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Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch



Winter 2014












Also inside: • Branch Pub wins Scottish Pub of the Year • Troon Festival Success

Winter 2014

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Special A war d




WINTER OPENING TIMES: Fri-Mon: 11am–11pm Tues / Wed / Thurs: 11am-2pm and 6pm-11pm


Family run village inn located on the harbour in the picturesque fishing village of Isle of Whithorn Timothy Taylor Landlord plus five guest ales

Scotland and Northern Ireland Region

⅓ pint beer taster platters available for same price as a pint

Outside seating area on the harbourside. Children and Dogs Welcome. Lunches 12-2pm. Evening Meals 6.30-9pm. Sunday Carvery, 12-3pm: 3 Courses £12 Thursday Steak Night: Galloway Sirloin £12 Selection of local seafood dishes always available All food freshly prepared on the premises. Daily chef ’s specials using the finest fresh produce and local seafood.


Comfortable en suite accommodation overlooking the harbour From £30 pppn B&B. Special accommodation offers to CAMRA members.

For bookings: visit our website, or call Alastair on 01988 500334 e-mail 2


Branch Pub of the Year wins Scottish Title

Volume 16, Issue 4 Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch Chairman: Lindsay Grant Email: Secretary: Clare Scott Email: Minutes of Branch Meetings are available to members from the Secretary. Editor: Stuart McMahon, 93 Montfode Drive, Ardrossan KA22 7PH Tel: 01294 603848 Email:

Our Branch Pub of the Year, the Steam Packet Inn situated in the small Wigtownshire village of the Isle of Whithorn has won the overall Scotland and Northern Ireland Pub of the Year award.

Advertising: Bob Wallace, Tel: 07929 990972 Email:

Having beaten off stiff competition from the Bandstand Bar in Nairn and the Commercial Inn in Dunfermline, the Steam Packet Inn will now go forward to be judged against 15 other regional finalists for the overall National Pub of the Year Competition.


Owner Alastair Scoular took over the pub from his parents 15 years ago and through “sheer hard work” has gained a reputation for good real ale (6 handpumps are available), locally sourced food (often from fishing boats a few yards away from the front door) and accommodation (special deals for CAMRA members). Roger Protz, editor of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide said: “There are around 4,700 pubs in the guide so being the best in Scotland is fantastic for The Steam Packet Inn.” A presentation was organised by the branch back in September where Alastair was presented with his award from SNIB Director, Ray Turpie. We wish Alastair well in the next round of the competition.

Advertising Rates: Full Page: £60 1/2 Page: £35

@awcamra; @troonbeerfest

Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA Ayrshire Real Ale Festival Full Pints is designed by Montfode Design, and printed by Brown Brothers Printers, Irvine, 2,000 copies are published every 3 months and distributed to all Real Ale outlets in our region. 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

The next edition will be of published in March 2015. Articles, photos and contributions should be sent to the editor no later than Friday 20th February, 2015. 3

Winter 2014


‘Long Service’ Certificate Presentations

In the last edition of Full Pints we highlighted some of the pubs in our Branch area which were presented with a certificate for appearing in at least 20 editions of the Good Beer Guide. Two other presentations have now been made completing the awards. They were to Geordie’s Byre in Ayr and The Waterside in Largs. Congratulations to both pubs, plus all the others featured in the last edition.

More awards for Fyne Ales Photo: Mick Lee Top: Branch Vice-chairman Ian Middleditch (left)is pictured handing over the certificate to Brian Purdie during the October North Ayrshire Social which was held in the pub.

1 Ray Turpie presenting the awards to some of the staff at Fyne Ales.

Above: Branch Chairman Lindsay Grant (left) is pictured presenting owner Evelyn Carden with her award.

During the beer festival staff outing to Fyne Ales (see page 11), Ray Turpie made two presentations to the Argyllshire brewery. The first was for Jarl winning the overall Bronze medal in the Champion Beer of Scotland competition, and in the same competition, Superior IPA won a Silver medal in the Real Ale in a Bottle category.

New Chief Executive for CAMRA 3

CAMRA has appointed Tim Page as its new Chief Executive. Tim brings a wealth of experience from the charitable sector, having previously held positions as Chief Executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and former National Director of homeless charity Emmaus UK. Tim said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining CAMRA as Chief Executive and look forward to meeting the volunteers around the country. CAMRA has an outstanding reputation which appears to me to be the result of its large membership, its huge number of hard-working and committed volunteers and its highly-competent and professional team of employees. My aim is to continue to develop CAMRA as both the universally-recognised representative and the most-authoritative voice of real ale drinkers and pub-goers in the UK.” 4

NEWS Ayr Brewery awards Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West took time out from the Lib-Dem conference that was held in Glasgow to visit friends in Ayr and kindly agreed to join in the presentation of a prestigious award to the Ayr Brewing Company. He said, “It was a pleasure to join the Campaign for Greg Mulholland, MP (left) and Ray Turpie (right), branch Real Ale’s Scotland and Northern Ireland Director vice-chairman and Scotland & Northern Ireland Director Ray Turpie for the presentation of both the silver CAMRA, presenting the certificates to Anthony Valenti. award of the Champion Beer of Scotland, and gold for champion Porter to Anthony Valenti, brewer of the Ayr Brewing Company at the lovely Glen Park Hotel. I was delighted to try Anthony’s excellent beers for the first time and it was clear why they are winning such prestigious awards, congratulations to him! “It was also a huge pleasure for me as the Chair of the UK Parliamentary Save the Pub Group to visit Ayr for the first time and enjoy some of its fine pubs. It also allowed me to join the celebrations with this year being the 40th anniversary of CAMRA in Scotland and I pay tribute to the work of CAMRA across Scotland and the local Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA branch. There are now many excellent Scottish breweries brewing great real ale and many more pubs, bars and hotels serving it, which is a testament to their success”.

... and new beers from Ayr Look out for some new beers coming soon from Ayr Brewing Company. They have launched Half Inch Whitworth Brass Bolt - a 4.2% ABV pale ale using Cascade hops - which should have tangerine and lychee flavours. Fair Jenny’s Jig is an extra pale ale at 4.4% ABV. It uses Maris Otter malt and it’s main hop is Eldorado which should have watermelon, pear and tropical fruit flavours. Two of their seasonal beers are also about to make an appearance in cask at the Glenpark Hotel - Dr Blacklock’s Original Stout (6% ABV) and Clootie Bree Spiced Winter Ale (5% ABV).

