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Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch


Ayrs hir e

townshi Wig re



WIGTOWNSHIRE Pub of the Year






Special Award

Scotland and Northern Ireland Region

Family run village inn located on the harbour in the picturesque fishing village of Isle of Whithorn

2014/15 Countryfile Magazine Rural Pub of the Year SUMMER OPENING HOURS: Mon-Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 12 noon-11pm

OUR IN-HOUSE FIVE KINGDOMS BREWERY NOW PRODUCING A RANGE OF QUALITY REAL ALES Six guest ales always available 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. Snack Menu 2-6pm (Fri-Sun). 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 Email: 2


Editorial New Year, New Look

Volume 18, Issue 1 Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch

As you’ll see, Full Pints has received a bit of a facelift for the New Year – hopefully you’ll like the fresh look.

Chairman: Lindsay Grant Email:

I’d like to express my thanks to all the contributors who willingly volunteer their articles, with very little arm-twisting required! My stock of articles though is perilously low and a few extra contributions would be greatly appreciated.

Secretary: Karen Grant Email: Minutes of Branch Meetings are available to members from the Secretary.

I would also like to thank our advertisers – without them we would be unable to publish Full Pints in it’s current size, quality and frequency – please support them whenever you can. We have reluctantly raised our advertising rates for 2016, but we are still one of the best value CAMRA magazines in Scotland. But can I please make a plea to a minority of advertisers – I won’t name and shame anyone – but it would be appreciated if the adverts were paid promptly. We don’t come in to your premises and pay for our beer several months later!

Editor: Stuart McMahon, 93 Montfode Drive, Ardrossan KA22 7PH Tel: 01294 603848 Email: Advertising: Mike Tomlinson Email:

There’s lots to look forward to this year – festivals are popping up all over the country now – our own festival in Troon is getting bigger, and others are planned locally in Ardrossan, Ayr, Arran and Kilbirnie. Our branch is going from strength to strength with over 550 members now. On the social front, having over 80 people attend the festive crawl was amazing, and I believe is a record for any Scottish CAMRA social event. We’ve got trips to breweries planned, along with presentations to our award-winning pubs and breweries, and our monthly socials are being consistently well attended.

Advertising Rates (2016): Full Page: £80 ½ Page: £45 Yearly rates (in advance): £290 / £160 Websites: Facebook “f ” Logo

But these events are not just for the ‘older generation of bearded men’. Our meetings are open to all, and it would be great to see some younger blood and more women joining in these great days and nights out. Our neighbouring Glasgow branch has a vibrant Young Members Group – would you like to see, or be involved with a similar group in Ayrshire? Let us know. What are the benefits of being a CAMRA member? Well, apart from the 50p Wetherspoon’s vouchers, and discounted entry to some CAMRA festivals, it enables you to actually volunteer at beer festivals – no experience is required as you’ll be shown all that you need to know (and you may get a few complimentary beers thrown in for your efforts!) It also gives you a voice in supporting and encouraging your local pubs to stock, and to serve quality real ale and cider. And, last but by no means least, you will get to meet lots of new friends. So, please consider coming along to some of our events this year. Stuart McMahon Editor The next edition of Full Pints will be published in June 2016. Articles, photos and other contributions should be sent to the editor at no later than Friday 20th May 2016.

Social Media: Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA Ayrshire Real Ale Festival @awcamra @troonbeerfest CMYK / .eps

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Full Pints is designed by Montfode Design, and printed by Brown Brothers Printers, Irvine, At least 2,500 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 3

AWARDS FOR AYR BREWING COMPANY You may recall that Ayr Brewing Company won the 2015 Ayrshire Beer of the Festival with Betty and the Gardens.

Saracen’s Head Hotel

Also at Troon, Rabbie’s Porter won the Champion Porter of Scotland competition which was hosted at the festival. On Tues 12th January, we held a Branch Meeting in the Glen Park Hotel, Ayr at which we presented the awards. Pictured right is Branch Chairman Lindsay Grant (left) presenting the awards to Paul Rossi (middle) and Anthony Valenti (right) of Ayr Brewing Company.

BRANCH CLUB OF THE YEAR This year we held a Club of the Year competition for the first time as there are four clubs in our area that now sell real ale.

We are delighted to announce that the Garnock Community Social Club in Kilbirnie has won the inaugural title, with Marr Rugby Club coming second, and Cambusdoon Sports Club coming third. Well done to Ian Martin and the committee at Kilbirnie - a testament to the quality and variety of ale they are providing, along with the promotion of the aims of CAMRA. A presentation will be made at our Branch AGM which is being held at the club. The club is open at weekends and non-members are welcome.


BRANCH AGM Our Branch AGM will be held on Saturday 19th March 2016 at 2pm in the Garnock Community Social Club, Loadingbank Road, Kilbirnie KA25 6JY. Any motions for debate should be sent to the Branch Chairman chair@awcamra. by Saturday 12th March. A selection of uncommon ales is guaranteed for us. All members are encouraged to attend this meeting, being held in North Ayrshire for the first time. Several buses via Kilwinning stop right outside the club, and Largs buses / Glengarnock railway station are just a 10/15 minute walk away. See for all options. Traditionally this event is followed by some form of impromptu social and so some/ all of us may well adjourn to the festival at Ardrossan Accies (20 minutes away via the train to Ardrossan South Beach) or by using the X36 bus.

CHAMPION BEER OF BRITAIN (CBOB) 53 members participated in the Branch nomination process for the 2016 CBoB competition – thank you. Our top beers were: • Mild: Strathaven Craigmill Mild • Bitter: Arran Red Squirrel • Best Bitter: Ayr Jolly Beggars • Strong Bitter: Inveralmond Lia Fail • Golden Ale: Kelburn Jaguar • Old Ale/Strong Mild: Kelburn Dark Moor • Porter: Ayr Rabbie’s Porter • Stout: Houston Warlock Stout • Barley Wine/Strong Old Ale: Broughton Old Jock • Speciality: Arran Blonde • Real Ale in a Bottle: Sulwath Solway Mist


BRANCH AREA PUB OF THE YEAR WINNERS Every year we ask our membership to nominate their favourite real ale Pub of the Year in each of our Branch social areas before the closing date of 31st December. We had an excellence response again, despite the somewhat last-minute reminder for nominations! Our four area winners were: North Ayrshire – The Waterside, Largs East Ayrshire – Fanny by Gaslight, Kilmarnock South Ayrshire – Wellingtons Bar, Ayr Wigtownshire – The Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn

Congratulations to all four winners. They now go head to head and will be assessed by a judge from each area, with the overall winner becoming our overall Branch Pub of the Year. That winner then goes forward to the Scottish heats of the competition.

As Full Pints went to print the Wigtownshire presentation still had to take place - watch our website for details of the presentation. Below: Nan O’Brien and her staff at Wellingtons Bar, Ayr receiving the award from Caroline Munro, Branch South Ayrshire Social Co-ordinator. Pictured top (l-r) are Rebecca Lee, Rhianne Jones, Nan O’Brien, Caroline Munro and Rachel Moar.

CAMRA Committee member, Ronnie Beveridge presenting the East Ayrshire POTY Award to Lorrie Hedley of Fanny By Gaslight, Kilmarnock.

Lorrie Hedley of Fanny By Gaslight, Kilmarnock with his East Ayrshire Award.

Above: Brian Purdie receiving his North Ayrshire POTY Award. Pictured left to right are: Sarah (staff), Derek Moore (Kelburn Brewery), Karen Moore (Kelburn Brewery), Brian Purdie (owner), Ian Middleditch (CAMRA Vice-chair), Laura (staff), and below with Ian Middleditch and the lovely Thai food which was laid on for everyone


NATIONAL PUB OF THE YEAR (POTY) ANNOUNCED A Gloucestershire pub has been named winner of CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year 2015. The Sandford Park Ale House in Cheltenham, which was a former nightclub but now describes itself as a friendly, stylish old-andnew pub has beaten off stiff competition to win the title for the first time, having only been open for three years. The award-winning pub has ten real ale hand pumps and one dedicated to real cider, which means it is able to cater for a wide audience of real ale lovers.

BRANCH 2-PUB SOCIALS Attendance at the Wednesday socials has been encouraging with numbers in the mid-teens at the last two events in Kilmarnock and Irvine. Saturday attendances do not match these (despite being requested) and so we have made the times of the next one a bit later with the hope it will appeal to those who have other things to do earlier in the day. The next one will be on Saturday 2nd April in Kilmarnock’s Fanny By Gaslight at 3pm followed by the Braehead Bar at 4.30pm. On Wednesday 1st June we will visit Prestwick’s Golf Inn 1pm and then Prestwick Pioneer 2.30pm

BREWERY NEWS Arran The brewery produced a special ale for the rugby

season, Scottish Scrum, a 4% light golden ale with a slight sweetness.


Happy Hooker (4.0% ABV), a lovely ruby ale has been brewed to celebrate the Six Nations Rugby tournament. This will be followed by an Easter special, Woozy Wabbit, a dark mild at 4.7% ABV. They also have a new member of staff who will be looking after front of house. Marc McVitie joined the team in February.

Jaw Jaw Brew have produced a special beer for MSP and leader of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvey, who is a keen real ale fan. Harvies Hoptimistic is a pale ale and will be available in bottles in the Glasgow area.

Lawman Having started out brewing in his kitchen, NATIONAL WINTER ALES FESTIVAL CAMRA’s National Winter Ales Festival was held in Derby’s Roundhouse from 17-20 February. The Champion Winter Beer of Britain was judged there and the winners were: GOLD : Marble, Chocolate Marble SILVER: Elland, 1872 Porter BRONZE: Plain Ales, Inncognito Stout For the next three years, the Winter Ales festival is moving to the iconic Blackfriars Hall in Norwich. 6

Craig Laurie now has permanent premises in Cumbernauld and since early December is ramping up production of his ales. Part-funded by the Bon Accord pub in Glasgow, which is the brewery’s official ‘tap’, watch out for supplies of Pixel Bandit, Onyx Stout and Weatherall IPA.

Upfront Brewing Brand new in Glasgow and

currently gypsy brewing on the Drygate kit, watch out Ishmael (6% American IPA) and Ahab (6% American Stout)



Pub closures fall, but beer tax cut needed again Pub campaigners are welcoming a fall in the number of pub closures in the UK, but have called on the government to cut beer tax to help reinforce the fragile recovery.

L-R: John Hunt, David McGowan and Steve McCarney. Photo: Broughton Ales

Broughton Ales, situated in the Scottish Borders, has been bought by drinks professionals David McGowan, Steve McCarney and John Hunt. The trio have a wealth of drinks experience, as well as a passion for beer. Between them, they’ve gained extensive experience within Diageo, Scottish & Newcastle and Heineken. David said of the acquisition, “We are inheriting a wonderful range of beers, from traditional brands like Old Jock to the innovative Hopopotamus. We want to build on the reputation for quality, work with our customers, and ensure Broughton is at the forefront of Scotland’s beer resurgence.” Broughton Brewery, which was founded in 1979, also include Greenmantle Ale, Dark n’ Cloudy and Dark Dunter (our 2014 Beer of the Festival) in their portfolio. Broughton Ales currently has six employees working in brewing, distribution, sales and administration.

Figures published by CAMRA, compiled by independent research company CGA Strategy, show that 27 pubs a week closed in the second half of 2015, compared to 29 a week in the previous six months. A report from the Centre of Economics and Business Research last year showed pubs and drinkers would benefit from a cut in beer tax - conclusions supported by the improving figures. It found that beer would have increased by 16p a pint, more than 1,000 additional pubs would have closed, 750 million fewer pints would have been sold and 26,000 jobs would have not been created had the beer tax not been cut in 2014. CAMRA is now calling on the government to continue and strengthen its support for pubs by further cutting tax to help keep beer affordable and pubs open. More than 4,000 CAMRA members have already lobbied their MPs to call for a reduction in beer duty and the Campaign is urging people to make their views known via This year’s budget decisions will be announced by the Chancellor on 16th March.

Grand National Outing One of the most popular outings we’ve run in recent years is our ‘Grand National Outing’, visiting several pubs in rural areas by bus. This year’s trip will take place on Saturday 9th April and is going to be heading for the Rhins of Galloway. Full details are still to be confirmed but pickups should be as follows: Mauchline 1015, Kilmarnock 1030, Prestwick Station 1100, Ayr Station 1110, Maybole 1125, Girvan Station 1145 arriving in Stranraer at 12.30pm. The first pub will be the Ruddicot Hotel, Stranraer, followed by the Kenmuir Arms in New Luce, the Tigh-Na-Mara in Sandhead, the Clashwhannon Inn, Drummore, Portpatrick for the Crown Hotel and Harbour House Hotel (and to watch the Grand National at 1715), and finishing up in Stranraer at The Grapes for their mini beer festival (8 ales). Departure will be approx 2000 from Stranraer, allowing onward train connections from Ayr/Prestwick to Largs and Glasgow. Contact our Social Secretary Donald Clark on 07886 312454 or at for more details and to book. 7

WELLINGTONS BAR Traditional Bar ~ Traditional Ales Traditional Music • Basement bar within yards of beautiful Ayr beach • Three handpumps serving quality ales usually from Fyne Ales, Kelburn, Loch Lomond, Harviestoun and Born in the Borders • Renowned for our promotion of traditional music – sessions every Sunday night and monthly Sunday afternoons • Longest running Quiz night every Wednesday • DJ every Saturday • Small parties very welcome • 35ml measures

17 Wellington Square, Ayr KA7 1EZ Tel: 01292 262794 Email:



Local successes at the National Winter Ales Festival Ayr Brewing Company’s Rabbie’s Porter gained another award at the National Winter Ales Festival (NWAF) in Derby held in mid-February. It was voted as runner up, silver medallist in the Porter category of the Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition and has won numerous other awards from around the country. Also at the NWAF, Broughton Ales won an accolade for their Old Jock Ale, which won Bronze in the Old Strong Ale / Barley Wine competition. Old Jock Ale is a ‘strong and bold’ 6.7% ale which has been authentically brewed for over 30 years in open fermentation vessels.

Register at : CAMRAAGM.ORG.UK

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I would like to register (closing date for postal & online registration is Friday 20th March 2015). Return form to 230 Hatteld Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 4LW

Anthony Valenti receiving his runners-up certificate for Ayr Bewing Co’s Rabbie’s Porter from CAMRA chairman, Colin Valentine

Membership # ___________________ Joint Membership # (if applicable) _______________ First Name ______________________ First Name ___________________________________ Surname ________________________ Surname _____________________________________ Email ___________________________ If you would like to volunteer, please circle below to indicate when you would like to work. Your details will be passed on to the staffing officer and you will be contacted closer to the event.

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• Real Food • Real Beer • Real Atmosphere 27 Main Street, Kilmaurs, KA3 2RQ Tel: 01563 538805 100’s of craft beers, real ales and ciders Home brew supplies Branded glasses Gift packs Local next day delivery

OPEN: Mon-Sat: 10am - 8pm Sun: 12pm-8pm

Beer club New beers arriving every month

Top of the Hops Ltd 49 The Foregate, Kilmarnock. Tel: 01563 257227 10



Braehead Bar with 50 of the 80+ people that supported our Festive Crawl.

Photos: Stuart McMahon & Ronnie Beveridge

Held in Kilmarnock for the first time, over 80 people turned out on Monday 28th December at some point during the day and enjoyed a wide variety of ales in the town. The weather gods were kind to us on the day, which no doubt encouraged the record-breaking attendance. It is believed to be the largest ever number of folk who have attended a Scottish CAMRA social event, and we’ll put money on it being near the top of the list for a national CAMRA social event as well – we would say that though!

Beer-wise, there was a wide and varied selection available. The first stop, Fanny by Gaslight had Wells A Good Stuffing and Harvieston Bitter & Twisted. The Braehead Bar had Morland Old Speckled Hen and Sharp’s Doom Bar (for only £1.80!). Brass & Granite had Stewart Pentland IPA, Orkney Clootie Dumpling and Ruddles County. The First Edition included Loch Lomond’s

Bonnie and Blonde, and Ale of Leven. The Goldberry Arms had Orkney Corncrake until we drank them dry! And finally the Wheatsheaf beers included Celt Experience The Lost Antlers and Williams Yule Smile. So a huge thanks from the committee to all who attended and to the publicans who kept us from being thirsty.

Braehead Bar

Braehead Bar

First Edition

The Wheatsheaf

First Edition

Fanny By Gaslight

11 Brass and Granite


The Waterside Bath Street, Largs Tel: 01475 672224

Two Real Ales from Kelburn available

Mondays - Poker Wednesdays - Poker Fridays - Karaoke

Saturdays - Live Music Sundays - Open Mic Night

Food available every day except Monday 12


FORTHCOMING BEER FESTIVALS It is good to see so many festivals happening in Scotland these days – certainly a sign that real ale is far from dead, and that it is being enjoyed by everyone. Indeed, when you look at the Paisley and Glasgow festivals, the number of young folk attending, including women, is encouragingly high. First on this year’s festival list is the 5th Ardrossan Real Ale Festival from 17th-19th March. Hosted by Ardrossan Academicals Rugby Club in their clubhouse on Sorbie Road (opposite Ardrossan Academy), this year’s festival promises to be the best yet with most of the 16 ales having been sourced from around the north west of England. A preview night for card carrying CAMRA members and Rugby Club members is on Thurs 17th March from 7pm. Then on Friday 18th March it is open from 3.30pm – late, and Saturday 19th from 12.30pm till late. Saturday is the final day of the RBS Six nations Championship, and the games will be shown on a new large screen. Additionally the Accies also have a home game in the afternoon against Glasgow-based Whitecraigs to add to the excitement! Admission is £3 (£2 Thurs), with beers priced at £2.50 per pint. Pies and other food will be available throughout. Next up is Forth Valley CAMRA’s 8th Larbert Real Ale Festival in Larbert Town Hall on 1st and 2nd April. Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the branch it will feature around 60 real ales and cider. Opens at 5pm on 1st April. Admission £5 (£3 CAMRA).

Following that, the Paisley Beer Festival runs from Wed 20th – Sat 23rd April in Paisley Town Hall. The largest festival in Scotland featuring 250+ ales, last year saw them utilise the upstairs area of the hall to good effect. More info at www.facebook. com/paisleybeerfestival Fife CAMRA branch are also holding their 18th festival in the Rothes Hall, Glenrothes from 21st – 23rd April. Whilst being a fair distance away, it is possible to attend using buses (bus station is 5mins walk from venue), and their 50+ ales often feature many east coast breweries and some interesting English ones. Live music on Friday evening. Looking ahead, the independent Helensburgh & Lomond Real Ale Festival (run by the local Round Table and described as the Wee Fest in the west) is on 20th and 21st May at Helensburgh Sailing Club. A beer bus usually meets all the trains at Helensburgh Central to take folk out to the Sailing Club. Dates and times still to be fully confirmed but it’s looking likely that Ayr Rugby Club (KA7 4PJ) will be holding their first Land O’ Burns Beer Festival from 27th to 29th May.

Into June, and still to be confirmed, near neighbours to the Rugby Club, Ayr Cricket Club based at the Cambusdoon Sports Club, Alloway are also looking to hold their first festival. Watch our website and facebook page for any details. The giraffes will be back in force at the Glasgow Real Ale Festival held once again in the Briggait from 23rd - 25th June. [Ed - nice birthday treat!] The Scottish Real Ale Festival showcasing the best of Scottish ales is once again being held at the magnificent Corn Exchange, Edinburgh from 7th to 9th July. And of course, pencil in our own branch festival, the 17th Ayrshire Real Ale Festival in Troon from 6th 8th October. For a comprehensive listing of all Scottish beer festivals, visit the calendar hosted by Alesela, the local online beer retailer and distributor: blog/?post_type=tribe_events 13

By Allan Merry, aka The “Scribbler” (a nickname given to him due to his habit of writing in each pub visited!)

All aboard to Leeds

12 intrepid souls set out from Ayrshire on Monday 25th January heading for a few days in Leeds. As our original train could not go direct to Carlisle due to flood damage, we went via Kilmarnock which extended the journey somewhat, although was more scenic. Once in Carlisle we made a quick change on to the Leeds train, which took the scenic route via Settle (eat your heart out Michael Portillo). The weather wasn’t great but the views were still impressive. An information book (not Bradshaw’s Guide) on the Carlisle-Settle line informed me there were three types of station - small, medium and large! All were in the same architectural design, such as Derby Gothic. It also described all the 17 viaducts and 14 tunnels, but unfortunately from the train all we saw of the viaducts were the walls on each side of the line. The longest viaduct, at Ribblehead, would have been impressive had we been able to get off at the nearby station - maybe another day. Due to stopping at each station we didn’t arrive in Leeds until around 5pm.

Settle Station 14

Obviously there was some thirst and on leaving the station, we happily repaired to a nearby hostelry, the Brewery Tap, before going up to our Premier Inn. This pub had 12 ales, but the two most popular were Great Heck Brewery Treasure IPA and Leeds Brewery Midnight Bells. The latter just shaded it amongst our group (and in fact was the favourite beer of the trip for three of our number). We then left for our hotel, arranging to meet in Wetherspoon’s Stick or Twist pub nearby, before heading for dinner. It is so named due to having a casino next door; there were 8 fonts, but in view of it being Burns’ Night, most partook of the excellent Belhaven Robert Burns Ale. Onto our venue for dinner, the Whitelock’s Ale House where an excellent dinner was served up, including haggis supplied by MacSween’s if wanted. Portion size was very generous. There were 10 fonts but most either went for Squawk Brewery Porter or Ilkley Brewery Mary Jane, which someone reminded me was “American for marijuana”! Both went down well, the porter meeting with more praise than the lighter

Whitelock’s Ale house

beer. After having had a long journey, we split into two groups, six going back to the hotel, and the rest exploring the neighbourhood and were happy to find what was claimed to be the oldest pub in Leeds, the Packhorse, established in 1615. The beer (6 pumps) was in good form. Half of us had Copper Dragon Golden Pippin and the other Revolutions Brewing Co. Clash Porter. Both went down very well, but both because of the long journey we soon took our leave and went back to the hotel. Next morning after breakfast in the Stick or Twist we discussed the itinerary for the day. Ian Middleditch recommended the National Armoury museum for the morning and the Thackray Medical Museum after lunch.


All took up Ian’s suggestion for the morning. Some headed to the museum by bus and four of us walked, stumbling on the excellent indoor market on the way. We were all stunned by the size and quality of particularly the steaks, seafood and the vegetables. We actually arrived close behind the bus group and an excellent morning was spent in the museum. I particularly liked the exhibits relating to the Waterloo Battle and a 20 minute presentation by an excellent speaker of “The Field of the Cloth of Dreams” which took place in 1520 and virtually bankrupted England and France, and whilst it was supposed to be helpful in French-English relations, had no such effect at all. It was striking in the museum how often Europe was at war and that the last 70 years probably make up the most peaceful time of the last 1,000 years. Myself and three others (Gil, Tony and Jim) decided to try the Palace Hotel for lunch, which we had seen on the way to the museum and which was in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. There were 10 ales available and we split between a fine Tetley Bitter and equally good Harviestoun Old Engine Oil. As two of our company were retired medics we decided to miss the medical museum and slowly made our way back to the hotel. We stopped however on the aptly named pub, the Stew and Oyster which on their

Palace Hotel

menu had a preponderance of both. We spent a pleasant hour or so supping our pints – Vocation Brewery Nowt Ba’ht Hops and Theakston’s Old Peculier – and setting the world to rights! The former beer was produced by the brewery especially for the pub. Following this we continued our way back to the hotel, stopping only at the wonderful building, the Leeds Corn Exchange which was only opened in the last 10 years or so, after having been closed for more than 20 years. It is a great example of 19th century architecture and as with a lot of these type of buildings was in danger of falling into disrepair, saved in the 80’s and 90’s by two development companies. Now it is home to several businesses, not unlike our own Princes Square in outlook. From there we passed the Horse and Trumpet, unaware that Ian and Kerry were enjoying a well priced Black Sheep Bitter and Revolutions IPA. We all had a short rest before re-convening at the Stick &Twist where I enjoyed a pint of Moorhouse’s Winter Looms. Ian suggested a meal at Victoria Family and Commercial Hotel, a Nicholson’s pub, but we split again into groups with some preferring a buffet at the Red Hot World Buffet. Eventually we all had a good meal of steak or pies. Beers enjoyed here were Moorhouse’s White Witch and Camerons Tontine Sweet Milk Stout. Also available was Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted and Belhaven Stout. The bar was interesting with its booths and the separate Albert Bar (large-ish room) and a long traditional bar. From there we went to Mr Foley’s Cask Ale House where we were to meet the other five – who did not turn up due to the largesse of their

meal! Mr Foley’s was interesting with 24 real ciders on tap along with 9 handpumps. There were also three levels in the pub with an adjoining room. An excellent pub! Beers sampled included Brass Castle Cliffhanger, York Brewery Guzzler and Centurion’s Ghost. Ciders included Hogan’s Panking Pole and Sandford’s Fanny’s Bramble. After a couple of the aforementioned beers (and ciders) we headed for the hotel, although Kerry and Bob stopped off at the Yate’s bar near the hotel for a nightcap.

National Media Museum

On Wednesday we went to Bradford for the day on the train. An interesting morning was spent in the National Media Museum, which covered film and photography, including a history of TV (BBC and ITV). Very good, although not enough time to take everything in. Many of our number intended using the opportunity to see the current Star Wars film in 3D in the nearby IMAX (may the force go with them), taking lunch at

Victoria Family & Commercial Hotel 15 the local Wetherspoon’s, Sir Titus Salt, but again some of us decided to explore the town centre and local hostelries. A good choice as it turned out. Using my CAMRA Beer Guide app, we set out for the Castle Hotel, which was found after a brief detour. Inside there were two real ales, served by the owner “Indian Paul” (his nickname). We enjoyed a pint of Cross Bay Sunset (my personal favourite of the whole stay). Without too much prompting Paul informed us he was the son of the oldest living married couple in the world, his father (113 yrs old) and mother (103 yrs old) having been married for 89 years, although he said they had already celebrated their 90th, with newspaper cuttings shown to prove it – we were all suitably impressed. In addition there was a chap in the pub from Paisley, Kerr Kennedy, practising on guitar for his Friday spot. Kerr turned out to be a local CAMRA member and organiser of the upcoming Bradford Beer Festival in Saltaire

in March. He joined us for a half pint and then made several suggestions of further pubs, joining us for the first one. Before we left we joined Paul for a photo shot behind the bar and I promised to send him copies and also a copy of the Full Pints with this report in it, which he promised to exhibit in a corner of his pub. From there, Kerr took us onto the newly opened Bradford Brewery Bar with 8 fonts and we enjoyed their own Hockney Pale and Revolution’s Blue Monday. We also took the opportunity to eat a selection of their pies (with Mash or Mushy Peas) and a competitive price of £2.50. Very tasty. After this we went to another of Kerr’s suggestions, the New Beehive Inn which was far from new with the pub lit by gaslights. Apparently this is a CAMRA National Heritage Pub and was notable of having two paintings in a backroom with dead rock/ pop stars such as Jimi, Sid Vicious, Jim Morrison and Roy Orbison amongst others. Beers

16 Castle Hotel, Bradford with (l-r) Tony, Jim, Allan, Gil and owner Paul.

Bradford Brewery Bar

from 4 pumps included a good conditioned Spitting Feathers Special Ale. From there, taking Kerr’s advice again, we moved a couple of streets to the Sparrow Bier Cafe which was interesting as being one of a new breed of real ale outlets, with a cafe feel in what would appear from outside as a shop, being glass-fronted. Other examples included the Record Cafe across the street and the North Cafe in Leeds. All seemed to have a young clientele and had quirky things like a delicatessen and record shop. The Sparrow Bier Cafe certainly had an appeal to the young, as we felt at least twice the age of the next oldest!


New Beehive Inn

On arriving, the pub/cafe was full but it emptied within 20 minutes of us arriving – we were assured it was not our fault. This type of outlet certainly seemed to widen the customer base for real ale pretty well in my opinion. We enjoyed TicketyBrew Session IPA or BAD Co. Dazed and Confused. By this stage, time was getting on and after an enjoyable and interesting afternoon, we made our way to Jacob’s Well and our rendezvous with the rest of our group, before heading for an Indian meal in Bradford. The rest seemed to have enjoyed the 3D experience and we headed briskly to the Omar Khan after having supped a pint each, including Sunbeam Eclipse. In


the restaurant eight of us had a very tasty buffet, the others taking European options – all enjoyed their meal immensely. Back to Leeds and some of the group expressed a desire to visit the Ship Inn, a pub which came highly recommended. Once there we enjoyed either Leeds Pale Ale or Hobgoblin Ruby Ale, but the size of the meal earlier meant most of us felt bloated and we all went back to the hotel for an early night, hitting our rooms about 10pm. Thursday was our departure day, with the train leaving Leeds just before 1pm. We all had a free morning, some choosing to go to the nearby Leeds City Museum others chose to go back to the extensive Leeds indoor/outdoor market, where sandwiches etc were purchased for the journey home. After returning to the hotel to check out, we had our last pint in Leeds in the Yates Bar near the station, the Friends of Ham being rejected due to the fact that the two beers on offer were 6.5% and 10% - not good for a long journey home! In Yates


Listed below are some useful contact details for transport providers in our Branch area. STAGECOACH WEST SCOTLAND Tel: 01294 607007 (Ardrossan) 01292 613500 (Ayr) 01776 704484 (Stranraer) 01770 302000 (Arran) 07736 892253 (Disability Helpdesk) SHUTTLE BUSES Tel: 0800 072 0373

SCOTRAIL Tel: 0344 811 0141



Sparrow Bier Cafe

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Black Sheep Bitter were sampled, although some preferred tea or coffee. The train left on time, but the weather, if anything, was worse on the way back via Settle than on the outgoing journey. We stopped in Carlisle and due to a delay in connection managed to enjoy the Griffin Bar with Robinson’s Trooper and Hardy & Hanson’s Rocked Out enjoyed by a few, along with coffee and tea. All in all, a trip I enjoyed immensely, and which I think was the general feeling of the 12 of us who went. I can not wait until our next trip. Well done to Ian for organising the trip.

TRADING STANDARDS If you have any complaint about your beer, such as poor quality or short measure, or there is no price list displayed, you should remain polite and speak to the management of the pub concerned in the first instance. If you need to pursue the complaint further, contact your local Trading Standards office or Citizen’s Advice Bureau and they will guide you to the next appropriate step.

Full contact information can be found on your local authority website: IRVINE: Tel: 01294 310100 KILMARNOCK: Tel: 01563 576602 AYR: Tel: 01292 616060 STRANRAER: Tel: 03033 333000 17







The Golf Inn, Prestwick 154 Main Street, KA9 1PB. Tel: 01292 476711 Now Serving Real Ale Food Served Daily Weekly Karaoke & Quiz Nights 18



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collection of



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music and entertainment all in a fun




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0844 412 4640 @GBBF


19, Beer Scoring and the Good Beer Guide In every edition of Full Pints, we make a plea for CAMRA members to score their ales that they drink on Over the past year 82 people have submitted 2,356 beer scores – but only 42 were Branch members (and we currently have 550 members). Of those 42 folks, eight members are true ambassadors having scored over 100 beers and three have scored over 200 ales! Well done! However, a big thank you to all the others who have also contributed their scores. BUT, and we say this all the time, we need more scores, particularly if you want your local pub to be considered for a future edition of the Good Beer Guide. We have 80 outlets in our area but are only allocated 27 entries by the GBG publishers, so only the best pubs with the highest average scores get selected – we would love to have more, but that’s not possible due to space limitations. If every member were to drink just one beer a month and log a score for it, we would almost

quadruple our scores. Just because a pub is in a larger town please don’t assume that we’ll get a lot of scores for it (for example, one pub in Ayr only has two scores), and pubs outwith the big town centres, in our rural areas and islands always need scores. We need a minimum overall total of 6 scores for consideration in the Good Beer Guide. So why not set yourself a challenge for 2016 to visit some different pubs using public transport – our branch website has details of ale trails by bus and train. And if you do, consider making a post on our Facebook page to see if anyone wants to join you on the trip - you’ll help to dispel the myth that some publicans hold that there is no demand for real ale! Please remember that a zero score should only ever be used if no ale is available at all.


0: 0.5 -1: Poor. 2: Average.

Should only be used if no cask ale is available Beer is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment. 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. You stay put! 5: Perfect. Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.

SPRING DIARY DATES MARCH Thurs 17th - Sat 19th

Sat 19th

Wed 30th


5th Ardrossan Beer Festival, Ardrossan Accies Rugby Club. North Ayrshire Social on Thurs night from 7pm. See p13 for details. Branch AGM, Garnock Community Social Club, Kilbirnie from 2pm. See p4 for details. East Ayrshire Social, Hunting Lodge, Kilmarnock, 8pm



Sat 2nd

2-pub Social – Kilmarnock: Fanny By Gaslight 3pm / Braehead Bar 4.30pm

Fri 8th Sun 10th

Mini Beer Festival, The Grapes, Stranraer

Sat 9th

Grand National Bus Outing Rhins of Galloway. See page 7

Wed 20th - Paisley Beer Festival, Paisley Town Hall. See page 13. Sat 23rd Thurs 21st

North Ayrshire Social Red Squirrel, Stevenston, 8pm

Mon 25th

Beer Festival Committee Meeting, Braehead Bar, Kilmarnock 8pm

Wed 27th

East Ayrshire Social Venue TBC, 7.30pm

Thurs 19th

North Ayrshire Social Saracen’s Head, Beith, 8pm

Wed 25th

East Ayrshire Social, Venue TBC, 7.30pm

JUNE Wed 1st

2-pub Social – Prestwick: Golf Inn, 1pm / Prestwick Pioneer 2.30pm

Please check for up-to-date details of all Branch events.


GET THE BEST BEER ON YOUR SMARTPHONE The best of British pubs and real ales will shortly be available to all for free with the new and improved Good Beer Guide app – developed by CAMRA with the award-winning team at Locassa. CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide is already the UK’s best-selling beer and pub guide and is due to be joined by a new companion app for iOS and Android™ devices early in 2016 to make it even easier to find great pubs and beers. The app will be free to download with all users being able to find the nearest Good Beer Guide pub and other venues near them from listings of more than 35,000 pubs across the UK. Pubs and beer are all about sharing and connecting with people, so the app will let you tell friends where you are and what you’re enjoying, allow you to post pictures and give you the opportunity to become part of the Good Beer Guide community by finding Beer Buddies. Subscribing to the Good Beer Guide app (£4.99 annually) brings even more features with enhanced search tools and access to more detailed search results, including enhanced

information on more than 4,500 pubs which feature in the printed version of the Good Beer Guide. Subscribers will also be able to access the app’s extensive beer and brewery listings, which contain continuously updated details of more than 7,000 real ales – including tasting notes – and the UK’s 1,400 breweries. The full version of the app also allows subscribers to use image capture to instantly find more information on the real ale they are thinking about trying and tag it for other users to let them know what’s on the bar near them in real time. In celebration of the Good Beer Guide app launch CAMRA is offering users a free three-month subscription to try out all the enhanced features.



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

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CYPRUS REAL ALE MICROBREWERY GETS THE FINAL GO-AHEAD! The Yorkshire-family-owners of Paphos-based Aphrodite’s Rock Microbrewery & Brewpub, the first licensed microbrewery in Cyprus, have overcome years of the former administration’s rampant bureaucracy to start their brewery. William ‘Bill’ Ginn, was a Chartered Engineer in the oil industry and had travelled all his life. He wanted to start a family business and saw real potential to establish a microbrewery in beautiful Paphos where they had happily settled along with many other British expatriates. Their daughter Melanie studied in Sunderland as one of a growing band of British women brewers. Then, in 2010, they prepared a full business plan for CIPA, the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, who agreed to assist them. After numerous demands and setbacks, and with few options left they took their case to the European Parliament in Brussels with the support of their former Yorkshire MEP. After nearly four years of struggles their Permit to Brew was finally granted with the certain onerous requirements dropped. After all those years of Cyprus bureaucracy, they nearly called their Irish Red Ale ‘Red Tape’! Finally, however, they can say that a holiday in the ‘Med’ no longer condemns CAMRA real ale drinkers to long days of bland, commercial lagers, with 6 core ales along with special seasonal ones now available. Aphrodite’s Rock Microbrewery & Brewpub is just 15 minutes from Paphos surrounded by beautiful olive groves and grape vine terraces. You can take in the views sat in the traditional stone courtyard shaded by walnut, hazelnut and mulberry trees and also enjoy regular live entertainment. The kitchen offers delicious meals plus authentic hand-stretched Italian pizzas baked-to-order in an Italian wood-fired oven. “Portions are generous - come hungry, you won’t leave that way!” Bill said. You can also join the highly popular, informative and complimentary Brewery Tour held every Monday to Friday after lunch. Cheap flights and low cost accommodation make even a long weekend break possible so an invitation is extended to visit their little oasis in Paphos in 2016 and have a few great days with them. More information is available on their website at

23 by Ray Turpie, Branch Vice Chairman and Scotland & Northern Ireland CAMRA Director




village. This time I was determined to visit so Mrs. Round-up and I set off after lunch for a walk along the Caledonian Canal completed in 1822 by one of our most famous Civil Engineers, Thomas Telford.

As I mentioned in the last issue, if you get the opportunity to visit Liverpool for the Members’ Weekend and AGM from 1-3rd April I am sure you would thoroughly enjoy it. You still have time to register at It may be a significant one for me depending how things turn out. It is hard to believe we are in to spring already. Since the turn of the year, I have been around quite a bit on the campaign trail. I particularly enjoyed my trip to Inverness, even although the local branch was going through a bit of turmoil. There are quite a few really nice real ale pubs in the area including the Phoenix Ale House, Blackfriars and the Castle Tavern to name but a few. One outlet I have passed many times on the old road to Beauly is the Clachnaharry Inn. I thought it was part of Inverness but locals refer to it as the


Towards the end of the walkway you cross the single track main line north to the final sea lock at Clachnaharry. The inn is a great example of a community pub with warm fires, interesting features and a good selection of ales. We enjoyed Inveralmond Ossian and because I was not driving I slipped in a half of Abbot Ales Reserve. I will return! Another place I returned to recently was Manchester. On the way, we spent a few days at Ribby Hall near Preston with


the family. You may have seen it advertised on television recently. I was pleasantly surprised to find there were two real ales available at the complex so I managed a couple of acceptable Thwaites Wainwright (now owned by Marston’s) before dinner.

occasions recently. Thank goodness things are now getting back to normal. There is a lot to look forward to over the coming months as the beer festival season starts again at Larbert on 1-2nd April followed later in the month by Paisley and Glenrothes. I am hoping that Forth Valley Branch will be holding the Mild Ale Trail by Rail again in May as it is usually a good day out.

Greater Manchester itself has many good pubs and breweries but in the city centre I particularly liked the Grey Horse Inn on Portland Street. It is reputed to be the smallest pub in Manchester so it has the cozy and intimate atmosphere of a well run local. The staff were friendly and welcoming as well as the clientele. Oxford Street Station is nearby but I managed some excellent Hydes Original before going for the train. The trains on the west coast main line have been a bit of a disaster since the turn of the year. This is the worst winter I can remember for a long time for travel disruption, mainly due to flooding. Even getting up and down to Glasgow has been disrupted on several

We also have many events on our own Branch Diary as can be seen in CAMRA Calling. One I must highlight is the Revitalisation Seminar in the Caledonian Brewery on 2nd July. This is a chance for you to give your opinion on the way ahead for CAMRA. A paper copy of the proposals will land on your mat soon after the National AGM in Liverpool. Make sure your voice is heard, either by attending or passing you thoughts on to your branch chair for the Revitalisation team to consider. Your opinion is important.


Our Branch has Social Groups which meet regularly 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 to join us for a couple of hours of friendly chat and socialising. For more information, please contact the area coordinators listed below: North Ayrshire - 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: Wigtownshire - contact Malcolm McNeil for details. Email:

Enjoying a beer in Kilbirnie

Additionally, the Branch also holds social outings on a regular basis – recent trips have included breweries such as Fyne Ales, Bute, Sulwath, Strathaven and Inveralmond. See www.awcamra. for details or contact social secretary Donald Clark at social@


inning Real A dW r a and bottles les in casks Aw

for more details call us on 01357 520419 or visit our website

Great food and Real Ales from Arran, Orkney 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



The winter months have seen a number of new outlets opening up in our branch area.

In Kilmarnock, also after several delays, the Hunting Lodge reopened in January after a major refurbishment. Previously one of the real ale ‘meccas’ in Ayrshire, the Hunting Lodge currently has two ales on tap – usually Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted.

On Arran, the Pierhead Tavern in Lamlash, Arran has reopened under the ownership of Alastair and Jane Howe, having previously been sold and listed for a residential development by Punch Taverns. Up to three ales are available, along with good food and regular live music. On a recent visit, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Ayr Fair Jenny’s Jig were available.

COMING SOON: As Full Pints went to press, the new Marston’s pub, the Red Squirrel situated beside the Pennyburn roundabout in Stevenston was due to open on March 7th. Initially three ales from the Marston’s stable of breweries - which includes Marstons, Ringwood, Jennings, Banks, Wychwood, Brakspear, Mansfield and Revisionist - will be available. Still no news from Largs on the proposed Paddle Steamer Wetherspoon’s pub. Work has still to start on transforming the former bowling alley on the promenade. CLOSURE: The Wigtown Ploughman in Wigtown is currently closed but the ground floor is reported to be reopening in March as a ‘Craft’ Restaurant.

5th Ardrossan REAL ALE Festival 17th-19th March 2016 Hosted by Ardrossan Academicals Rugby Club



In South Ayrshire, the Hunters Lodge is a new dog-friendly outlet in the village of Crosshill. It is has two handpumps available usually with Houston ales.

And finally in Ayr, Crumbs and Cocktails in Smith Street, has had Caledonian Deuchar’s IPA available.


In Stewarton, the longawaited reopening of the former Millhouse Hotel finally took place. Now called the Mill House, and run by local hospitality chain Buzzworks, the focus is on quality food, but two handpumps with Caledonian Deuchar’s IPA and Drygate Pale Duke are available with reports that the beer is always in good condition.


LIVE Rugby on the field

(Accies vs Whitecraigs)

LIVE International Rugby, on the big TV screen KICK OFFS: Wal v Ita 1430 Ire v Sco 1700 Fra v Eng 2000

Up to 16 Real Ales available Hot snacks available

OPENING TIMES: Thursday 17th: 7.00pm - late

(Club Members & Card-Carrying CAMRA Members’ Preview)

Friday 18th: 3.30pm - late Saturday 19th: 12.30pm - late Admission: £3 (inc. festival glass)

Clubhouse, Sorbie Road, Ardrossan 27

A Campaign

of Two Halves

Fai r 7EZI on dea MXEMR W tax beer l &V4Y FW now !

Join CAMRA Today Complete the Direct Debit form and you will receive 15 months membership for the price of 12 and a fantastic discount on your membership subscription. Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to CAMRA Ltd with your completed form, visit or call 01727 867201. All forms should be addressed to the: Membership Department, CAMRA, 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4LW.

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Campaigning for Pub Goers & Beer Drinkers


Enjoying Real Ale & Pubs

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Please pay Campaign For Real Ale Limited Direct Debits from the account detailed on this instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I understand that this instruction may remain with Campaign For Real Ale Limited and, if so will be passed electronically to my Bank/Building Society.




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This Guarantee should be detached and retained by the payer.

The Direct Debit Guarantee

This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay by Direct Debits. If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd will notify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit by The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society - If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when The Campaign For Real Ale Ltd asks you to You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society.Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.


WIGTOWNSHIRE NEWS The Grapes, Stranraer is holding a Beer Festival over the weekend of 8th-10th April. There will be 8 real ales and 2 real ciders available. The event will also be a fund-raiser for Adrian Heron, a former local man who is running in this year’s London Marathon in support of The Terence Higgins Trust. Saturday 9th April also sees the welcome return of our Branch’s Grand National coach trip to The Rhins, after an absence of a few years. The trip is now being run as a Branch Social and details of the itinerary are available on page 7 of this edition of Full Pints. We hope as many members as possible can attend both events. Non-members and guests though are also most welcome. The Social Group are planning to hold a couple of local days out over the next month or two. The Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn has been voted Wigtownshire POTY for 2015, and we hope to travel down to make a presentation on a Saturday in either March or April – the actual date has yet to be decided. We may also use the day to visit a couple of outlets in The Machars on the return trip to Newton Stewart. Public transport will be used. We also hope to hold a day out to Newton Stewart some time in May, visiting the three outlets in the town. Again, the actual date is still to be confirmed by members. Keith and Lynne-Marie Stebbens of Portpatrick Brewery are also inviting members to an open day at their brewery in July. Details to follow. If you would like to join any of these activities,please get in touch. Most of our socials take place on Saturdays due to availability of members and suitable public transport – Sundays are difficult due to lack of buses! I hope to see many of you at The Grapes festival and hopefully also on the Grand National trip. Malcolm McNeil (



First Edition Kilmarnock - 4 Cask Ales - Weekend DJ’s - Food served daily



50 Bank Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 1HA | 01563 528833



                                





BLACKWATERFOOT Blackwaterfoot Lodge * Kinloch Hotel

ALLOWAY Cambusdoon Sports Club


STEWARTON The Mill House

BRODICK Brodick Bar Ormidale Hotel Wine Port


KILMARNOCK Braehead Bar Brass & Granite Fanny by Gaslight § First Edition Franklin & Sloane Goldberry Arms Hunting Lodge Wheatsheaf Inn

LOCHRANZA Lochranza Hotel

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


CROSSHILL Hunters Lodge

BARGRENNAN House O’ Hill Hotel

NEW LUCE Kenmuir Arms Hotel

ARDROSSAN Ardrossan Rugby Club # Lauriston Hotel

KIRKMICHAEL Kirkmichael Arms

BLADNOCH Bladnoch Inn


DRUMMORE Clashwhannon

NEWTON STEWART Creebridge House Hotel Cree Inn Galloway Arms Hotel

PRESTWICK Golf Inn Prestwick Pioneer


CATACOL Catacol Bay Hotel LAMLASH Drift Inn Pierhead Tavern

BEITH Saracen’s Head FAIRLIE Village Inn § IRVINE Ship Inn The Auld Brig KILBIRNIE Garnock Community Social Club # LARGS J G Sharps Largs Sailing Club # Lounge MacAulays Three Reasons Waterside LUGTON

Canny Man §


TROON Bruce’s Well Cheeky Charlie’s Harbour Bar McKay’s Marr Rugby Club #

SORN Sorn Inn STAIR Stair Inn


ISLE OF WHITHORN Steam Packet Inn § KIRKCOLM Blue Peter Hotel

PORTPATRICK Crown Hotel Harbour House Hotel SANDHEAD Tigh-na-Mara Hotel STRANRAER Grapes § Ruddicot Hotel

South Beach Hotel

Every CAMRA member can score ales they drink in their local pub by logging in to the website, via a computer or smartphone/tablet. 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, in particular, Arran and outlying pubs in East and South Ayrshire receive very few scores - please take a few moments to score 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 by emailing:


KILMAURS Weston Tavern

* CAMRA members have noted that real ale is not always available at these pubs.

§ Special offers for card-carrying CAMRA members # Weekends only







Lugton Dunlop Stewarton Kilmaurs Strathaven Kilmarnock


Ardrossan Saltcoats Brodick Irvine Lamlash Troon






Lochranza Catacol





Prestwick Ayr

Sorn Lola Rose


Dalrymple Kirkmichael Crosshill

Bargrennan Kirkcolm Stranraer


New Luce

Newton Stewart

Portpatrick Portpatrick



Bladnoch Garlieston

Breweries producing cask ale Towns & villages where cask ale is available Not to scale. Reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data by permission of the Ordnance Survey Š Crown Copyright 2016


Isle of Whithorn Five Kingdoms


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 34


by Stuart McMahon, Editor, Full Pints

In the past couple of editions of Full Pints we’ve had contributions about why pubs are not the cause of alcohol abuse and should be supported as they attempt to stem the tide of supermarket booze sales, and that when you get to a pub it’s nice, indeed preferred, to have your beer served in a correctly branded (or unbranded) glass. However, you’ve got to be able to get to your desired place for a drink in the first instance. Before the introduction of the new Scottish drink driving laws, many of us had a couple of pints in the local before driving home. Since then, you’re lucky to have even one pint if you’re driving. At least CAMRA have offered publicans carry-out containers for customers to take some beer home if they’re unable to drink in the pub – please ask for one. But using public transport to get to many outlets can be a serious logistical and expensive challenge. Now, for those of a certain age, the Scottish Government generously provides free bus travel around Scotland, and trains have subsidised fares. Which is all well and good if you are able to travel during daytime and have the aforementioned concession card. But for many of a working age, a trip to the pub means going out in the evening and weekends. And then the problems start. Let me elaborate using a couple of examples I have personally encountered. I live in Ardrossan, and if I have to go to Ayr (yes, the once bustling centre of Ayrshire) I can get a bus down to Ayr up until 8pm at night (although it takes over an hour to get there) and costs around £5 single. But I can’t get home by bus as the last one leaves Ayr at 7pm! So that means two trains home (changing at Kilwinning) and extra cost (a further £5.20). And let’s not even consider the cost of a taxi fare (at least £40 one way). I went to the beer festival in the Garnock Community Social Club back in November, and compared to Ayr, it’s got good connections to Ardrossan, in that I can get a combination of bus or train there and back until late at night (11pm-ish). But, it takes around 1½ hours (just 8 miles away as the crow flies) and the bus fares cost me £10.30 return. That’s four pints of beer at Kilbirnie before I start drinking! For some people in Kilmarnock, it can take three buses to reach Kilbirnie. And the last direct bus to Largs leaves Kilbirnie at 6.15pm.

In some areas of Scotland, some enterprising pubs have started up their own courtesy bus to get customers to/ from their premises – would that work if groups of our rural pubs clubbed together I wonder? A public transport working group has been recently set up in Ayrshire, and CAMRA will be represented at it – individuals are also welcome to attend and provide input. But please take some time to write to your local MSP and MP (with Scottish elections looming our MSP’s are suddenly becoming quite proactive), along with your local bus companies asking them to consider providing extra transport into the evenings at frequent times, not just as a means of supporting local businesses, but in keeping local communities and their pubs alive.


For parts of South Ayrshire and Wigtownshire there isn’t any public transport in the evening. Taxis are prohibitively expensive for all but a short local journey. And don’t get me started on Sunday transport! We need to support our rural pubs and hotels, but if the current lack of public transport late into the evenings isn’t changed soon, then I’m afraid that we’ll be left with few outlets worth visiting. The current ‘one bus every two hours until 6pm’ isn’t used by customers because it is so infrequent and ill-timed. It’s quicker, and cheaper, to go by car.


At Sulwath Brewery we give you the chance to see the craft of brewing in action, and to taste our real ales at our fully licensed brewery tap visitor centre. Seasonal Specials:


e m o c l e W y d Everybo OPEN MON-SAT, 10AM-6PM Off-sales also available

Full Pints Volume 18 Issue 1  
Full Pints Volume 18 Issue 1  

Full Pints Spring 2016 Edition. The quarterly magazine published by Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale.