment, games and activities to enjoy.
0844 412 4640 www.gbbf.org.uk/tickets
KH_Beer_advert_. 14/05/2013 16:37 Page 1
BEST WESTERN www.awcamra.org.uk
Isle of Arran
Blackwaterfoot Beer Festival Isle of Arran
Real Ales! Saturday 20th July 11.30am until 6pm • 12 real ales • malt whisky stand • live music • hog roast & burger tent
BEST WESTERN Kinloch Hotel, Blackwaterfoot, The Isle of Arran www.bw-kinlochhotel.co.uk Tel: 01770 860444
Our range of Real Ales includes:
Hand Crafted, Award Winning, Traditional Cask Conditioned Ale Brewed in the Heart of Burns Country All ales are available in Firkins (72 Pints), Pins (36 Pints) and Mini Casks (8.8 Pints) Ayr Brewing Company, 5 Racecourse Road, Ayr KA7 2DG Telephone: 01292 263891 Fax: 01292 830450 Mobile: 07834 922142 www.ayrbrewingcompany.com 32
The following folk were elected as office bearers for the 2013/14 season at the Branch AGM held in Geordie’s Byre, Ayr on 23rd March 2013.
The following outlets have added real ale since the last edition of . Courtyard Bar, Ayr: one or two Ayr Brewing Company beers on gravity from pins Kildonan Country House, Barrhill: one or two varying ales (this was incorrectly listed as Kildonan House Hotel, Kildonan, Arran in the last issue) Girvans, Troon: Ayr Brewing Company Drift Inn, Lamlash, Isle of Arran: Caledonian Deuchars IPA and a beer from Arran Brewery
Chair............................................Lindsay Grant Vice Chairs....................................Ian Middleditch ...................................................Ray Turpie Secretary......................................Clare Scott Treasurer......................................Jon Mansell Membership Secretary...................Bob Wallace Social Secretary............................Donald Clark Pubs Officer/Preservation Officer....Mick Lee Public Affairs Officer......................Graeme Watt Other Committee Members: Tony Scott, Douglas Graham, Ronnie Beveridge, Malcolm McNeil, Kenneth Middleditch, Stuart McMahon
Losses Caledonian Inn, Beith: no longer selling real ale Glen Park Hotel, Ayr: closed down Possible future outlets Golf Inn, Prestwick: no real ale to date Stewarton Arms, Stewarton
DATES FOR YOUR SUMMER DIARY
AYRSHIRE REAL ALE FESTIVAL 01
Fri 14 - Sun 16 June, FyneFest - Real Ale and Music Festival at Fyne Ales Brewery, Cairndow, Argyll. www.fynefest.com Thur 20 June, North Ayrshire Social, Saltcot, Saltcoats 8pm Wed 26 June, East Ayrshire Social - Weston Tavern, Kilmaurs, 7.30pm Thur 4 July, South Ayrshire Social, Troon - venue TBC Thur 11 - Sun 14 July, Scottish Real Ale Festival, Corn Exchange, Edinburgh. Branch Social - 2pm Friday. www.sraf.org.uk Fri 12 - Sun 14 July, 1st Prestwick Real Ale Festival Prestwick Cricket Club, Branch Social - 2pm Saturday Thur 18 July, North Ayrshire Social - Waterside, Largs 8pm Sat 20 July, Kinloch Beer Festival, Blackwaterfoot, Arran, see advert on p30 Wed 31 July, East Ayrshire Social - Auld Hoose, Dunlop 7.30pm Thur 1 Aug, South Ayrshire Social, Troon - venue TBC Thur 15 Aug, North Ayrshire Social - Village Inn Beer Festival, Fairlie - TBC Fri 16 Aug, Copy deadline for next edition of Full Pints
Visit www.awcamra.org.uk for up-to-date information
3rd - 5th October Troon Concert Hall Over 120 Real Ales PLUS Cider & Perry Thurs 3rd: CAMRA/Trade: 1pm Public: 3pm – 11pm Fri 4th: 11am – 11pm Sat 5th: 11am – 11pm ADMISSION: Public: £4, CAMRA: £3
ALE TRAILS We have launched a series of 5 guides showing some Ale Trails that are possible within our Branch area using public transport. The guides will be available soon in all real ale outlets along with other hotels and public facilities such as libraries and community centres. The guides are also available to download from www.awcamra.org.uk. Trail 1 lists pubs that serve real ale close to stations on the railway line between Girvan and Troon. Trail 2 lists pubs that serve real ale close to stations on the railway line between Largs and Saltcoats. Trail 3 lists pubs that serve real ale close to stations on the railway line between Kilmarnock and Dunlop. Trail 4 lists pubs that serve real ale close to the railway line between Stranraer and Girvan. An additional guide suggests three walking trails in and around Ayr. Guides are also in preparation covering rural trails by bus in Ayrshire and covering Stranraer, the Machars and the Rhins. Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/~jdhildeb/software/sudokugen/ on Fri Apr 26 09:24:01 2013 GMT. Enjoy!
If you have a smartphone, then free apps are available to let you scan the QR Code shown opposite, which will take you to our website, where you can download the Rail Trails.
nd E a IRE SHIRNSH W AYR TO IG W
Listed below are some useful contact details for transport providers in our Branch area.
Stagecoach West Scotland - www.stagecoachbus.com Tel: 01292 613500 / 01294 607007 / Disability Helpdesk 07736 892253 James King Bus Services (Stranraer Area) www.kingscoachhire.com Tel: 01671 830284
Quiz Page Solutions 9 2 3
4 5 6 8 1 7 2 9 3
2 8 9 4 7 6 1 3 5
6 1 5 9 3 8 4 7 2
7 4 3 1 2 5 8 6 9
9 2 1 6 4 3 7 5 8
3 6 8 7 5 1 9 2 4
5 7 4 2 8 9 3 1 6
Puzzle 1 (Easy, difficulty rating 0.40)
QUIZ: 1. 72 2. Barcelona 3. Alcohol By Volume 4. Giraffe 5. 24 6. Hammersmith and City 7. Pomegranite 8. Curiosity 9. Duff beer 10. Novak Djokovic
Trading Standards Offices Kilmarnock: 01563 521502 Ayr: 01292 616060 Irvine: 01294 324900 Stranraer: 01776 703260
Traveline Scotland - www.travelinescotland.com
Caledonian MacBrayne - www.calmac.co.uk Tel: 0800 066 5000
WORDSEARCH BREWERIES: Alechemy, AnTeallach, Arran, Atlas, Ayr, Barneys, Belhaven, BlackIsle, Broughton, Burnside, Cairngorm, Caledonian, Colonsay, Cromarty, Deeside, Devon, Eden, Fallen, Fyne, Glenfinnan, Harviestoun, Highland, Houston, Inveralmond, Islay, IsleofSkye, Kelburn, LochLeven, LochLomond, LochNess, Luckie, Madcap, Moulin, Oban, Orkney, Plockton, RiverLeven, StAndrews, ScottishBorders, Stewart, Strathaven, Strathbraan, Sulwath, Tempest, Tinpot, Traquair, Tryst, Valhalla, Williams, Windswept.
ScotRail - www.scotrail.co.uk Tel: 0845 601 5929
OPINION: KEN MORE – the man in the know! Heavy metal is perhaps not the first thing that springs to mind when people think of real ale or CAMRA but recent events have got me thinking about how those two elements of British culture are closer entwined than is at first obvious. Last month the kings of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, launched a cask ale, brewed by Robinson’s called Trooper, named after Maiden’s signature song from their iconic 1983 Piece of Mind album. Trooper was arriving in pub went to press so sadly I have not yet cellars just as had the chance to sample it, but reports from hop heads and metal heads alike say it is a fine drop of stuff indeed. Also, when going to rock concerts, having a beer before the gig is almost mandatory and I have noticed how much real ale is being consumed by my comrades in the denim and leather brigade in the pre-gig pub. And thirdly, look at the names of some of the beers. They would not be out of place as a name for a heavy metal band or album title. Take for example Skull Splitter or Dragonhead from the Orkney brewery. Both would be fine titles for Norse-themed prog rock concept albums. And both these beers would be great for our Viking theme at this year’s Ayrshire Real Ale Festival. [Ed - we hope to have them!] Or how about some of the offerings from the Two Cocks brewery in Berkshire. The beers from their 1643 range: Roundhead, Cavalier and Puritan have names that would fit perfectly on a Saxon record. There is a real ale brewery in Spain called Saxon that was featured in Full Pints recently. Surrey’s Fallen Angel brewery is another prime example. Poison, the Black Veil Brides and Meat Loaf have all recorded songs called Fallen Angel and the pump clip design for the brewery’s Black Death ale could be straight from one of Meat’s 80’s album covers.
Mr Grundy’s brewery in Derby makes a beer called Passchendaele which is also the name of one of my favourite Iron Maiden tracks. Both the Burton Bridge brewery in Burton-upon-Trent and the White Rose brewery in Sheffield make beers called Stairway to Heaven. The list of beers with heavy metal sounding names is extensive so I’ll quickly give you a few more. The Ridgeside brewery in Castleford makes Jailbreak, the title of songs by both Thin Lizzy and AC/DC; Woodforde’s of Norwich make a beer called Headcracker; Hambleton’s (North Yorkshire) Nightmare and Everard’s-owned Brunswick makes an ale called Black Sabbath. There is of course one more similarity between real ale drinkers and heavy metal fans: none of us can stand bland pop. KM
At Sulwath Brewers we give you the chance to see the craft of brewing in action, and to taste our speciality ales at our fully licensed brewery tap visitor centre.
Open Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Off-sales also available
The Brewery, King Street Castle Douglas, DG7 1DT www.sulwathbrewers.co.uk
Telephone: 01556 504525