Tempest Brewing move to new premises After an eventful 18 months, the acclaimed Tempest Brewery which was established in 2010 is finally moving to new premises in Tweedbank - the end of the line for the soon to completed Edinburgh - Borders rail link. The brewery’s new site will see a new steam-fired brewhouse which will massively increase their fermentation and conditioning capacity. For the past two years Tempest have been running at almost 100% capacity. 5

Welcoming Family Atmosphere Winter 2014

Traditional Family Fayre with something for everyone... ...where a great meal doesn’t cost the earth.


Open every day

Children welcome until 10pm

Special Menu

12noon - 2pm: Mon-Fri 12noon - 3pm Sat/Sun 5.00-6.30pm: all week Main course: £8.95 Two courses: £10.95 Three courses: £12.95

Evening Dinner Menu also served from 5pm Friday Night Steak Night 8oz Sirloin with choice of sauce for £10.99 Add bottle of Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc for £11

Quiz Night every Tuesday Outside al-fresco dining area / beer garden FREE


Check our website for our entertainment programmes

46 Bay Street, Fairlie. Tel: 01475 568432 6

NEWS The Society for Independent Brewers held their Scottish Regional Competition on 13th November in Drygate Brewery, Glasgow. The overall champion beer award was won once again by last year’s winner - Highland Brewery’s Island Hopping, with their Pale Ale coming second. Loch Ness HoppyNESS came third. Arran Brewery won a bronze in the Bottled Speciality Beers category with Clyde Puffer Special Reserve (4.5% ABV). Congratulations to all the winners in the different categories. OVERALL CHAMPION OF THE COMPETITION Gold Highland Island Hopping Silver Highland Pale Ale Bronze Loch Ness HoppyNESS STANDARD MILD Gold Loch Ness Silver Jaw Bronze Sulwath

ALES MildNESS Fathom The Grace

STANDARD BITTERS Gold Highland Island Hopping Silver Fyne Ales Jarl Bronze Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted BEST BITTERS Gold Loch Lomond Southern Summit Silver Orkney Red MacGregor Bronze Stewart Pentland IPA PREMIUM BITTERS Gold Highland Pale Ale Silver Jaw Drift Bronze Inveralmond Lia Fail

STRONG BITTERS Gold Loch Ness HoppyNESS Silver Highland Duke IPA Bronze Broughton Proper I.P.A. PREMIUM STRONG BEERS Gold Fyne Ales Sublime Stout Silver Inveralmond Blackfriar Bronze Highland Orkney Blast PORTERS, STOUTS, OLD ALES AND STRONG MILDS Gold Cairngorm Black Gold Silver Black Wolf Florida Black Bronze Loch Ness DarkNESS

Branch Pub of the Year Nominations Every year, our Branch members are encouraged to nominate what they consider to be the best real ale pub within their social area (ie, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Wigtownshire). These nominations then provide four area winners which go forward to be assessed for the Branch Pub of the Year Award. Nominations for this year should be sent to the Social Organisers for each area (details on page 17) by 31st December 2014. Last year’s area winners were Fraser’s Bar, Millport; The Wheatsheaf, Kilmarnock; Wellington’s, Ayr; and the Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn. 7

Winter 2014

The Village Inn, Dunlop

The Village Inn, 2-6 Stewarton Road, KA3 4AA. Dunlop Tel: 01560 483130 2-6Just Stewarton Road, Tel: 01560 483130 a two-minute walkKA3 from4AA. railway station

Lounge available for Parties, Meetings etc.facebook E-mail : Dogs Welcome “Two minute walk from railway station�


Dogs Welcome


Arran Brewery expands overseas and launches new ales The Arran Brewery has opened a company in Texas, USA to facilitate its imports into America. Karen Miles has been appointed as CEO of the US operations and will organise the task of registering Arran Brewery labels in the 50 states and obtaining importer licenses. Closer to home, the brewery has now taken the keys of the former Dreghorn Primary School - where they plan to open a Sake brewery. Also, look out for three new bottled ales which have been launched recently: Arran ID, Sleeping Warrior and Clyde Puffer Special Reserve. Arran Brewery owner Gerald Michaluk with Karen Miles

Arran ID is described as a Black India Pale Ale coming in at 6% ABV. It was launched as their Hallowe’en beer.

Sleeping Warrior is a strong and well-rounded vintage ale coming in at 8.4% ABV. It should age well in the bottles and is ideal a cold winter’s night. Finally Clyde Puffer Special Reserve is 4.5% ABV and is a based on the brewery’s long-established Clyde Puffer oatmeal stout, It has been aged in some whisky barrels to give it a robust, but complimentary oak flavour from the whisky casks. As reported on page 7 it won a bronze medal in the recent 2014 SIBA Scotland competition.

Super Regional Conference, Troon CAMRA held one of their Super Regional Conferences in the South Beach Hotel, Troon at the end of October, and it was well attended by delegates from around Scotland. Tom Stainer, Interim Head of Communications started proceedings by describing the structure of CAMRA and how the organisation works, followed closely by a session on CAMRA’s brand identity. Christine Cryne, National Director, then gave a summary of

CAMRA’s 4 Key Campaigns. After lunch, delegates split into two groups talking about Activating Members and Saving the Pub. The conference concluded with a short Q&A session to the CAMRA personnel. Afterwards, a small group of delegates enjoyed a short tour of Troon’s real ale outlets. A good day, with lots of information, and hopefully one that will be repeated in the future. 9

Winter 2014

Cake and Ale Festival Fri 5th / Sat 6th December McCosh Hall, Kirkmichael

Admission: ÂŁ3 (includes festival glass)


Friday: 5pm - midnight. Music: Robert Carmichael Saturday: 12 noon - midnight. Music: The Peas Normal opening hours over the festive period (12 noon - late) except Christmas Day (pre-booked Xmas lunches only)


No Spoons in Largs

Christmas is coming!

This year our Branch Festive Crawl will take place in Ayr on Monday 29th December details on page 13. Looking for a Christmas Present? Then why not consider a gift membership for CAMRA? Kirkmichael Cake and There are numerous benefits in joining CAMRA, not least that you are supporting the national Ale Festival campaigns to promote Real Ale. The most The Kirkmichael Arms is running a Cake and popular benefit though is receiving £20 of Ale Beer Festival in the village’s McCosh Hall Wetherspoons vouchers to be used throughout on Fri 5th and Sat 6th December. Admission is the year. Membership rates are increasing (by £3 which includes a festival glass. Stagecoach approximately £1) on 1st January so now is the Bus services 358 and 361 run between Ayr and ideal time to buy and beat the Kirkmichael. increase! Opening times on Friday are 5pm till midnight, Note that the membership with live music provided by Robert Carmichael. form in this magazine On Saturday, the festival is open from noon till (page 37) uses the new midnight with live music by “The Peas” who will 2015 rates, so please use be on stage from 8pm. Ales will be available the CAMRA website from Ayr, Barngate, Carlisle, Fyne Ales, Sulwath before then to buy your and Timothy Taylor. membership at the current prices. More information is available from Dorothy Birks on 01655 750200. The planning application by Wetherspoons for a new outlet located in the ten-pin bowling arcade on Largs promenade has been refused by North Ayrshire Council.


This year’s trip for the volunteers who helped at the Troon Beer Festival was to the Fyne Ales brewery at Cairndow. And an eventful day it was! Firstly, our coach broke down as we headed through Pollok, Glasgow, and we had to wait an hour for a replacement bus to arrive. Some brave folks ventured to the nearby Pollok Inn for a quick (non real ale) refreshment! Once on our way, we were then held up at the Rest and Be Thankful which had been closed due to a massive landslide earlier in the week. The diversion route was along the Old Military Road in a convoy along the bottom of the valley. Eventually we arrived at the brewery at 3pm where we received some complimentary food and a beer (Maverick, Highlander, Avalanche and a guest beer were on tap), and a guided tour of the new 40-barrel brewery was given to a group of folks. Before long it was time to head home in deteriorating weather conditions. By unfortunate coincidence, our replacement coach also gained a problem coming back down the A77 and a second replacement bus met the remaining folks at Troon. 11

Winter 2014

• Real Food • Real Beer • Real Atmosphere 27 Main Street, Kilmaurs, KA3 2RQ Tel: 01563 538805

Saracen’s Head Hotel GOOD FOOD : GOOD BEER Outside Bars and Catering 2 Real Ales usually available SPECIAL OFFER: Mon-Thurs: only £2.50/pint Search for: SariBarBeith

10-12 Eglinton Street, Beith KA15 1AQ Tel: 01505 502329 12

FESTIVE CRAWL 2014 This year it is the turn of Ayr Town Centre and Newton on Ayr to host our popular annual Christmas/New Year Crawl on Monday 29th December. Due to the number of available pubs and to avoid overcrowding, we are offering a choice of venues at some times. You can visit either or both pubs at these times. Festivities will commence at 1 p.m. in the Twa Dugs / Ayrshire & Galloway. Both of these pubs face on to Burns Statue Square, a few minute’s walk from Ayr Station. The Twa Dugs offers 1 or 2 guest beers, usually from local breweries. One beer from Ayr Brewing Company is to be found in the Ayrshire & Galloway.

Return back down the High Street to the Town Hall and turn right to cross the river into Newton-on-Ayr where on your left we’ll come to Geordie’s Byre / Newton Arms at 4.45 p.m. Geordie’s has 3 rotating guests, sometimes 4, which could be from anywhere. The Newton Arms offers 1 or 2 guests with Taylor Landlord often being on tap.

We will then walk down Miller Road to its junction with Racecourse Road and the Glen Park Hotel at 1.45 p.m. Home to Ayr Brewing Company, the full range of their currently available beers is on tap. However, recently, a guest ale from another brewery has also been on offer.

All are welcome, indeed encouraged, to join us for all or part of the crawl. Whilst we do our best to adhere to the published times, it is the nature of this sort of event that timings can become “flexible” (especially towards the end of the crawl). If you want to join the crawl at any particular time then you can call Lindsay Grant on 07767 888756 to find out exactly where we are.

A short walk along Alloway Place and then left into Wellington Square finds Wellingtons at 2.30 p.m. Usually 2 guest beers here, often from Fyne Ales or Kelburn.

1300 Twa Dugs, 4 Killoch Place Ayrshire & Galloway, 1 Killoch Place

Diagonally across the Square and continuing along Sandgate brings us to the West Kirk at 3.15 p.m. This Wetherspoon pub probably has the best range of beers in the town.

1345 Glen Park Hotel, 5 Racecourse Road

Directly opposite along Boswell Park, then left at the Gaiety Theatre and along Carrick Street to High Street and the Tam O’Shanter at 4 p.m. One changing beer is usually on tap here.

1600 Tam O’Shanter, 230 High Street

1430 Wellingtons, 17 Wellington Square 1515 West Kirk, 58A Sandgate 1645 Geordie’s Byre, 103 Main Street Newton Arms, 111 Main Street


Winter 2014

AYRSHIRE REAL ALE FESTIVAL The Best Fest in the West – our own Ayrshire Real Ale Festival – was another huge success and was attended by nearly 2,700 thirsty ale and cider drinkers. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of CAMRA in Scotland, along with our Branch’s 30th Anniversary, we opened a second “Champion’s Bar” in the Walker Hall featuring 30 former Champion Beers of Britain and Scotland, including this year’s Champion Beer - Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker. The bar proved to be extremely popular and it ran out of beer early on Saturday. A secondary advantage was that the main hall was less crowded, particularly on Friday night when the band was playing. Out of the 150 beers we had available, the Beer of the Festival as chosen by the customers was Broughton Ales’ Dark Dunter - a trip will be organised in the Spring to present them with the award. Our cider range was greatly expanded and included a record 10 different makes of perry. A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the festival run smoothly, and to all the customers who supported the festival. Troon Lifeboat, our festival charity, would also like to express their thanks for customers’ generosity in giving donations and buying raffle tickets. Eager for next year’s festival? Note down Thurs 1st - Sat 3rd October 2015 in your diaries!


by Bob Wallace

One of the pleasures of running the Membership recruitment activities at the beer festival is to meet many of our visitors from near and far. This year was another success with 58 new members joining CAMRA over the course of the event. While most of these new recruits are local, this year I was delighted to sign up Paddy, from Dublin, and Richard, from Toronto. In addition, we had visitors from all corners of the USA – New Hampshire, California, Kansas, Texas and Oregon. All seemed to love real ale and confirmed my view that the cask version is usually tastier than keg or bottled. From Germany we also had visitors from Frankfurt, whom I met on all three days, and a group of sixteen Kaiserslautern football fans making their now annual visit to a match at Kilmarnock. I trust that they enjoyed the festival as much as the game. I also met customers from Greece, Italy and Sweden as well as many groups from all across England and Wales. I wonder if Scottish beer is beginning to rival our whisky distilleries in drawing tourists to our shores. I hope to see many of you at future festivals. 14

Above: Bob Wallace presenting the Kaiserslautern fans with a copy of the Good Beer Guide. Opposite page: 2014 Ayrshire Real Ale Festival.

Photos: Stuart McMahon & Douglas Graham 15

Winter 2014


I was enjoying the Summer edition of Full Pints magazine, when I read the article about 40 years of CAMRA in Scotland. I too have fond memories of the Golf Inn in Bishopton, as it was my first inauguration into real ale. My older real ale friends introduced me to the Golf Inn way back in 1978, being a young lager drinker I was soon acquainted to the likes of Theakston’s Old Peculier, Maclays Old Alloa and the best of all - Belhaven 90/- (which cost 70p back then!) I never looked back after that introduction. Eric Bryce used to phone me at my work to tell me when the Belhaven 90/- was on and we would set off to do some quality control at lunch time!!! I had many a happy drinking session/social night in this fantastic establishment and somewhere in my loft, there is a pencil rubbing on an unlined A4 notepad of the infamous Egyptian hieroglyphic wall paper. I can still hear the drunken cries of “get the Asp in!!” The pictures below were taken in the early 80’s and feature two of my close work colleagues from Paisley College (that’s me with a full head of black hair!). It was such a sad loss to hear about Eric Bryce passing and the demise of this great Renfrewshire real ale pub. Hope you enjoy our happy images!

Above: The Golf Inn, Bishopton.


C 16








Other photos: Tom with his friends in the Golf Inn.


BRANCH SOCIAL ACTIVITIES Our Branch has Social Groups covering North, South and East Ayrshire, and Wigtownshire. All CAMRA members are encouraged to attend these informal events, but non-CAMRA members are equally welcome. For more information, please contact the area coordinators listed below: North Ayrshire - usually meets 3rd Thursday of every month. Contact Ian Middleditch. Email: South Ayrshire - contact Caroline Munro for details. Email: East Ayrshire - meets last Wednesday of every month. Contact Bob Wallace. Email:

Enjoying a pint at the House O’ Hill, Bargrennan Additionally, the Branch also holds social outings and trips on a regular basis – see www. for details or contact social secretary Donald Clark at

Wigtownshire - contact Malcolm McNeil for details. Email:


The following changes in outlets have occurred since the last edition of . New Outlets: None to report Losses: The Carrick, Irvine: had real ale for a short period but has now removed it. Craigie Inn: outlet has closed down. Stewarton Arms: no longer has real ale. Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton: temporarily closed

Other news:

The Millhouse Hotel, Stewarton, should be re-opening some time in December - unknown whether it will sell real ale. The Wine Port, Brodick and Blackwaterfoot Lodge are closed for the winter. Some other outlets vary their opening hours for the winter. Please check times with the pub before visiting.

Thurs 11th Dec, Wigtownshire Christmas Dinner, The Grapes, Stranraer, 7.30pm Sun 14th Dec, South Ayrshire Social, Lunch at Welllingtons, 2pm. Names to Caroline Munro by 7th Dec please. Mon 29th Dec, Festive Pub Crawl - Ayr. See page 13 for details. Mon 5th Jan, Committee Meeting, Geordie’s Byre, Ayr, 8pm Thurs 15th Jan, Branch Meeting & Social - The Ship Inn, Irvine, 7.30pm Sat 17th Jan, East Ayrshire Dinner in the Weston Tavern, Kilmaurs, 8pm for 8.30pm. Contact Bob Wallace for details and to reserve a seat. Mon 26th Jan, Beer Festival Committee Meeting, Geordie’s Byre, Ayr, 8pm Wed 28th Jan, East Ayrshire Social, First Edition, Kilmarnock, 7.30pm Thurs 29th Jan, Wigtownshire Social - “Poetry, Pies and Pints” - a Scottish evening in The Grapes, Stranraer, 7.30pm Thurs 19th Feb, North Ayrshire Social, Saracen’s Head, Beith, 8pm Mon 23rd Feb, Good Beer Guide selection meeting, Glen Park Hotel, Ayr, 8pm Wed 25th Feb, East Ayrshire Social, Village Inn, Dunlop, 7.30pm Sat 28th March AGM, 2pm. Venue TBC.

Please check for up-to-date details of all Branch news, meetings and social nights. 17

Winter 2014


by Andy Cooper

Back in May I arrived with 300 other folk at Scotstoun for Commonwealth Games “driver training”. I joined up with a gentleman from Uddingston and Peter from Morecambe who turned out to be a member of CAMRA. Good luck indeed. We drove around for a couple of hours and then headed off home. Four weeks later, back for more training and lo and behold I met Peter again amongst the crowd of 300. We spent the day together and finished off with a couple of pints in Glasgow before he caught his train back to Morecambe. Peter told me about the beer festival being held in the town’s Winter Gardens and a week or so later I got the notion to go

to Morecambe, so I put Morecambe however was the idea to Ian Martin, not until August which Tony Blackburn and Bob left Ian and I to volunteer Forrest and it was well for Glasgow’s first festival received. since 1994. £22 for Given the train festival’s tickets, badge and £28 for the GRAF B&B, a few acronym we emails decided to later sent try and find by Ian a couple to their of giraffe festival hats. This organiser, was duly and we done and Imitating Waldorf and were ready went down Statler in the Winter Gardens to go. well at the

festival. (Ian has some very interesting facts about giraffes – if you are curious ask him sometime!). We thought it would be a bit of fun to wear them at Morecambe and we decided to get different hats to wear on the Saturday. We arrived in Morecambe shortly before 3pm, dumped our bags at our hotel and headed for the Winter Gardens. In its time it must have been a fabulous venue but time


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 18

North Ay rsh CAMRA ire

Pub of th e Ye 2013 ar Ronnie, recently retired from the Three Judges, and George Bryden (of Land’s End to John O’ Groats fame). It was soon apparent that half of the West of Scotland were at the festival which is held in the ballroom of the Hallmark hotel adjacent to the station.


The choice of beers was very good with a Bitter Cherry stout brewed and neglect have taken their toll. in collaboration with a Swedish A charity has now been set up to brewery being the strangest. My bring it back to its former glory but favourite was Zenith Pale Ale by it will take a lot of money and huge the Raw brewery followed closely commitment from the volunteers. by Monkey Loves Hops from the The lighting was “portable site Hand Drawn Monkey brewery. lighting”, the fire alarm a manual [My favourite was Hawkshead ITI bell and the toilets portaloos in the (3.5% ABV), a pale ale brewed with car park. a variety of New Zealand hops. The other interesting beer was of an even As the building is a concert hall lower strength - Quantum Small the floor slopes towards the stage Beer (2.6% ABV) - a heavily hopped which made for a very novel but flavoursome amber beer. – Ed] bar. Customers at the stage end needed to be 6 foot to put a glass We worked a bit, drank a few and on the bar whereas behind it the then headed out into the town drip tray was about 6 inches off at about 10 pm. Whether it was the floor! The festival was good because it was Hallowe’en or it fun though with a good selection is always busy but the place was of beers, our unanimous favourite jumping. We headed for The King’s being Zenith from the local Cross Head, a former local CAMRA Pub Bay brewery. of the Year but after renovations it is now very noisy and geared On the Saturday evening Ian got towards the younger drinker. To chatting to Ronnie, one of the top it off the Yate’s bitter was in local volunteers, and he ended poor condition. up coming to work at Troon in October. On the Sunday morning, Saturday morning saw us after breakfast we headed back to breakfasting in Wetherspoons and the venue where Peter met us and sampling some of their festival took us on a stroll around the pubs ales before heading back to work in Lancaster before we caught our behind the bar. We got talking to train home. An enjoyable time and Chris from Waulkmill ciders (real we hope to return next year. Scottish ciders and perry) and one thing led to another and more After Morecambe we thought than a few pints of the apple and it would be nice to do another pear juice were consumed. festival. Carlisle’s Beer Festival was chosen and we decided to A thoroughly enjoyable couple volunteer on Friday 31st Oct and of days and we hope to return to Saturday 1st Nov. We got a cheap Carlisle next year as well. train, cheap digs and off we went. Arriving at the festival on Friday, who were the first people we met? Right hand column: Why our own Stuart McMahon, Carlisle Beer Festival

Hallmark Hotel & station, Carlisle

With Peter (from Morecambe)

Your editor with George Bryden! 19

Winter 2014






Lochranza Catacol Arran

Fairlie Beith Ardrossan Kilmaurs



Lugton Dunlop Strathaven


Saltcoats Brodick Irvine Troon Lamlash






Ayr Stair


Kirkmichael Kirkoswald Barr

Bargrennan Kirkcolm Stranraer


New Luce Glenluce



Newton Stewart Wigtown Bladnoch

Not to scale. Reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data by permission of the Ordnance Survey Š Crown Copyright 2014



Isle of Whithorn




BLACKWATERFOOT Blackwaterfoot Lodge ◊ Kinloch Hotel

DUNLOP Auld Hoose Village Inn


AYR Abbotsford Hotel Ayrshire & Galloway Chestnuts Hotel Geordie’s Byre Glen Park Hotel Harry’s Bar Newton Arms Tam O’ Shanter Twa Dugs Wellingtons Bar West Kirk

LOCHRANZA Lochranza Hotel

BARR Kings Arms Hotel



FAILFORD Failford Inn

BRODICK Brodick Bar Ormidale Hotel Wine Port ◊ CATACOL Catacol Bay Hotel

ARDROSSAN Ardrossan Rugby Club* Lauriston Hotel BEITH Saracen’s Head FAIRLIE Village Inn GATESIDE Gateside Inn IRVINE Ship Inn The Auld Brig LARGS J G Sharps Largs Sailing Club (weekends only) Lounge MacAulays McCabes Three Reasons Waterside LUGTON Canny Man § MILLPORT Fraser’s Bar SALTCOATS Salt Cot

KIRKMICHAEL Kirkmichael Arms KIRKOSWALD Souter’s Inn PRESTWICK Eagle Tavern Prestwick Pioneer TROON Bruce’s Well Fullartons Harbour Bar Lonsdale Bar* McKay’s Marr Rugby Club (weekends only) South Beach Hotel

KILMARNOCK Brass & Granite Fanny by Gaslight § First Edition Goldberry Arms Wheatsheaf Inn

BARGRENNAN House O’ Hill Hotel BLADNOCH Bladnoch Inn

KILMAURS Weston Tavern SORN Sorn Inn STAIR Stair Inn

NEWTON STEWART Creebridge House Hotel Galloway Arms Hotel

DRUMMORE Clashwhannon

PORTPATRICK Crown Hotel Harbour House Hotel

GLENLUCE Kelvin House Hotel

SANDHEAD Tigh-na-Mara Hotel

ISLE OF WHITHORN Steam Packet Inn §

STRANRAER Grapes § Ruddicot Hotel

KIRKCOLM Blue Peter Hotel NEW LUCE Kenmuir Arms Hotel

WIGTOWN Wigtown Ploughman

Every CAMRA member can score ales they drink in their local pub using the WhatPub app and website, But what are the benefits? Well, all scores go towards whether an outlet is considered for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide, and, if there is a trend of low scores for any outlet, it can alert the committee to possible problems.

Scores are continually required for the whole Branch area but, * CAMRA members have noted that real ale is not in particular, Arran and outlying pubs in East and South Ayrshire always available at these receive very few scores - why not take a few moments to score pubs. § Special offers for card-carrying CAMRA members ◊ Closed for winter

your beers on if you visit them?

Do you know of a pub that sells real ale and isn’t listed? Please let us know. 21

As beer festivals go, I really enjoyed the 15th Ayrshire Real Ale festival this year. The addition of a Champions Bar in the Walker Hall was a big success offering something for the connoisseurs and novices, with most able to recognise the more well known real ales. I am sure this idea will continue next year perhaps with a different slant. It was good to see Timothy Taylor Boltmaker, Champion Beer of Britain (CBOB) this year, although it did not last long. Another festival I managed to attend for the first time this autumn was the St Albans beer and cider festival held in the Alban Arena. The main entertainment on the Saturday night was the Climax Blues Band which, after 20 albums over 40 years, is still going strong. That tells you that it is one of the biggest festivals outside London with over 300 ales on offer including several Scottish representatives and some local brewers. My favourite was Tring and I had already enjoyed a pint of their Blonde 4% in the Mermaid the previous night on the way to a meeting.

The Mermaid, St Albans 22


RAY’S ROUND UP by Ray Turpie


Besides hosting CAMRA HQ, St Albans was the home of Sam Ryder of Ryder Cup fame who was a local business man. It is a lovely city with the Roman influence being found in Verulamium Park where you can find St Albans Abbey and the remains of a Roman wall. It also has the White Hart Tap which featured on the cover of a recent Good Beer Guide. When we were down in September we took the opportunity to spend a few days in London. Mrs R wanted to see the Crown Jewels so after the visit we went in to ‘Spoons Liberty Bounds opposite the Tower of London and enjoyed a pint of local Hackney Best Bitter 4% whilst waiting for the poppies to be lit at dusk, commemorating the fallen in the first world war. We stayed at the Ibis opposite the Excel Centre in Docklands which was handy for the Dome, which we visited the next day, using our Oyster cards to take the Skytrain over the Thames. There is also a tunnel you can walk under the Thames from Greenwich which we did in the afternoon before a turn round the Observatory and











Cutty Sark. It was a reminder of home when you can see Meg’s tail dangling from the witches hand on the helm and our visit was over all too quickly. In fact, the whole year has gone too quickly. Looking back, personal highlights for me include “Full Pints” winning an award at the annual conference in Scarborough, visiting the Royal Highland Show for the first time, catching the start of the Tour de France in Yorkshire, sharing a pint with Geoff Mumford at the Burton Bridge Tap in the centre of brewing and the celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of Scottish Branches.

Things to look forward to include the festive pub walks, a visit to Brussels next year, the many CAMRA outings, beer festivals and trips in the pipeline and last but not least next year’s national conference in Nottingham from the 17th-19th April 2015 and the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, London from 11th-15th August 2015. As my good buddy Gareth MacDonald says in the November issue of What’s Brewing “Fun is the key to successful campaigning”. So have fun over the festive season and enjoy your winter ales. Happy New Year.

Front cover: Some of the CAMRA members celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Scottish Branches in September 2014, held in Callums, Johnstone.. Top: Colin Valentine (centre), CAMRA National Chairman raises a glass to commemorate 40 years in Scotland. Above: 40 years on - Alan Watson (left) and Mick Lee (right) cutting the 40th Anniversary cake. 23

Winter 2014

The Waterside Bath Street, Largs Tel: 01475 672224

Two Real Ales available

Tuesdays - Quiz Night Wednesdays - Poker Saturdays - Live Music Fridays - Karaoke Sundays - Open Mic Night

Food available every day except Monday 24


by Ray Turpie

A few of the A&W Branch members turned out on 31st October for the 23rd Alloa October Fest which offered around 60 real ales, ciders and perry. Most were Scottish micro-brewers with a handful of English ales. The festival is held in Alloa Town Hall which is just a ten minute walk from the railway station.

Photo: Adam Shafi

Of particular note was Moosehead Perry 5% from Waulkmill Cider, which gained the CAMRA Gold Award 2014 Northern Perry. I am assured that the pear source is situated in central Scotland, the location of which is secret, and the perry is made the Scottish way. Well done to the team at Waulkmill. The beer heats threw up some interesting choices with the Gold Award going to Houston Brewery for their A.P.A (American Pale Ale) 3.9%. It is good to see the brewery on the up again after some upheaval over the last year or so. The Silver and Bronze went to Scottish Borders Game Bird 4% and Isle of Skye Young Pretender 4% which was one of my favourites. The fact that this is the 23rd festival speaks for itself and I commend all the volunteers for their efforts over the years. Many branches were represented on the day which goes to show the volunteer organisers have managed to get the formula right for success. The Mild Trail by Rail which is also organised by Forth Valley Branch is from 8-10th May next year so pencil that in your diary.

Photo: Forth Valley CAMRA

Photo: Adam Shafi

The (Land)Lord’s Prayer Our CAMRA Who art in St. Albans Hallowed be real ale Thy campaign come Thy ale be brewed In Essex as it is in Yorkshire Give us this day our daily beer

And forgive us our Tennents As we forgive those who brew keg against us Lead us not into Tesco’s And deliver us from Greene King For thine is the hops, the malt, and the yeast For ever and ever Amen 25

Winter 2014

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 Email:

Creebridge House Hotel, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire DG8 6NP

Great food and local Real Ales from Arran, Houston and Kelburn breweries Sundays – Ceilidh band sessions New house ale brewed by Kelburn Brewery

Tel: 01505 850510

Find us on the A736 Irvine to Barrhead Road, at Lugton 26

MACHARS TRIP - THE RETURN As you’ll have read at the start of this edition, the Steam Packet Inn won the Scottish Pub of the Year title. The Branch had already been down to the Machars back in April, but in order to present the award quickly, another trip to the Isle of Whithorn was arranged, and included several stops en-route.

House O’ Hill, Bargrennan

Firstly, we called in at the House O’ Hill Hotel at Bargrennan, down by Glen Trool, where two beers were available. From there we headed to the Steam Packet Inn where a lovely lunch was provided by Alastair Scoular, and his range of six beers were up to the usual excellent standard.

House O’ Hill, Bargrennan

Slightly later than planned, we left the Isle of Whithorn and headed for the Wigtown Ploughman where there were three ales on tap. Finally, we stopped at the Galloway Arms in Newton Stewart which had two of the local Sulwath ales available. A fish supper and comfort stop at Girvan on the way home was made even more enjoyable by the beautiful sunset. Another excellent day out, and thanks to Donald Clark for arranging it at short notice.

Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn

Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn Some visitors from Stockport CAMRA were also at the Steam Packet Inn


The Wigtownshire Social Group will be holding their Christmas Dinner and Festive Quiz on Thursday 11th December at 7.30pm in The Grapes, Stranraer. The cost will be £8 (one course) or £10 (two courses). Local members will be contacted in advance with menu options. On Thursday 28th January ,there will be a Scottish Evening, again in The Grapes with a Burns theme entitled “Poetry, Pies and Pints” (with apologies to Oran Mor, Glasgow). We have had a good response to this kind of event in the past - it will not be an expensive night!

Wigtownshire members at the Wigtown Ploughman

Wigtown Ploughman

Discussion about beers!

Galloway Arms, Newton Stewart

Galloway Arms 27

Winter 2014

REAL ALE IN THE SUN by Bob Wallace For many real ale drinkers, holidays abroad usually means drinking the Eurofizz lager or the local plonk. However, when the editor asked me to write about my recent visits to Sorrento (Italy) and Crete (Greece) I also decided that earlier trips to Malta and city breaks in Berlin and Budapest would further illustrate the advantage of a little pre-trip research. A few years ago I discovered www.ratebeer. com, an American website which has a massive database of breweries, pubs, off-sales and restaurants selling decent beer. It was a great help during holidays in California, New England and Pennsylvania but as I have written of these adventures in these pages before, this article will concentrate on rate beers data on Europe.


range of over 100 Belgian beers, many bottle conditioned, as well as about a dozen Italian, which was what I wanted to sample. The first I tried was from the recently launched Padova brewery. Birra Antoniana, was a 5.4% ABV Viennese style, amber ale. The find of my trip though was from Birra del Borgo, a ten year old brewery situated in the mountains east of Rome. Their ReAle, a 6.4% ABV American Pale Ale, was a very good example of the style and just to my taste.


The Italians are catching on to the worldwide beer advances quickly and, I have no doubt, will increase the choices on offer in the years ahead.


Why do people associate Ireland with good beer? Surely the gnome of La Chuffe is a better pointer to good ale across the world? However, the beer certainly was good here – they had no Guinness, but did have an impressive

Our week on the north-east coast of the southern-most Greek island was set to involve a week of wine sampling until my first visit to a supermarket provided bottles of the very fine Chimay beers from Belgium and, even better,

I’ll start in Sorrento where ratebeer pointed me at Bottega della birra. My problem with this bar/beer shop is that their logo is a leprechaun.


local beers from the neighbouring island of Santorini. The Volkan brewery had two beers on offer. Blond is a dry-hoppped lager, which was fantastic when compared to the ubiquitous tourist lagers. Black – a dark lager - which was almost a stout to my tastebuds and again very drinkable. So I drank lots of them on the hotel balcony. Crete could not really be added to my list of beer tourism must-visits but this story just shows that a look around local off-sales is often worthwhile.



The beer scene in Budapest has come a long way in recent years but, again, my saviour on this trip was one of the city’s many Belgian bars. Belga Sorok Haza is a basement bar, on the Buda bank of the Danube, near to the famous ‘Chain Bridge’ and boasted no less than 150 beers. As I said earlier in this article, why do Irish pubs have such a reputation? I would much rather seek out the world’s Belgian bars.


Our stay on the island was in the resort of Qawra, on the north-east coast, where the George Bar, near our hotel, turned out to stock beers from eight Belgian brewers. I discovered this from googling “Belgian beer” and being pointed to the website of The Belgian Beer Shop, Malta who import and distribute these fine beers around the island. They did have the common Leffe, Hoegaarden and Duvel but, during our many visits, we also sampled Bruegel amber ale, Augustijn Blond, Donker and Grand Cru, Celis white, Piraat, Gulden Draak and Bornem Dubbel. Not a bad choice in a Mediterranean beer desert.

To end, a short recommendation for the beery delights of the German capital, all local I’m pleased to report. On a short stay in the Mitte district of the city we managed to sample the fabulous beers of three brew-pubs. Brauhaus Lemke, in Hachescher Markt was featuring it’s seasonal Maibock (a German Mild in May perhaps?) and the nearby Brauhaus Mitte had another excellent example of this new style (to me). Finally we found Berliner Republik a very busy riverside pub with a large outdoor area, which had a unique Beer Stock Exchange, where the prices on the electronic board adjusted up and down, depending on how each beer was selling. 29

Winter 2014

Coach Travel 49 – 37 seat executive coaches 55 – 49 – 46 – 33 seat coaches For all occasions For a quote please call 01292 591252


GETTING AROUND Listed below are some useful contact details for transport providers in our Branch area.

Stagecoach West Scotland Tel: 01292 613500 or 01294 607007 Disability Helpdesk: 07736 892253

Shuttle Buses Tel: 0800 072 0373

ScotRail Tel: 0845 601 5929

Trading Standards Details

Caledonian MacBrayne

Ayr: 01292 616060 Irvine: 01294 324900 Kilmarnock: 01563 521502 Stranraer: 01776 703260

Traveline Scotland

Email addresses can be found on your local authority website. Tel: 0800 066 5000

Just for Fun


What are Donald and Mike thinking? Email your suggestions to fullpints@awcamra.


Winter 2014


CAMRA’s WhatPub? Website has been available to the public for more than a year now and has been receiving a lot of hits, but it can only continue to be successful, and see off the competition, if it is updated regularly. This requires our real ale outlets to be surveyed regularly. This year 80% of our outlets were covered as part of the surveys for the 2015 Good Beer Guide (GBG), but it is difficult to cover them all, especially in remote places such as the Isle of Arran. I managed a day trip with my wife to survey the main GBG candidates there in February, but others had not been updated for some time, and are best visited in summer to catch them open.


To deal with this a survey trip to Arran was organised for summer 2014. It is difficult to find a suitable date for this due to people being on holiday, but 9 August seemed to suit. What hadn’t been checked was whether this clashed with anything else, and when Graeme Perry and I arrived at Ardrossan Pier (a disappointing turnout) we

were met by much longer queues for the ferry than usual, due to the Brodick Highland Games being held that day. If we had not been able to get on the ferry our plans would have been thrown out, but unlike quite a few hundred people we did manage to get on. Once we arrived at Brodick we had no trouble catching the bus as most people were staying in Brodick.

Landlord (3.5) and Houston Thistle Dubh (3), updated the survey form and presented a certificate to the owner Dave Ashcroft for having been in more than 20 editions of the GBG over the last 40 years. Lochranza Hotel We were also joined there by Catacol Hotel long-time Glasgow CAMRA Our first stop was the Lochranza Hotel in the village stalwart Hugh Stevenston who Our last port of call there was had cycled there from Brodick. the Ormidale Hotel where we of the same name. First signs were not promising as there had pints of Arran Ale (3.5) and The bus then took us to was no clip on the single presented another certificate Blackwaterfoot, where we handpump, and the barmaid for over 20 GBG entries (an had time for just one pint in thought the beer wasn’t on incredible 35 in this case) to the Kinloch Hotel before the as the hotel had been much owner Tommy Gilmore. next bus. It was Theakston busier than usual the day Grouse Beater (3) which had before when the Waverley A full an unusual fruity flavour but called (I’ll vouch for that - Ed!). survey was pleasant enough. There When we decided to update update wasn’t time to update the the survey form anyway, was not survey form, but this was one she tried the pump and necessary of the outlets I had covered in as I had gave us a sample of Young’s February so it wasn’t urgent. Waggledance, and after also Ormidale Hotel speaking to someone else she A quick look through the covered window of the Blackwaterfoot it in February, although some managed to pour a pint for Lodge revealed a handpump each of us. It is not one of my minor points were checked with no clip; it is still not clear favourite beers, but it was in with Tommy. We also had good condition and I gave it a whether this hotel with very a very nice meal, but it was restricted opening hours still score of 3.5. rather slow in arriving, and as sells real ale. we were in danger of missing We then had a walk of about the last ferry Tommy gave us a After a bus trip over the a mile and a half to the next lift back to the pier. String Road to Brodick we pub, the Catacol Bay Hotel. immediately caught another We had plenty of time until We had a very enjoyable (open-topped!) to Lamlash the next bus so we had day out, with the survey where the Drift Inn was lunch, pints of Timothy Taylor updates only taking a few selling Ayr minutes each time, but Jolly Beggars it was disappointing that (3), the most more did not join us. We are expensive approaching the time when pint of the day pub details will need to be at £4.10. The checked and updated once survey form more, and I will be looking for was updated, volunteers in January. Doing then it was a few pubs in small groups back on the rather than individual visits open-topped will make the task less onerous bus to Brodick. and more enjoyable so I hope L-R: Mick Lee, Graeme Perry and Hugh Stevenston members will give it a try. 33


Winter 2014





WWW.BROUGHTONALES.CO.UK Tel: +44 (0)1899 830 345 Email:

Home of the famous Old Jock Ale

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE In the last edition of Full Pints we mentioned a group of Russians from the Scottish-themed Barinoff Brewery and McHighlander pub in Ufa, the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan situated in the Ural Mountains. They had visited the Scottish Real Ale Festival and also joined CAMRA. They enjoyed it so much that they sent Bob Wallace the following messages of thanks. “The purpose of our journey to the festival in Edinburgh was to feel the taste of Scottish real ale and compare it to ale I have brewed back home, as I had to rely only on professional literature, articles from web sites and my own experience. When my friends and I arrived to the festival, we saw not just ale-lovers - for them ale was a huge part of their lives. It was very nice to meet brewers from different parts of the country, discuss important questions of brewing and see their keen interest in ale brewing in the middle of Russia. Special thanks to Kelburn Brewery for their invitation and insightful tour on their brewery. I would like to thank CAMRA and Bob Wallace in particular for uniting local breweries, and restoring ale and cider as national drinks. It is an honour for me as a brewer to be a member of CAMRA.” Andrey Agarkov, Master Brewer at Barinoff Brewery (Ufa, Russia)

“It is hard to describe in a few words all emotions and feelings we have experienced at Scottish Real Ale Festival. You have opened for us a whole new world of this magnificent drink! Ten years ago we opened a small Scottish restaurant in Ufa, and just two years ago we started Barinoff Brewery. For a long time we’ve been trying to grasp the essence of Scotland, this great and powerful country blessed with wealth of culture and history. For us Scotland became an integral part of our lives. We are proud to be CAMRA member and to have met other members in person. We will be happy to welcome you in Russia and introduce you to this little corner of Scotland in our restaurant.” Igor Barinoff, Barinoff Brewery and McHighlander Restaurant (Ufa, Russia)

Barinoff Brewery

McHighlander Pub, Ufa 35


Winter 2014

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Winter 2014

Our range of Award-winning 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 38

Mr Beer Surfer is connected, some would say wired, to the internet and enjoys nothing better than drinking his bottled conditioned ales in front of his computer. Mr BS has been busy overseeing the Ayrshire Beer Festival website, and watching the hits add up. Did you know that this year the site had over 12,330 unique visitors, resulting in 592,123 hits (at the time of writing), and that nearly 9Gb of data has been downloaded? Sounds like thirsty work!


However, back to surfin’ around, and the first site to feature is Ian’s Ale Adventures ( This blog run by Ian Stewart from Banchory features a host of press cuttings relating to beer and pubs from around the country. We’re all in the habit of saying that a beer is really hoppy - well it will be as hops are a vital ingredient of our favourite drink! But what we really should be saying is what flavours and aromas the hops are imparting. This is where the Hopschart comes in (www.hopschart. com). Available to purchase as a huge poster, you can view a large version on screen and see what properties virtually every type of hop has, and what you can expect from it when you next encounter it in your local real ale outlet. Roger Protz is one of the world’s leading beer writers, historians, lecturers and tasters. He is the author of more than 20 books on the subject and is also the editor of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide. His website, features news stories and reviews from the world of beer. He also lists some of his recent new beers, and describes some Rail Ales - beers available via train journeys. But, as many will know, Mr BS loves seeking out a good bargain, and pub chain Nicholsons ( launched their new Hopcircle app for those with a smartphone. The app allows you to receive a discount every time you buy an ale (usually 25p off a pint) and CAMRA members have been able to get 3 x 1/3 pints for just £1 by showing their membership card. The app also gives you ale trails and shows the nearest Nicholsons pub to your location. The nearest outlets to Ayrshire are in Glasgow and are the Drum & Monkey on St Vincent Street, and The Granary on Kilmarnock Road, Shawlands. 39

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

Telephone: 01556 504525

Full Pints Volume 16 Issue 4  
Full Pints Volume 16 Issue 4  

Full Pints Winter 2014 edition. The quarterly magazine produced by Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale.