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Full Pints Volume 14 13 Issue 1 3 Spring Winter 2012 2011


Blue Peter is Pub of the Year

THE Blue Peter Hotel in Kirkcolm, by Stranraer, has been chosen as the 2011 Branch Pub of the Year. The South Ayrshire Pub of the Year is the Glen Park Hotel in Ayr, home of the Ayr Brewing Company. East Ayrshire’s Pub of the Year is the Millhouse Hotel in Stewarton and the North Ayrshire title goes to the Village Inn, Fairlie. Four area heats were held and a judging panel of four CAMRA members, one from each area, decided the winner using the criteria set out for judging national pub competitions.


Inside News P3 Branch Diary P8 Poosie Nansie’s P9 Ray’s Round Up P12 Outlets Map P16 Community Pubs Month P19 Ardrossan Academicals Beer Festival P22 Kilmarnock Area Pubs P24 Membership P28 Ken More P30



FULL PINTS New owners for Millhouse Hotel

Real ale comes to historic Burns pub.

STEWARTON’S Millhouse Hotel is under new management, just after it was named as East Ayrshire Pub of the Year. Taking over from Ian and Pauline Kernot are Jim Kelly and Denise Pentland. Jim and Denise have pledged to continue the good work of Ian and Pauline in stocking and promoting real ale and are utilising the ‘beer consultancy’ services of one Dan McKay, the former owner of the alehouse in Troon that still bears his name. It is expected that the Millhouse will sell two real ales during the week and three at weekends. The hotel will be managed by Denise’s husband Fraser Pentland, formerly the of the Park Hotel in Kilmarnock. Ian and Pauline Kernot are branch members and continue to live in the area so look out for them at CAMRA events.

POOSIE NANSIE’S in Mauchline is selling real ale, meaning that, at last, beer like the bard drank can be enjoyed in a pub he frequented. Beers are from the Houston Brewery with Barochan and Peter’s Well proving popular. Special report on Poosie Nansie’s by Ronnie Beveridge on page 9.

Award for Full Pints FULL PINTS has been named as CAMRA’s most improved newsletter over the past year. The announcement was made at the recent CAMRA national AGM in Torquay. The editor thanks his predecessor, Douglas Graham for making the magazine full colour, all contributors for their superb articles and Bob Wallace for his outstanding work as advertising manager.

MINUTES OF MEETINGS are available from the branch secretary Ray Turpie: (members only)

Contact Editorial: Graeme Watt 07535 990531

DISCLAIMER The views expressed in this publication are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view and policies of the editor or of the Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. © Campaign for Real Ale Ltd 2012 3

Advertising: Bob Wallace 07929 990972 TRADING STANDARDS OFFICES Ayr - 01292 616060 Irvine - 01294 324900 Kilmarnock - 01563 521502 Stranraer - 01776 703260

FULL PINTS Ÿ Highlands and Western Isles: Benleva Hotel, Kilmore Road, Drumnadrochit. Ÿ Kingdom of Fife: Central Bar, Market Street, St Andrews. Ÿ Northern Ireland: Spinning Mill, Broughshane Street, Ballymena. Ÿ Renfrewshire: Fox and Hounds, South Street, Houston. Ÿ Tayside: Ericht Ale House, Wellmeadow, Blairgowrie.

Scottish and Northern Ireland Branches announce Pubs of the Year ALL branches of CAMRA in Scotland and Northern Ireland have have now announced their Pub of the Year selections. They are: Ÿ Aberdeen, Grampian and Northern Isles: the Grill, Union Street Aberdeen. Ÿ Dumfries and Stewartry: Cavens Arms, Buccleuch Street, Dumfries Ÿ Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland: Cobbles Inn, Bowmont Street, Kelso. Ÿ Forth Valley: Woolpack Inn, Glassford Square, Tillicoultry. Ÿ Glasgow and West Scotland: Drum & Monkey, St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

For Ayrshire and Wigtownshire’s results, see front page. The winning pubs will now be judged in the next Scotland and Northern Ireland Pub of the Year, with the winner going on to the UK-wide competition for the prestigious CAMRA Pub of the Year title.

F d

P T b



W W o

FULL PINTS New date and Venue for Scottish Real Ale SRAF, the Scottish Real Ale Festival will this year move to new venue, the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. Situated in the west of the city, near the Caledonian Brewery, the Corn Exchange is only a short and inexpensive bus ride from Haymarket railway station. Lothian Buses 4, 34, 35, 44 and 44A all go to the venue as do First Buses 44, 44B and 44C. The venue is bigger than any SRAF has been held at before so there should be no problems with queuing or overcrowding. It also allows the organisers plenty of room for reserve stock to ensure ample beer supplies even on the last day. SRAF runs from Thursday, June 29 to Saturday, June 30.

Outlets news Gains Poosie Nansie’s, Loudoun Street , Mauchline - Houston Beers. Ardrossan Academicals Rugby Club, Sorbie Road, Ardrossan - occasional guest real ales The Prestwick Pioneer, Main Street, Prestwick - up to ten real ales (Opens May 15). Kirkmichael Arms, Straiton Road, Kirkmichael - reopened with two ales.

Losses The Balgarth, Doonfoot, Ayr - closed The Waterside, Seamill - no longer serving real ale Kenmuir Arms, New Luce - Closed Dunure Inn, Dunure - no longer selling real ale

CROWN HOTEL 9 NORTH CRESCENT PORTPATRICK WIGTOWNSHIRE DG9 8SX TEL 01776 810261 For the last nine months we have been serving real ale in our hotel bar. Two different ales are available daily with 5 or 6 different ales appearing weekly. Please pop in the next time you find yourselves in Portpatrick. The Crown offers bar meals all day from 12-9 and our restaurant menu is available from 6pm daily.

Seafood is our speciality (AA awarded seafood pub of Scotland past winner). We also offer daily specials alongside our extensive menus. We offer bed and breakfast and dinner packages with 5 of our 12 en-suite rooms offering sea views. Bed and breakfast is available from ÂŁ40 per person. 5

FULL PINTS Getting Around Buses:

Wetherspoon’s finally fly in to Prestwick AFTER a long-running battle with the town’s existing licensees and some residents, JD Wetherspoon’s in Prestwick will open its doors on May 15. The Prestwick Pioneer occupies the site of the former Woolworth’s store and CAMRA sources understand there will be up to ten real ales on sale. The bar is named after an RAF transport aircraft produced by Scottish Aviation. The first prototype flew in 1947 and the aircraft saw action in Malaya, Aden and Cyprus until it was withdrawn from service in 1969. Opening hours are expected to be from 8am, for breakfast, tea and coffee with an alcohol licence from 10am until midnight, 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Stagecoach West Scotland Customer Services 01292 613500 Disability Helpdesk 07736 892253

Trains: Scotrail Customer Services 0845 601 5929

Ferries: Caledonian MacBrayne Enquiries 0800 066 5000

All: Traveline Scotland 0871 200 22 33

On the A736 Irvine to Barrhead Road, at Lugton Manager, Frazer Dunn, invites you to visit for great food and local real ales from Arran, Houston and Kelburn breweries Tel:01505 850510 6



FULL PINTS Branch Social Grand National Trip, Rinns of Galloway North Ayrshire Social, Lauriston Hotel, Ardrossan 8pm Members Seminar, McCowans, Edinburgh 11am Branch Committee Meeting, Poosie Nansie's, Mauchline 7.30pm East Ayrshire Social , Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton, 7.30pm South Ayrshire Social, Glen Park Hotel, Ayr 8pm Branch Social, Paisley Beer Festival 2pm Beer Festival Planning Meeting, Geordie's Byre, Ayr 8pm North Ayrshire Social, venue to be confirmed Branch Social, Prestwick Pioneer, Prestwick, 8pm Sulwath Brewery Open Day, Castle Douglas 12pm Beer Festival Planning Meeting, Village Inn, Dunlop 8pm East Ayrshire Social, Auld Hoose, Dunlop 7.30pm East Ayrshire Social, Wheatsheaf, Kilmarnock 7.30pm Branch Social, Scottish Real Ale Festival, Edinburgh National Executive Social Events, to be confirmed Trip to Fyne ales, details to be confirmed Trip to Strathaven Ales, details to be confirmed

Saturday, April 14 Thursday, April 19 Saturday, April 21 Monday, April 23

Wednesday, April 25 Thursday, April 26 Friday, April 27 Monday, April 30 Thursday, May 17 Tuesday, May 22 Saturday, May 26 Monday, May 28 Thursday, May 31 Wednesday, June 27 Friday, June 29 Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30 Saturday, July 14 Saturday, August 25

Any member wishing more information about social events or to book a place on trips is encouraged to contact the branch social secretary Donald Clark at 8

FULL PINTS By Ronnie Beveridge Rabbie would make of Poosie Nansie’s uilt in 1700, Poosie Nansie’s in today with its various electronic Mauchline enjoys strong links to distractions in the cosy public bar. Personally, I reckon he would go with national poet Robert Burns and attracts a significant number of The Bard’s the flow. The locals continue to enjoy a good blether covering all topics of followers worldwide. 44 Poosie Nansie was the nickname of Agnes, the wife of George Gibson who owned the inn during the latter part of the 18th century. Outwardly little has changed in over 300 years although an extension was added in 1888 and the thatched roof, which originally adorned the building, was replaced with one of slate in the mid 1950s. Inside, the decor of one room has been preserved to look as it did in the days of the famous poet and is now regularly used as a meeting place by the committee of Mauchline Burns Club. Burns, who farmed at Mossgiel on the outskirts of Mauchline, met his future wife Jean Armour on the village’s bleaching green. The Armour household was located in the Cowgate, only yards from Poosie’s front door. The poet wrote many of his best known works while living and working in Mauchline and in 1785 was inspired to pen his ‘Jolly Beggars’ cantata, originally known as ‘Love and Liberty’, after witnessing the carousing among some of the local worthies during an evening of drinking and singing in Top: Poosie Nansie’s is decorated to reflect its Poosie’s. connection to Burns and above, the historic pub One wonders what at night.





conversation. And with a drink after a hard day’s work they are not averse to singing the odd song or two at the Saturday night karaoke. He would most certainly appreciate the warm welcome offered by landlady Heather The great man might well have sat here as ‘guid ale kept and her staff and his heart aboon’. he would surely approve of the recent introduction of cask ale at this historic hostelry. He was, after all, a man renowned for his love of the good life.




21 Loudoun Street Mauchline KA5 5BA 01290 550316 10




Jim, Denise & Fraser, would like to take this opportunity to thank our locals for the warm welcome they have received since taking over at The Millhouse Hotel. We are looking forward to meeting new faces, whether booking a function, having a bite to eat or sampling the real ales we have on offer. Our aim is to maintain the high standard set with the real ales which we will source through local and national suppliers. We hope to see you all soon.

01292 540117 NOW UNDER THE MANAGEMENT OF NICK and LINDA BROOMHEAD The Failford Inn is a rural pub on the B743 between Ayr and Mauchline from the Whitletts roundabout. Failford is home to the Ayr Gorge section of the River Ayr Walk and the Failford Inn makes a great place to relax. We offer the choice of a real fire in the bar or our picturesque beer garden which slopes down to the river. We offer a full restaurant and bar meal service with a choice of real ales.


FULL PINTS Bitter from Tadcaster, at less than £3 a pint I might add. On the Saturday, we met for t was very pleasing to see that lunch with friends at the GBG-listed so many of you took my tip at the end Skinners Arms where I enjoyed a pint of the last Round Up and of Ilkley Bitter. If you are ever near managed to join the festive King’s Cross station, this pub in crawl in Ayr. At one point Judd Street is well worth a visit. there were over three dozen in The highlight of the weekend, attendance and I am sure a however, was the visit to the good time was had by all. National Gallery to see the Unfortunately, I missed the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, start point but visited all the pubs even although we had to queue for after that. My favourite beer of the over two hours in the rain for tickets. day was Fyne Ales Sublime Stout in Talking about tickets, we were lucky Wellingtons where we got a very warm enough to get seats for the Gerry Rafferty welcome. memorial concert at the Concert Hall, My trip to London, mentioned in the last Glasgow in January. The first concert on edition, went well. I found last year’s the Sunday night was sold out almost national pub of the year, the Harp, immediately so they arranged a second Covent Garden where I enjoyed Dark night on the Monday. Unfortunately, I had Star Original and I also went to the to miss the CAMRA meeting in Largs, Princess Louise in Holborn. It is a Sam along with other two committee members Smith’s pub, beautifully tiled and who were also at the show but it was no mirrored and sells is its Old Brewery contest. The finale was “Baker Street” of course, with some of the original artists on stage, including guitarist Hugh Burns. Mention of Burns brings me to the Burns Beer Festival held in March at Burns Cottage Educational Centre which some of you may have managed to attend. As the local branch of CAMRA, we were asked for assistance by the National Trust for Scotland to set up A proper pub sign at the Skinners Arms, Holburn and run the bar for this event. Your By Ray Rturpie



FULL PINTS committee took the view that this was a good opportunity to campaign and raise some funds. We arranged for twenty beers from the west of Scotland to be available and this could end up being an annual event if things Ayrshire Real Ale Festival organiser Douglas Graham turn out well presents the 2011 Beer of the Festival certificate to in the final Nethergate brewer Paul Gower . reckoning. While I am on the subject of festivals, are interested, let Lindsay Grant or me along with two other CAMRA members, know and we will reserve a place. Various Douglas Graham and I made the trip to topics of interest to branches will be Growler Brewery, Nethergate to present discussed and you will be able to have the beer of the festival (BOTF) certificate your say at the workshops in the for Umble Ale. The hospitality was afternoon. exceptional, spending over three hours During the last week-end of June, our being shown round the brewery and Branch is hosting National Executive and sampling their beer before retiring to the Regional Directors meetings in Ayr. After board room for lunch. It tied in well with the formal proceedings we will be the Chelmsford Winter Beer Festival arranging social events around the where we met up with local members who weekend so this will be an opportunity for usually manage up to our festival in Troon. you to talk to them about any CAMRA Planning for this year’s festival is well topic that you feel needs aired. On the underway with many of the key elements Friday of the same weekend we will be already agreed. If you want to help out, having a branch social outing to the come along to the next meeting which you Scottish Real Ale Festival so there is will find on the events programme. There plenty going on. are many interesting outings coming up As I write, I am getting ready to head for over the next few months including a the Members Weekend in Torquay so I members’ seminar in Edinburgh on 21st will no doubt report in the next issue. April. Any member is entitled to attend at Enjoy your summer beers in the McCowans, Edinburgh from 11am. If you meantime. 13



FULL PINTS New goodies from the CAMRA shop

Order online at 15





FULL PINTS Catacol Bay Hotel, Catacol, Isle of Arran

Owned and run by the same family for over 30 years, the Catacol Bay Hotel is a small, friendly, licensed hotel nestling in the Arran hills 1.5 miles from the Lochranza ferry terminal and approximately 16 miles from Brodick The hotel boasts stunning views across the Kibrannan Sound. We serve an extensive range of real ales, draught beers, wines, meals and snacks in the bar daily from 12 noon to 10pm, or enjoy our famous Sunday buffet served 12 noon to 4pm throughout the year. Outside there is a large beer garden with children's play area, the perfect place to watch the sun go down.

01770 830231

The Waterside Bath Street, Largs Tel: 01475 672224

Two ever-changing REAL ALES now available Live Music Saturdays Poker Wednesdays

Karaoke Fridays

Open Mike night Sundays

Food available every day, except Monday 18

FULL PINTS By Graeme Watt ubs are Britain’s Best social networking sites and CAMRA is emphasising this point with its latest campaign: Community Pubs Month. In April, over 5,500 pubs across the UK will toast Community Pubs Month and CAMRA has published new research showing how local pubs play an integral role right the way through the lives of people in local communities. Since 2008, over 4,500 pubs have closed across the nation, with licensees battered by high beer tax, greedy pub companies, soaring overheads, and discount booze deals from major supermarket chains. With so many pubs permanently closing their doors on a weekly basis, scores of surrounding local communities are left without their social hub. Community Pubs Month aims to champion pubs as invaluable community assets, and outlets which vast numbers of people across the UK rely upon so heavily during their daily lives. Pubs are vital meeting places for young adults, with just under 90 per cent of them using their local to meet friends and socialise. Further to this, in a poll to


regular pub goers: a quarter of currently married couples said they first met their partner down the pub. Mike Benner, CAMRA chief executive said: “Pubs are the beating hearts of countless communities across the land, and without their existence, society would be a lot worse off. “CAMRA’s new campaign is all about reaffirming the vital importance of local pubs, and the essential role they play in many people’s lives. CAMRA’s research shows people turn to their local pub during meaningful events, so whether you are a real ale lover, or someone who enjoys the weekly quiz down your local, pubs are a core part of our identity and heritage. “With the launch of Community Pubs Month, CAMRA is urging local communities this April to back their local licensees and give them the support they need during these difficult economic times. Pubs are the original social networking sites, and will continue to provide an invaluable community service as long as they are used by the local people that surround them.”



Ayrshire Real Ale Festival 2012

is a week later than usual: 11-13 October Troon Concert Hall

CAMRA Scottish Real Ale Festival Edinburgh Corn Exchange New Market Road Edinburgh Thursday, June 28 to Saturday June 30 2012




McKAYS Real Ale House


69 Portland Street Troon FAMILY RUN FRIENDLY PUBLIC HOUSE Extensive beer garden with table service, child-friendly and secure HIGH QUALITY WINES AND SPIRITS Quality home-made food to suit everyone REAL ALES ON TAP Full children’s menu

Sunday roasts available from 12 noon - 7pm Quiz nights every Wednesday from 9.30pm


01292 311079 22

FULL PINTS Estivo and Misty Law and Strathaven had By Stuart McMahon Clydesdale IPA and Old Mortality. There rdrossan Academicals recently was a style of ale for everyone. And there decided to hold their first real ale were also the yummy scotch pies, bridies festival to both promote real ale, and sausage rolls supplied by the Kandy and to encourage people to come along Bar. and use their clubhouse facilities. Friday night saw around 50 people The club is only a five-minute walk from attend and although Saturday started off South Beach station and only a few fairly slow, by late afternoon it picked up minutes' more from a bus stop on the and by the end of the night at 11pm Ardrossan to Kilmarnock route. another 85 new entries had paid their Despite living in Saltcoats and admission, and numerous returnees from Ardrossan all my life, and having attended Ardrossan Academy, I had never been in Friday night were also present. It was a the clubhouse. I wonder how many more close-run race for the first beer to be finished, but Misty Law took that accolade are like me? close competition from The idea arose after some 'Accies' with Sheepshaggers and Clydesdale. members joined CAMRA having attended It was a successful first real ale festival some of the increasingly popular North for the rugby club – it generated a small Ayrshire social events. The club did all the profit, and it is hoped that they will organising but had assistance from Ian Middleditch in helping to stage the beer consider others in the future. A big thank you to all the volunteers from the branch and organising the volunteer staff. The festival opened to the public at 5pm who helped with serving the pints and to on Friday, March 30. Entry was a Ian for his expertise in helping to set it all up. reasonable £3, and the ales were well-priced at just £2.50 per pint. Eleven ales were available, mainly from local breweries. Ayr Brewing supplied Jolly Beggars and Rabbie’s Porter; Cairngorm sent Sheepshaggers Gold and Stag; Houston was represented with Peter's Well and a new 4.5% ABV brew, Slainte – it was a very nice session bitter. The Inveralmond offering was Lia Fail, Beer fans start to arrive at Ardrossan Accies Kelburn's were Pivo Rugby Club on the Saturday afternoon



FULL PINTS By Bob Wallace Lloyds No 1 bar, part of the Wetherspoon hile the popularity of cask group, this is by far the biggest seller of conditioned ale has seen a real ale in East Ayrshire with nine hand steady growth in my local area pumps supplying customers with Ruddles, around Kilmarnock I am afraid that, Abbot Ale and an ever changing list of when compared to other areas, we remain quality ales from near and far. They hold a bit of a real ale desert but there are few Cask Marque accreditation, have well oases. trained cellar staff and hold two beer The CAMRA social group for the area festivals each year. meet on the last Wednesday of each Brass & Granite, Kilmarnock: this month and try to spread our business longstanding beacon for real ale in the around them all. See the diary page for town, has three hand pumps supplying details and come and have a pint. ales from the Belhaven range. Auld Hoose, Dunlop: two beers are Inveralmond beers often feature. Also sold, mainly from local breweries and known for value food, quiz nights and an with regular guests from Stewart and enormous collection of memorabilia of all Timothy Taylor. sorts and an area for pool and many Village Inn, Dunlop: making Dunlop screens for TV sport. Ayrshire’s first 100 per cent supplier of First Edition, Kilmarnock: a member of real ales, the Village Inn introduced one the Smith & Jones group, the pub name hand pump just over year ago and have recognises the publication of Robert featured Caledonian, Houston and even Burns first book, the Kilmarnock Edition. Castle Rock, from Nottingham. It has a It is a large, food-based outlet, with three cosy public bar and a large rear area used real ales usually on offer from Ayr, for pub games, meetings and functions. Caledonian and Greene King. Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton: under new ownership, see page 3. With three hand pumps offering ales from local breweries and guests from across the UK the Millhouse has become a Mecca for ale drinkers from a wide area. Weston Tavern, Kilmaurs: another pub with character and a long term supplier of a single ever-changing real ale. The Weston has a fine restaurant/coffee shop as well as a popular public bar and lounge with a real fire, stone walls and flagstone floor. Licensee Sheila has been able to source ales from distant Islay and Loch Leven breweries to provide welcome variety. Top: the Auld Hoose, Dunlop and Wheatsheaf Inn, Kilmarnock: a above, the Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton



FULL PINTS Beeragrams

Pub Quiz

Rearrange to following into the names of real ales including the brewery and the beer. 1 Pervert hates tantrum

1 What does Al-Jazeera mean in Arabic? 2 TV presenter Dermot O’Leary owns which kind of shop? 3 The ‘sedia gestatoria’ was mothballed in 1978. What replaced it? 4 Fauntleroy is which cartoon character’s middle name? 5 Biff By ford fronted which heavy metal band? 6 Who famously left his wife his second best bed in his will? 7 Who, when appearing in the Simpsons, is uniquely depicted with five fingers on each hand? 8 Uncontroversial at the time, what appeared on the cover of the Jungle Book? 9 Peruvian bark is better known as what? 10 Alan Rusbridger edits which national newspaper?

2 Vandalises inn room 3 Fine droll splendour 4 Well-suited topnotch gem 5 Thrusting blow degrades 6 Loony anorak’s Halo 7 Sloppy feelings dear 8 Rub dinky meddlers 9 Alexander’s romp 10 A cast-iron pedantry

Sudoku 1 2



6 5

4 8

3 4 2









8 6

8 6



2 8


7 25


What Links… A beer, an old Scottish word for gossip and Hugh Laurie s

FULL PINTS Pub Quiz 1 The island 2 Chip shop 3 The Popemobile 4 Donald Duck 5 Saxon 6 William Shakespeare 7 God 8 A swastika 9 Quinine 10 The Guardian Sudoku

Beeragrams 1 Strathaven Trumpeter 2 Inveralmond Ossian 3 Fuller’s London Pride 4 Tempest Long White Cloud 5 Stewart’s Edinburgh Gold 6 O’Hanlon’s Royal Oak 7 Fyne Ales Piper’s Gold 8 Kelburn Red Smiddy 9 Adnams Explorer 10 Tryst Carronade IPA What Links? Claverhouse: brewed by Strathaven, clishmaclaver and plays Dr Gregory House.

3 2 4 8 1 7 5 6 9


9 6 5 3 4 2 8 7 1

1 7 8 5 6 9 2 3 4

4 1 9 7 2 3 6 5 8

8 3 7 4 5 6 1 9 2

6 5 2 9 8 1 7 4 3

2 4 1 6 9 5 3 8 7

5 8 3 1 7 4 9 2 6

7 9 6 2 3 8 4 1 5



FULL PINTS By Bob Wallace


embership of the Ayrshire & Wigtownshire branch remains just short of 400 with roughly the same number of new members joining since Christmas, to replace the dozen or so who chose not to renew. I thank you for your support if you are one of the latter but encourage you to keep drinking real ale and to consider rejoining at some point in the future. If you are reading this article and are not a CAMRA member then you can use the form opposite or visit the ‘Join us’ page on the CAMRA website As a member you will receive the following benefits: 1. What's Brewing, a monthly colour newspaper, delivered direct to your letterbox. 2.Beer, a quarterly magazine, also delivered direct to you. 3. Reduced admission to over 150 CAMRA beer festivals 4. Discounts on CAMRA books, including the Good Beer Guide.Discounts from a number of partners, such as. Cottages4you and Hire a Canalboat. Remember also that every new, and renewing, member will also receive £20 of real ale vouchers from JD Wetherspoon, which equates to the cost of a single, full, direct debit subscription, and you are effectively getting a year's free membership. Regrettably the only one of their 700+ outlets which still does not accept these vouchers is the West Kirk in Ayr, shortly to be joined by the Prestwick Patriot. Come on South Ayrshire Council, surely 28

a 50p discount on one pint is not going to encourage binge drinking. Indeed, should you not be encouraging drinkers, especially the younger age group, to drink alcohol in the controlled environment that is the pub rather than consume without such controls elsewhere? Vouchers can of course be used at the Salt Cot in Saltcoats and the Wheatsheaf in Kilmarnock as well as all other JDW outlets in Scotland and beyond. If you have any questions please contact me, Bob Wallace, branch membership secretary. My email address is and my mobile number 07929 990972.

Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA

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pring is here and for the real ale lover that means just one thing it’s beer festival time again. CAMRA’s Forth Valley branch kicked off the Scottish season in March with the Larbert Beer Festival. Only in its fourth year, this festival already stocks over 40 beers. An impressive achievement. The biggest festival in the west of Scotland, although Troon is catching up fast, is the Paisley Beer Festival. This year it will be 25 years since Bob Wallace, now advertising manager for Full Pints, organised the first one back when this particular beer lover with a keyboard was counting down the days to when he could be legally served. Paisley opens on Wednesday, April 25, at the town hall and will have around 160 real ales. This year the English beers will all be from Cumbria. The Kingdom of Fife Real Ale, Cider and Perry Festival is at the Rothes Hall, Glenrothes from Thursday, May 10 to Saturday, May 12. This festival, like Larbert, will have just over 40 beers. Pittodrie Stadium will be the venue for the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Beer Festival, which opens on Thursday, May 31 and runs until Saturday, June 2. This festival is around the same size as Troon, carrying 100 beers plus cider and perry.

The next one is the Scottish Real Ale Festival in Edinburgh which, besides Troon, is my personal favourite. This is because it is the biggest showcase event for Scottish real ale anywhere in the world. I know the organisers go to great lengths to ensure that every real ale brewery in the land is represented and the new venue at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange should ensure that there is plenty of room for stock, bar facilities and, hopefully, lots of beer drinkers. There will also be plenty of minifestivals on throughout the summer before the season ends in grand style with the Ayrshire Real Ale Festival at Troon Concert Hall in October. Remember we are a week later than normal this year because of a booking conflict. Doors open at 5pm on Thursday, October 11. If you enjoy going to CAMRA festivals, please consider volunteering to help out. It doesn’t have to be for more than a few hours over the week or so that it takes to put on the event. This is particularly important at longestablished festivals, such as Troon. Many of the original organisers, who were in their forties at the time of the first festival are now approaching, or have reached, 60. New, younger, help is needed to ensure the event can continue. This is particularly important with the heavy work involved in setting up and taking down the bars before and after the festival. Should you wish to volunteer, get in touch any of the branch contacts in Full Pints. The festival also has a website: Enjoy the beer.





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 until 5pm Off-sales also available

The Brewery, King Street Castle Douglas DG7 1DT

Telephone: 01556 504525 32

Full Pints Volume 14 Issue 1  
Full Pints Volume 14 Issue 1  

Full Pints Easter 2012 Edition. The quarterly newsletter produced by Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale