Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch
BEST CAMRA MAGAZINE IN BRITAIN
BRASS & GRANITE
Inside: Our Area Pub of the Year Winners SEE PAGE 4
Just another day at the office... come and visit us
A warm welcome awaits at our brewery visitor centre
Absorb the sights and smells of the traditional beer-making process, and taste samples of some of the finest beers available today. You can purchase a wide range of excellent gifts as well as all of our finest ales.
Tick when you taste - Brewery Tours 01770 302 353 2
GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE www.arranbrewery.com
From the Chairman
by Graeme Perry
Hi all, as my first ever year as Chairman of Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch is nearly at an end, I have been asked by our editor to have a look back over the year and to what’s coming next!
Volume 19, Issue 1 Ayrshire and Wigtownshire CAMRA Branch
To those of you who are active in the branch, by which I mean you have attended some/many of the socials, meetings and festivals that have been held over the last 11 months, I thank you and I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I have and you will keep attending and supporting our Branch and CAMRA.
Chairman: Graeme Perry Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Kenneth Middleditch Email: email@example.com Minutes of Branch Meetings are available to members from the Secretary.
If you have not yet attended a local CAMRA event, please do come along, we do have a lot of fun. I appreciate that coming to a meeting as the new boy/girl can be daunting, but as we all have a mutual love of real ale you won’t need to find a subject to break the ice and once that ice is broken, and kept well away from my beer, the banter and ales will just keep on flowing. Take a look at the events diary on our website www.awcamra.org.uk and come along to one/some/many.
Treasurer: Lindsay Grant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Stuart McMahon, 93 Montfode Drive, Ardrossan KA22 7PH Tel: 01294 603848 Email: email@example.com
We have had some cracking events in 2016 and early 2017. A few of the highlights for me were: the beer festival in Troon – loved it and another great success; the festival staff trip to Loch Lomond Brewery – great hosts and a great day out (honestly Donald!); Arran pub crawls – I love the island and the pubs; and of course, the Committee and Beer Festival meetings – lovely bunch of people, witty banter, the odd, lively but always constructive(ish) discussion and an excuse to both visit the fine pubs we have in Ayrshire and of course, drink good quality real ales. Our Annual General Meeting is on Saturday 25 March, in the Abbotsford Hotel, Ayr, starting at 12 noon, please come along – all welcome. At the AGM we will appoint/elect the next Committee members, so if you fancy taking up a Committee post, please let me know. CAMRA HQ provides a lot of Guidance and Training Notes for Committee posts, so by accessing the Membership Section of the CAMRA website, you can read up on the duties of each post holder. You will be surprised how often they remind you that you are also there to have fun, so don’t think it is all work on the Committee. I have really enjoyed my first year as Chairman and one of the main reasons for this is because of the support I have received from my fellow Committee members. This support is there for all new and more experienced Committee members. I am looking forward to some pleasurable events and meetings over the coming year(s) and I hope you will take time to come along, say hello and join in. Please drink responsibly and most of all, have fun – it’s a CAMRA requirement. Sláinte.
Advertising: Mike Tomlinson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Rates (2017): Full Page: £80 ½ Page: £45 Yearly rates (in advance): £290 / £160 Websites: www.awcamra.org.uk www.ayrshirebeerfestival.co.uk
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Full Pints is designed by Montfode Design, www.md93.co.uk and printed by Brown Brothers Printers, Irvine, www.brown-bros.com. Around 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
BRANCH AREA POTY WINNERS Our four Branch area Pubs of the Year (POTY) winners for 2016, as voted for by our local members, were as follows: •
North Ayrshire: J G Sharps, Largs
South Ayrshire: Wellingtons, Ayr
East Ayrshire: Brass & Granite, Kilmarnock
Wigtownshire: The Grapes, Stranraer
Congratulations to all four winners. As Full Pints went to press all the presentations had taken place with the exception of Wellingtons, which is due to be held on Tues 14th March. Photos from each of the presentations are shown below. The four pubs will now be assessed by a judge from each of our four areas to decide on our overall Branch POTY. Also recently announced was the national CAMRA Club of the Year winner. This was won by Cheltenham Motor Club. You will recall that the Garnock Community Social Club in Kilbirnie won the Scottish title last year and it represented Scotland in the final 16 entries of the competition.
CHAMPION WINTER BEER OF BRITAIN 2017 Malcolm McNeill (mid) presenting the Wigtownshire Award to Billy Hodge (left) and Sally Whorlow (right) at The Grapes, Stranraer.
Old Freddy Walker (7.5% ABV) from Bristol-based Moor Beer Company impressed judges with its incredible balance of flavours. Moor Brewery made CAMRA history earlier this year after producing the very first real ale in a can, which has been accredited by CAMRA after vigorous testing at the Great British Beer Festival.
Bob Wallace (mid) presenting the East Ayrshire Award to David Little (left) and Jamie Sharp (right) at the Brass & Granite, Kilmarnock.
A brewery owned by a Californian scooped CAMRA's prestigious Champion Winter Beer of Britain award at the National Winter Ales Festival in Norwich.
Graeme Perry (right) presenting the North Ayrshire Award to John Sharp (left) at JG Sharps, Largs.
Sulwath Brewery won the silver award with Black Galloway. Loch Lomond Brewery collected a bronze medal in the Stouts competition with Silkie Stout. Well done to all winners.
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ARRAN PRESENTATION Different heats of the Champion Beer of Scotland competition are held at the various CAMRA beer festivals around the country, before the overall winner is announced at the Scottish Real Ale Festival in July. Back in October, we hosted the Milds and Old Ales/Strong Milds competitions at the Ayrshire Real Ale Festival in Troon, and Arran Dark won the Mild competition. As the weather can be somewhat variable, it can be a challenge getting to Arran (especially in the winter months). It was therefore decided to host the presentation at a venue on the mainland. The Auchans in Dundonald was chosen as they already include a selection of Arran ales in their varied guest list from local breweries. So on Sat 28th January, a group of around 15 members attended the presentation to the brewery, with Gerald Michaluk (owner), Gwen Billson (sales) and Michal Pawlowicz (known as Joseph the brewer) in attendance. Arran Dark was available in the pub and was in very good condition, showing why it had won the Mild competition. Thanks to The Auchans for their hospitality and tasty nibbles of chicken wings and pakora. Arran Dark will now progress to the Champion Beer of Britain competition held at GBBF in August.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! Back at the Troon Beer festival last year, you may recall that Black Metal Brewery won the Beer of the Festival Award with their 6.6%ABV ale, Gates of Valhalla. Black Metal shares brewing premises with Top Out Brewery at Loanhead, Edinburgh, and a coach trip has now been organised to go and present owner Jaan Ratsep with the award on Saturday 22nd April. It is hoped to spend approx. 1 hour there until 1.30pm. This will then be followed by a visit to the Knops Brewery based at Dirleton, near to North Berwick, from approx. 2.15pm until 4.45pm. On the return journey, there will be a short stop in Dalkeith to visit the Blacksmith’s Forge JDW/Lloyds No.1 pub before heading home.
Drop off points on the return journey will be reverse of outbound route. Final cost depends on numbers, but there is a £10pp deposit required in advance. There will also be an additional £2pp cover charge for the Knops Brewery tour. This trip is open to anyone to attend – CAMRA membership not essential, so bring some friends along! For further details or to book a place on the trip please contact Donald Clark, Social Secretary on 07886 312454 or email email@example.com. PICK-UP POINTS AND TIMES ARE: 10.00 Mauchline opp. War Memorial on Cumnock Rd. 10.25 Ayr Train Station (rear car park) 10.35 Prestwick South Church (opposite Wetherspoons) 10.50 Irvine Train Station (opposite exit to retail park) 11.05 Kilmarnock Campbell street (below A71 flyover) 11.30 Silverburn Shopping Centre 5
Ayrs hir e
PUB OF THE YEAR
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Ayrs hir e
townshi Wig re RA AM C
WIGTOWNSHIRE Pub of the Year
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Scotland and Northern Ireland Region
M GDO S BR IN
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Family-run village inn located on the harbour in the picturesque fishing village of Isle of Whithorn
F W H IT H O
OUR IN-HOUSE FIVE KINGDOMS BREWERY NOW PRODUCING A RANGE OF QUALITY REAL ALES ⅓ pint beer taster platters available for same price as a pint. Eight cask ales and a selection of real cider available. OPENING HOURS: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 12 noon-11pm
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.
2014/15 Countryfile Magazine Rural Pub of the Year
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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CAMRA YOUNG PERSON’S COORDINATOR
Congratulations to our Branch member and minute-taker, Jo Sweden (nee Grant) who got married to Alex Sweden on 31st December in Las Vegas. Jo has also taken on the role of being the CAMRA Scotland & Northern Ireland Young Person’s Coordinator. Details of special events for younger members will be publicised in due course, but it would be good to see young folks attending and supporting this group.
CAMRA MEMBERS’ WEEKEND AND AGM
The Members’ Weekend and AGM will be held in Bournemouth International Centre from 7th - 9th April. Our own Branch vice-chairman, Ray Turpie is also standing for election to CAMRA's National Executive. Details on how to vote should have been emailed to you by HQ and included with the February edition of "What's Brewing". More details at www.camraagm.org.uk. However, make a note in your advance diaries now - the 2019 (yes, 2019!) Members' Weekend will be coming to Dundee's Caird Hall from 5th - 7th April 2019.
d E an E HIRNSHIR W AYRS TO WIG
Listed below are some useful contact details for transport providers in our Branch area. STAGECOACH WEST SCOTLAND www.stagecoachbus.com 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
CALEDONIAN MACBRAYNE Tel: 0800 066 5000
BRANCH AGM Our Branch AGM will be held on Saturday 25th March in the Abbotsford Hotel, 14 Corsehill Road, Ayr starting at the earlier time of 12 noon, and finishing around 3pm. This is to accommodate another function at the hotel later in the afternoon. All Branch members are encouraged to come along to this meeting, and hear about the varied work that the Branch has undertaken over the past year, and what our aims are for the coming year. Please also consider volunteering for the Branch Committee. After the AGM it is customary that we visit a few additional real outlets en-route back to the town centre – these are likely to include the Chestnuts Hotel, Glen Park Hotel and Wellingtons.
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: www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk www.dumgal.gov.uk IRVINE: Tel: 01294 310100 KILMARNOCK: Tel: 01563 576602 AYR: Tel: 01292 616060 STRANRAER: Tel: 03033 333000 7
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) Visit our shop in the Glen Park Hotel, Ayr Ayr Brewing Company, 5 Racecourse Road, Ayr KA7 2DG Telephone: 01292 263891 Fax: 01292 830450 Mobile: 07834 922142 www.ayrbrewingcompany.com 8
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Located in the village of Dundonald, The Auchans is a family run Restaurant - Bar with a fresh modern twist, and a friendly relaxed atmosphere oozing charm & character. We have a great
29 MAIN STREET DUNDONALD, KA2 9HH Telephone: 01563 851472 E-Mail: email@example.com Web: www.theauchans.co.uk
selection of beer & wine including 2 cask ales. The Auchans has been tastefully restored with original stone walls & real oak wood beams. Owned by the Kerr family, from the village, The Auchans is the 2nd addition to the business. The 1st, The Waterfront in Ayr, opened in 2012 is a relaxed, stylish restaurant- bar situated
for details of our latest offers & promotions www.facebook.com/theauchansdundonald
overlooking the River Ayr.
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 9
We'd love to hear from breweries and pubs with any news snippets, events, awards etc. Send your info to firstname.lastname@example.org
KELBURN BREWERY, BARRHEAD
The Brewery launched a new ale to commemmorate Burns' Night earlier this year. Deil's Awa is a 4.3% ABV golden ale brewed with Cluster and Bramling Cross hops. At the time of going to press, Kelburn were about to launch a crowdfunding scheme to increase the capacity of the brewery and renew most of their brewing equipment. The initial proposal is offering investors a repayment in goods of 20% of their investment, plus 10% return on the original investment, over a 5-year period. The minimum investment will be £100. More information can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.
JAW BREWERY, HILLINGTON
Jaw have produced a new blond beer made from bread! They use leftover morning rolls from Aulds the Bakers to produce the beer, called Hardtack which comes in at just 2.2% ABV but has a tremendous flavour. Zero Waste Scotland and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce were looking at options to reduce waste within Glasgow and suggested to Aulds that surplus rolls could maybe be used by Jaw Brewery. Alison Hazel from Jaw said: “This fitted in very well with our policy of keeping all our activities as ‘green’ as we can. Normally beer is made with malted grain, mostly barley but sometimes wheat, oats and rye which is mixed with hot water to create a sugary solution ready for the addition of hops and yeast which ends up with the finished product. We experimented using different quantities of rolls and malt and different varieties of hops, while even non-standard yeasts were tried in the quest for a good, balanced beer. It became apparent that the inclusion of the bread increased the body of the beer without adding to the alcohol content and therefore focus moved to brewing a low alcohol beer that had some depth which is all too often sadly lacking in that style – many beer drinkers want a light beer that is not ‘thin’.” Hardtack will be available from outlets soon.
ALECHEMY BREWERY, LIVINGSTON
Popular Livingston-based brewery Alechemy has agreed a six-figure deal with Catalyst Drinks, an independent investment company, which will allow them to move to bigger premises in the town. Like many brewers now, it will also allow Alechemy to bottle and can all its own beers on site, whilst also increasing capacity for cask and kegged products.
FIVE KINGDOMS, ISLE OF WHITHORN
The brewery recently celebrated it's 50th brew with a one-off recipe called Mid Life Crisis at 5.6% ABV. The also have a new spring beer called Bright Idea at 3.8%. They also are continuing to experiment bottling their ales in-house. 10
ODDS AND ENDS
Kingdom of Fife CAMRA branch will be holding a Champion Beer of Fife competition at their festival in Glenrothes in April. No fewer than 8 local breweries from Kingdom will be competing for the award this year. Numerous new breweries have popped up since the last edition of Full Pints. Several to watch out for include Out of Town Brewing, Cumbernauld; Redcastle Brewery, Arbroath; 71 Brewing, Dundee; Dalrannoch Brewing, Meikleour; and Craft Originale, Markinch. There are also several breweries now using Drygate's studio kit in Glasgow - look out for Dead End Brew Machine; Gallus Brewing; Up Front Brewing; and Yer Maw.
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FESTIVE PUB CRAWL – TROON Our annual festive pub crawl was this year held in Troon on Tues 27th December. Whilst an official starting time of 1pm was planned, varying arrival times for public transport meant that some folk arrived at the South Beach Hotel early, and some later than the planned start. The early birds were lucky with Wells Bombardier being acceptable, but later attendees were left disappointed. Next stop was Cheeky Charlies where three ales were available – the rarely seen Belhaven 60/- was in very good condition, as was Cairngorm Wildcat. Stewart’s Weiss Christmas Blanc was an unusual beer, but enjoyed by those brave enough to try it! The Harbour Bar had Kelburn Red Smiddy and Kracker available (along with some tasty mincemeat pies). Back down Templehill and onto Portland Street saw the next stop at McKays, with four ales available – Cairngorm Trade Winds, Fyne Jarl, Harviestoun Schiehallion and Hardys & Hansons Rocking Rudolph. A spread of sandwiches, pizza and sausage rolls was also welcomed. Finally, Bruce’s Well had Caledonian Deuchars. By the nature of the crawl, the group was spread out amongst the pubs, but in McKays we counted over 50 folk in attendance which was a fantastic effort by all concerned. Some even came on their bicycles! Thanks to everyone for their support, and to the pubs for hospitality. Where will we be next year? You’ll just have to wait and see!
Consultation on proposed Tied Pubs (Code and Adjudicator) (Scotland) Bill CAMRA fully welcomes the new consultation that has been launched into the tied pub sector by Neil Bibby MSP. We expect that it will paint a picture of pubs struggling to survive across Scotland, with examples of large pub companies taking more than is fair or sustainable from individual publicansâ€™ profits.
Neil Bibby MSP (left), Paul Waterson, Scottish Licensed trade Association (SLTA)(mid) and Ray Turpie, Branch Vice-Chairman and CAMRA Public Affairs Officer at the launch of the consultation.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government carried out its own research into the tied pub sector. Their report concluded that there is no need for reform after surveying just 25 pubs â€“ only 10 of which were tied to large companies. This represents less than 0.5% of the 4,600 pubs across the country, and cannot be considered a representative sample. The Scottish Government's inaction on this issue is letting the pubs sector down. Pubs in Scotland deserve the same level of protection as they have in England and Wales, and we hope this new research will persuade the Scottish Government to make the appropriate reforms. You can take part in the consultation by visiting the Scottish Parliament website consultation page here: www.parliament.scot/ parliamentarybusiness/Bills/102454.aspx. The consultation closes on 20th June 2017.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Our wish is for everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun on our trips and events. However please remember that trip organisers have only volunteered to arrange times and/or travel arrangements and to provide information about the venue(s). You are responsible for your own safety and wellbeing. If you have an existing medical condition you must bring your own backup/carer with you. CAMRA promotes responsible drinking and so excessive drinking will not be tolerated on CAMRA outings. Any member doing so may be barred from future events. 12
REAL ALE & OTHER CRAFT BEER, CIDER & PERRY
BEER FESTIVAL 2017
0844 412 4640
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THE ROSCOE HEAD, A GEM UNDER THREAT
By Ale Hunter
At last year’s Troon beer festival I met a man from Liverpool. In conversation he waxed lyrical about a wee pub in his home town which was under threat of closure by developers. His name was Phil and the pub the Roscoe Head. You may have seen something about the pub in the press. Not only because it is under threat but because it has been in the Good Beer Guide for 29 years without a break! A few of my mates were in Liverpool in February, so we took the opportunity to see this gem for ourselves. We managed two visits and it was not difficult to see why it was in the GBG! Tucked up a side street off a main street it appears quite ordinary and inside it is quite small with a very small bar area. A tiny basic snug is on the left, and an equally small but more upholstered room to the right. Through the back there is a larger lounge space with a real fire and the toilets are out back. All this was originally a private house and it still retains many of the decorative features of its original purpose. However it is still a small pub and must be cosy on a busy night! For a pub under threat the décor is in perfect condition with everything neat, tidy, very clean and very friendly. In fact a friendlier pub would be difficult to find. For the ale drinker, six hand pumps serve Tetley Bitter and Timothy Taylor Landlord plus 4 changing guests, there is also the usual range of keg beers for those who like a fizzy drink! Food in the shape of pies and pasties is available at lunchtime. The Scouse pie being something different and worth trying once. On my 2nd visit we got into conversation with the landlady who was amazed that we had travelled far just to look for her ‘back street boozer’ her words! Who told you about this place? At the time I had forgotten who, but lo and behold who should be sitting in the snug, that’s right, Phil himself! Coincidence or what? Phil is coming back to Troon in October, if you have the opportunity to visit Liverpool seek him out in the Roscoe Head – you will not be disappointed. More info on the pub can be found at www.roscoehead.co.uk.
POLICY BASED ON EVIDENCE, NOT EVIDENCE BASED ON POLICY
by Colin Valentine, National Chairman, CAMRA
The following article first appeared in The Scotsman
A few years ago I attended a conference in Edinburgh of alcohol health professionals, with me being the only one in the room, apart from the moderator, who wasn’t. At the time it was stated, without a shred of evidence to back it up, that alcohol misuse cost the Scottish economy some £2 billion. I asked, caveated by stating at the outset that I wasn’t saying the figure was necessarily wrong, where the evidence was, as none had been presented. Later on in the conference, a former health minister told us that a third was in respect of one thing, which they proceeded to elaborate on, a third was in respect of another thing, which they similarly elaborated on, and the further third was in respect of other stuff. I’m not convinced that “other stuff” were the exact words used, but that was the gist of it. In other words, a third of the alleged cost was on something so nebulous that even a former health minister could not define it. This experience sprang to mind when I read a recent article about the rationale behind the decision by the United Kingdom’s four Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) to recommend a maximum weekly intake of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week for both men and women – less than a pint a day of standard strength beer. It was something that I had never seen before in all of the tens of thousands of words written on the topic, namely that the link to suicide in young men is one of the reasons our CMOs have 14
reduced the guideline for men to the same as for women. With the recommended maximum weekly intake for men being reduced by a third, from 21 units to 14 units a week, it was seriously suggested that cutting down from about 10 pints a week to 7 would reduce the rate of suicide in young men. As no evidence was offered in respect of how big a problem it is in young men who drink 21 units a week, how can it be stated that reducing from a modest intake to an even more modest intake is going to have any effect? Notwithstanding the above, let me be clear on one point: suicide is one of the biggest killers of young men and I am not trying to score points by using it as some kind of political football. The point that I am trying to make is that what we want to see is policy based on evidence, not evidence based on policy. When we get to that stage, perhaps we can have a rational debate about what
can be done to help the small minority of people who have chronic alcohol problems without labelling those of us whose intake is moderate, and in line with the guidelines in many other countries in the developed world, as problem drinkers. It seems to me that labelling Scotland a country which has a problem with alcohol, even to the extent that Scotsman leader writers have stated that this is the case, does us no favours when trying to formulate policies to help those individuals who do have problems. In fact, the CMOs’ guidelines do not single out suicide amongst young men as the reason for reducing the low-risk drinking guidelines for men to the same as for women. The guidelines review justifies this reduction on the basis that men are more likely than women to be involved in “acute episodes”, such as getting drunk and being injured or killed in fights, but no evidence is produced to support this assertion. Suicide
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amongst young men is a subset of acute effects, not the totality of them, but is cited by anti-alcohol campaigners to dramatise their agenda.
drunk in moderation, has a heart-protective effect and appears to act as we might expect a medicine or a good drug to act.
What the new guidelines do is ignore more than 30 years of evidence that regular, moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the risk of premature death from all causes as compared with the risk for people who have never drunk; that alcohol, when
None of this takes away from the fact that excessive alcohol consumption is toxic and causes illnesses such as alcoholic liver disease. The new guidelines appear to have been written by a group of people dominated by temperance opinion, who used
these guidelines as a platform for their agenda to reduce consumption of all drinkers, not just those who have a drink problem. Their objection to alcohol is as much moral as it is medical; it is temperance without the hymns. Treat us like the intelligent adults we are by giving us all of the facts and let us make our own minds up. Treat us like children and we will ignore you.
TRIP TO STOCKPORT At the last two East Ayrshire socials plans have been put together for a weekend trip to the Manchester/Stockport area. Having discovered that the Stockport Beer festival (www.stockportfestival.org.uk) takes place on 1 - 3 June they have decided to go ahead with the outing that weekend. Six members have already said that they will take part. The plan is to take a train on Thursday 1st June leaving Kilmarnock about 9:30 and to return on Sunday 4th June. Advance tickets can be bought for less than £60 if booked soon. Stockport Travelodge has rooms available for the three nights which cost £56 per person (two sharing). Again, bookings need to be made soon as the beer festival is only half a mile away. They expect to attend the beer festival on Thursday evening, take a rail ale trail to Huddersfield on the Friday and visit Manchester on the Saturday but most of these plans would be flexible and members would be able to take in sporting events, museum visits, shopping or whatever else is of interest. A curry night is also likely to feature for many. If you wish to join them please let Matt Miller know at firstname.lastname@example.org by 4th March. Be prepared to pay for your travel and accommodation very quickly thereafter.
SOME SCOTTISH BEER FESTIVAL DATES
Land O' Burns Beer Festival, Ayr Rugby Club, Sat 27th May
Sat 1st April, Ayr: Harry's Bar (3pm) / Twa Dug (4.30pm)
Alloway Beer Festival, Cambusdoon Sports Club, Alloway, Sat 24th June
Wed 7th June, Ayr: Chestnuts Hotel (1pm) / Glen Park Hotel (2.30pm)
Blackwaterfoot Beer Festival, Kinloch Hotel, Arran, Sat 26th August
Sat 5th Aug, Irvine: Ship Inn (3pm) / Harbour Lights (4.30pm)
Larbert 31 March – 1 April Paisley 19-22 April Fife (Glenrothes) 20-22 April Glasgow 22-24 June SRAF (Edinburgh) 6-9 July Ayrshire (Troon) 5-7 October
We'd love to hear from breweries and pubs with any news snippets, events, awards etc. Send your info to email@example.com
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OUTLETS NEWS In Newton Stewart, the Black Horse Hotel has started selling real ale, including the local Portpatrick Brewery ales. On Arran, the Glenisle Hotel, in Lamlash is now selling an Arran Brewery ale from a polypin inside a wooden cask behind the bar. However, bad news from the same village is that the popular Drift Inn has closed down. Social media messages are uncertain in whether it will reopen. In Beith, the Saracen's Head, a former North Ayrshire Pub of the Year has stopped selling real ales. In Irvine, the Harbour Lights is still selling real ale, but often doesn't have a pump clip on the handpump. In Fairlie, a community group are looking to save and reopen the Village Inn. Villagers are being sent a questionnaire to assess support and demand for the pub, and talks have been started with the owner.
Every month we send out a "What's On" email to all CAMRA members via a dedicated Comms tool provided by CAMRA. There are additional emails sent with important info as required. However, on average two-thirds of these emails to our branch members do not appear to be getting opened. Please check your SPAM folders and add "noreply@camra. org.uk" to your senders list. A recent straw poll at a branch social event showed that approx 50% of those present didn't know about the dedicated members area of the national website: www.camra.org. uk > Sign-in. You just need your membership number and there's a link available if you don't know your password. Once logged in you can check your email address is correct and your current CAMRA mailing preferences at members.camra.org.uk > Member Dashboard > My Membership > Edit Membership > Preferences
Ayrshire Real Ale Festival T-shirts for sale We still have a stock of 2016 beer festival t-shirts available for purchase. They’re available in red, yellow, green and blue, in most sizes (at present) and will cost just £4. There are also some t-shirts from 2015 which are available for just £3. Anyone interested should email Clare Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to check on availability of colour and size, and hopefully we can arrange collection from our forthcoming meetings or socials to avoid postage.
CURRENT AVAILABILITY: Blue: Large (2), 3XL (1) Yellow: Small (1), Med (1), Large (3), 2XL (2), 3XL (1) Red: Small (1), Large (1) Green: Small (1), Large (2), XL (2), 2XL (1) 2015: 15 in various colours and sizes
Look out for our "CAMRA Calling" email newsletter coming soon to your inbox with more news and info from our Branch 17
By Graeme Perry
FULLP NTS SPRING 2017
Five have fun on Arran On a very pleasant Sunday 5 February 2017, five enthusiastic CAMRA members took the 09:45 ferry over to Arran to complete a few pub survey forms – this ensures we have accurate information recorded on the WhatPub website. We had also been told by Gerald Michaluk of Arran Brewery that we should try the Glenisle Hotel in Lamlash, which wasn’t listed on WhatPub, but now sells one of their Arran ales. Following coffee and rolls and sausage on the boat, our first port of call was the Kinloch Hotel in Blackwaterfoot on the west side of the island. This hotel hosts an annual beer festival, but on this day, they had their own ale Uisge Dubh ale, which is brewed for the hotel by the Ayr Brewing Company. At 3.8% ABV, this is a very tasty ale and was a very good starter or two, for our day. Onward from Blackwaterfoot, back across The String to Brodick to change buses at the ferry terminal and on to Lamlash. Actually it was the same bus, but we had to get off while they changed the number and driver, and then back on and off we went. We went straight to the Glenisle Hotel and what a very pleasant hotel this is. They had my favourite Arran ale, Arran Blonde, served from a plastic polypin inside a wooden cask on the bar. Because of the way the ale is served it is not chilled, which made a very pleasant change. Because we enjoyed the hotel so much we stayed for an excellent lunch and some more Blonde. A short walk away is the Pierhead Tavern (the PHT), which was selling three ales on our arrival. However, this dropped to two after the Orkney Dark Island ran out after just one half pint. Not a problem as the Kelburn Jaguar was in fine form. At over £4 per pint, this was the most expensive bar of the trip, but the ales were in very good condition and the PHT is well worth a visit. The last pub we visited is one I have a very long history of visiting, and they have always served a great pint of ale in a lovely location – the Ormidale Hotel in Brodick. A regular in the Good Beer Guide, it was surprising to find they were only selling Caledonian Brewery’s ales, no Arran beers. The Caledonian Ormid Ale and Golden XPA were both in great condition, as was the pub. There are a few other real ale pubs on Arran, but some were either not open on a Sunday, or not open until March. It would have been nice to have gone over to the Catacol Bay Hotel and the Lochranza Hotel, but the bus timetable made this impossible to do in one day. However, this does give us a good reason to visit again later this year, not that you really need any excuse to go to Arran. We don’t get many beer scores submitted for the Arran pubs, so I ask all members who visit a real ale pub in Arran to take time to score the ale(s) they drink, so we are kept up-to-date with how things are going and what’s being sold. A very enjoyable trip, great company, pubs and ales, with the added bonus of discovering the Glenisle Hotel for the first time, which has now been added to WhatPub. I recommend Arran to everyone and I’ll be back there soon. 19
AYRSHIRE & WIGTOWNSHIRE REAL ALE OUTLETS NORTH AYRSHIRE ARDROSSAN Ardrossan Rugby Club * Lauriston Hotel * GATESIDE Gateside Inn IRVINE Harbour Lights Ship Inn The Auld Brig W KILBIRNIE Garnock Community Social Club KILWINNING The Corner House
EAST AYRSHIRE LARGS J G Sharps Largs Sailing Club # Lounge MacAulays The Paddle Steamer W Three Reasons Waterside
STEWARTON The Mill House
KILMAURS Weston Tavern
KILMARNOCK Braehead Bar Brass & Granite Fanny by Gaslight § First Edition § Wheatsheaf Inn W
SORN Sorn Inn
STAIR Stair Inn
MILLPORT Fraser’s Bar
SALTCOATS Salt Cot W
BARGRENNAN House O’ Hill Hotel
Canny Man §
STEVENSTON The Red Squirrel
BLADNOCH Bladnoch Inn DRUMMORE Clashwhannon GARLIESTON Harbour Inn
ISLE OF ARRAN BLACKWATERFOOT Blackwaterfoot Lodge (summer only) Kinloch Hotel BRODICK Brodick Bar Ormidale Hotel Wine Port
CATACOL Catacol Bay Hotel
ISLE OF WHITHORN Steam Packet Inn §
LAMLASH Glenisle Hotel Pierhead Tavern
KIRKCOLM Blue Peter Hotel
LOCHRANZA Lochranza Hotel
NEWTON STEWART Black Horse Hotel Creebridge House Hotel Cree Inn Galloway Arms Hotel PORTPATRICK Crown Hotel Harbour House Hotel SANDHEAD Tigh-na-Mara Hotel STRANRAER Grapes § Ruddicot Hotel
NEW LUCE Kenmuir Arms Hotel
SOUTH AYRSHIRE ALLOWAY Cambusdoon Sports Club AYR Abbotsford Hotel Ayrshire & Galloway Chestnuts Hotel Geordie’s Byre Glen Park Hotel * CAMRA members have noted that real ale is not always available at these pubs. # Weekends only 20
Harry’s Bar Smoking Goat Tam o’ Shanter Twa Dugs Wellingtons Bar Western House Hotel# West Kirk W
KIRKMICHAEL Kirkmichael Arms KIRKOSWALD Souter’s Inn PRESTWICK Prestwick Pioneer W
TROON Bruce’s Well Cheeky Charlie’s Harbour Bar * McKay’s Marr Rugby Club # South Beach Hotel
DUNDONALD The Auchans W Wetherspoons vouchers
accepted § Special offers for card-carrying CAMRA members
CAMRA members are encouraged to score ales they drink in their local pub, as it assists the committee in considering outlets for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide. Scores are continually required for the whole Branch area – please take a few moments to score your beers on whatpub.com if you visit them.
FULLP NTS SPRING 2017
Lochranza Catacol Arran
Lugton Dunlop Kilbirnie Stewarton Stevenston Ardrossan Kilwinning Kilmaurs Strathaven Kilmarnock Saltcoats Brodick Irvine Dundonald Lamlash Troon Sorn Prestwick
Kirkmichael Kirkoswald Do you know of a pub that sells real ale and isnâ€™t listed? Please let us know by emailing:
Bargrennan Kirkcolm Stranraer
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 ÂŠ Crown Copyright 2017
Isle of Whithorn Five Kingdoms
T NIGH D AY P M N O 9 M QUIZ K LY WEE ALE T GUES ED S E R V I LY D O FO DA 7PM TILL
REASONS Gd Drink, Gd Fd, Gd Times! FREE HOUSE | BAR & DINER
14 GALLOWGATE S TREET, LA RGS KA 30 8LX C A L L: 01475 672330 MAIL: email@example.com V ISIT: www.thethreereasons.co.uk
FRASERS BAR Millport
Find us just up the road from the pier
Quality Cask Ales Served All Year Meals Served Every Day 12 noon-2.30pm / 5.30pm-7.30pm
“Island Escape” self-catering 4-star luxury accommodation Book at: www.cottages4u.co.uk Ref: 30200
7 Cardiff Street, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae KA28 0AS Tel: 01475 530518 22
FULLP NTS SPRING 2017
US $ the hidden killer?
by Sarah Bellis, CAMRA Scotland & Northern Ireland Director
You walk into your local, select your beer and as its being poured, count out the usual £3.80. “That’ll be £4 please” is heard from behind the bar, “another price increase from the brewery I’m afraid”. Over the past year due to market fluctuations and global political events we have seen the pound grow weaker against the US dollar and Euro. Small scale brewers are already feeling the pinch from the drop in Sterling which has sent the cost of imported raw materials soaring. The narrow margins they were operating under are becoming even narrower and something has to give. The risk that some breweries that are on the breadline may disappear from the Scottish beer scene all together is significant. Breweries will have to balance value for money for their consumers with the long term effects on the brewery. They are faced with difficult decisions. Do they absorb the increase in cost and not make the investment that is much needed to their infrastructure? Do they continue to pay the increased price for their raw materials, or do they buy lower quality ingredients? Do they need their Brewery Assistant, or is it time to let the enthusiastic young apprentice go? Most brewery owners will decide that the only option open to them is to increase their sales cost. Local brewer Arran Brewery have announced a 2.5% price increase. Owner Gerald Michaluk explained to me that the brewery have managed to absorb supplier increases over the last five years but they have reluctantly been forced to pass onto this price increase to their customers. "We do very little export, so can’t benefit from the lower pound to offset the price increase", said Gerald. The impact of this price increase then passes the pressure to the licensed trade, so your local outlet is now facing similar increased product costs and increased overheads. We have seen a steady rate of pub closures, especially in rural areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland. There has been the rise of micro pubs in small ex retail units in towns across the UK, but like small brewers these business operate on tight budgets and as the small overheads they enjoyed 12 months ago disappear will we see the explosion of micro pubs tail off? Any increase of prices anywhere within the supply chain will ultimately mean price increases at the pumps. JD Wetherspoons have already reduced the range of their imported products from Europe and the USA to avoid price increases, in the short term could we see this trend across the industry? So my questions to you, dear reader, is this: Would you pay more for a pint? Or, would you drink at home instead? Could pubs choose to take real ale off if the price point increases? Could cost cause products produced with 100% UK ingredients such as real cider to further increase in popularity cost? My final thought, traditional risks to our industry are there for all to see but could the weak Pound and strong US Dollar be a hidden killer of small and large licensed businesses across Scotland and Northern Ireland? 23
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: firstname.lastname@example.org www.welliesbar.weebly.com
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LOCAL ALE TRAILS using public transport
Compared to many areas of the country, during the daytime parts of Ayrshire are relatively well-served with public transport. In the evening though there is a huge and increasing challenge in visiting many outlying areas. Over the past few years we’ve printed and distributed copies of Rail and Bus Ale Trails to local pubs to encourage you to visit these outlets (also available to download from our website). In this edition, we’ll highlight the limited options available for rural East and South Ayrshire. LOCATION
Kilmarnock / Sorn
X50 Kilmarnock Cumnock; X76 Glasgow Cumnock
Hourly middle of day (not Sundays); One or two buses early evening
43 Ayr - Cumnock
Not on a bus route – nearest drop off is approx. 1.5 miles away!
361 Ayr-Straiton; 358 Ayr – Girvan or Stranraer
Varied, but approx. every 2 hours (not Sunday). 3 or 4 evening services
60 / 360 Ayr-Girvan
Hourly daytime, 2 hourly Sundays
Souter’s Arms, Kirkoswald
RA B US
Rural East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire only have a handful of real ale outlets, and not all are served by public transport. Starting in Kilmarnock and heading south west, the X50 or X76 will pass through Mauchline (no real ale outlets in the town) and down to the Sorn Inn, which usually has Orkney ale and good food. Unfortunately there is no direct way using public transport to get to the next nearest outlet, the Stair Inn. It is located in a tiny hamlet with a narrow bridge over the River Ayr, but its ales and food are always good. The nearest drop-off point is approx. 1.5 miles to the north via the Service 43 between Ayr and Cumnock. This bus also passes the Failford Inn (a former outlet) which is under new management but currently does not sell real ale. From Ayr the 361 (Straiton) or 358 (Girvan or Stranraer) serve the Kirkmichael Arms, whilst the 60 or 360 head down to Girvan past the Souter’s Arms in Kirkoswald. Both these outlets serve good quality ales and food. An alternative option could also be to catch a Stranraer train from Ayr to Maybole and catch the bus from there. After Kirkoswald, the next real ale outlets heading south are unfortunately down in Wigtownshire (a missed opportunity for any Girvan-based publicans!) – we’ll feature the Rhins and the Machars in the next edition. 25
www.awcamra.org.uk by Ray Turpie, Branch Vice Chairman
I do not need an excuse to visit Yorkshire. Our walking trip at the end of last year turned out quite wintry but most enjoyable. Our first stop was Grassington. We walked up to the Forrester’s Arms before it got dark where I enjoyed a Black Sheep Bitter in front of a roaring fire. The next day we walked down Wharfdale on the Dales Way to Appletreewick for a pint in the Craven Arms. This is named after a local dignitary and benefactor who became Lord Mayor of London. Craven Arms The weather deteriorated as I sipped my Saltaire Triple Chocoholic Stout and although I could have stayed the rest of the day we thought it best to head back directly to the Fountaine Hotel in Linton where we were 26
RAY’S ROUND UP
ROUND Y’S U A R
staying. It had three local real ales so I enjoyed some Daleside Blonde along with dinner. We woke up to snow covering the car and so decided to head for Skipton where it was a bit calmer, settling for a walk along the canal. Our next destination was Leeds via Harrogate and, as the weather deteriorated, we were glad to reach our normal digs in Rothwell. The local Brewery is Ossett so some of their Pale Gold was sampled in the Black Bull along with local specialty, bread and dripping, which Ferdinand especially Ferdinand with his bread and dripping! liked. Leeds waterfront is a fascinating walk and we managed to clock up eight miles. Starting at the south side of the Station in the old area of Holbeck, this takes in Granary Wharf and the start of the Leeds to Liverpool canal. It goes for over one hundred miles to reach its destination and we had walked some of it the day before in Skipton. The Fountaine Hotel
Of course, we could not
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manage all eight pubs in the guide but I would recommend the Adelphi and Whitelock’s Ale House if you ever get a chance to visit Leeds. The Adelphi The latter is featured in the Peter Robinson Inspector Banks book I am currently reading so I can visualise sitting there enjoying my pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord or Black Sheep Bitter, which is Bank’s favourite. Anyway, that was last year and we are now well in to a new year. I trust you all had a good festive season. I certainly enjoyed the South Ayrshire dinner in Wellingtons, Ayr and the pub walk in Troon. What will this year bring? The Revitalisation Report has been issued and like it or not, the members have spoken. Over the coming months there will be much debate but it is important that members have a vote on the
issues and, if approved, they are implemented. It may not have escaped your notice that I am standing for the National Executive of CAMRA. The results will be known for the Annual Conference in April. There are seven candidates for four posts so every single vote for me counts. You still have time to participate in the election as the poll is open until 24th March. Your support would be very much appreciated. I will be heading down to Bournemouth for the AGM soon with a few stops on the way so I will be able to report on that next time. In the meantime, the festival season will soon be upon us so I would encourage you all to get active and have fun enjoying some of those ales or by helping out. The first one is Larbert at the end of March, followed by Paisley in April. Finally, it occurs to me that the next issue will be my 40th contribution of Round Up to “Full Pints” and so it might be a good time to stop. In this period of change for CAMRA it is good to have your say, so if you have any views on this, either way, please get in touch with the editor and give him your feedback.
BRANCH SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
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 always 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: email@example.com South Ayrshire - contact Caroline Munro for details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org East Ayrshire - meets last Wednesday of every month. Contact Matt Miller. Email: email@example.com Wigtownshire - contact Malcolm McNeil for details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members visiting Loch Lomond Brewery.
Additionally, we hold social outings on a regular basis to breweries such as Loch Lomond, Bute, Sulwath, and Inveralmond. See www.awcamra.org.uk for details or contact our social secretary Donald Clark at social@awcamra.
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Why I’m looking forward to Bournemouth 2017
by Colin Valentine, National Chairman, CAMRA
This April, I will be joining CAMRA members from across the UK in the seaside resort of Bournemouth for CAMRA’s Members’ Weekend, which includes our National AGM and Conference. I have been attending the CAMRA Members’ Weekend for almost 30 years, well before I was active nationally, never mind National Chairman. Those of you who were in Norwich in 2013 may remember that I still have my glass from my first AGM weekend, as they were then called, in Norwich in 1990. Even prior to becoming Chairman, I always made an effort to travel to whichever corner of the country the weekend was held and have only missed one since then - and was even organiser in Edinburgh in 1998. It has always been, and still is, an opportunity to meet with old friends, make new acquaintances and socialise with other CAMRA members from across the country. Most importantly, the Members’ Weekend is a fantastic opportunity for any member across the organisation – whether you have just joined, been a member for 20+ years, active or inactive – to shape the future direction and purpose of CAMRA. As Chairman, I now have the great responsibility of making sure that the AGM and Conference part of the Members’ Weekend is run successfully and open to every single one of our 185,000 members. This year, that responsibility is even greater than ever before. Following 50 consultation meetings across the UK and three national surveys, we have now seen the proposals that were put forward by the Revitalisation Project Steering Committee on CAMRA’s future. Whether you agree or disagree with the proposals, took part in the consultation events or stayed at home, the Members’ Weekend will be the opportunity to discuss them inside and out ahead of a decision next year. Over the weekend, members will be able to consider the Revitalisation Project and proposals on the future of CAMRA in a series of discussion groups. It will be your chance to have a say on the Revitalisation Project’s findings and represent your views in the debate. A final decision on the proposals will then be taken at the Members’ Weekend in 2018. I am proud to chair an organisation that is a true democracy – where every member has the opportunity to feed into our policies, direction and future. I never forget that without our huge membership base and dedicated volunteers; there simply would not be a CAMRA. I hope you will consider joining us in Bournemouth this year. The closing date for registration is Friday 17th March 2017. For more information simply visit camraagm.org.uk.
WATER, MALT, HOPS & TIME
Beer • Leann • Birra • Biér
INGREDIENTS/ ZUTATEN/ INGREDIENSE UK: Water, Malted Barley, Malted Whea DE: Wasser, Malz Gerste, Malz Weizen, DK: Vand, Maltet Byg, Malted Hvede, Hu SE: Vatten, Kornmalt, Vetemalt, Hum LT: Vanduo, Salyklinius Miežius, Salyklinius aLLerGY aDViCe For allergens, inc gluten, see ingredients in bold / Allergene allergener i boll/ alergenai rutulinis
This blonde ale is bursting with zingy citrus and tropical fruit flavours. Brewed with Summit and Citra hops.
Best Before End: See Neck / Mindesten BEDSTE FØR: Se Neck / Bäst Före: Se Hals /
HISTORY: ‘Southern Summit’ is named after Ben
Lomond, a prominent mountain which dominates the eastern shoreline of Loch Lomond. It is also Scotlands most southern Munro (a mountain over 3000ft).
SIBA Supreme Champion 2016
LOCH LOMOND BREWERY:
Lomond Industrial Estate, Alexandria, Scotland.
The fleur de lys is found on all our bottles as a stamp of authenticity.
MEN - shou drink more uni WOMEN - sho drink more uni
ALC. 4% VOL.
@LochLomondBrew LochLomondBrewery www.lochlomondbrewery.com Block 1 Unit 5, Lomond Industrial Estate Alexandria, G83 0TL
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 www.thecannyman.co.uk
Find us on the A736 Irvine to Barrhead Road, at Lugton 30
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¨ • CerVeZa re • oL
ER/ INNEHÅLL/ SUDÉTIS at, Hops, Yeast , Hopfen, Hefe umle, Gær mle, Jäst s Kviećiu,, Apyniu,, Mieliu, cluding cereals containing in fett / allergener i fed/
ns haltbar bis: Siehe Neck / / Ieteicams lîdz : Skat Neck
uld not regularly than 3-4 alcohol its a day. ould not regularly than 2-3 alcohol its a day.
• Real Food • Real Beer • Real Atmosphere 27 Main Street, Kilmaurs, KA3 2RQ Tel: 01563 538805 www.westontavern.co.uk
RHINS GRAND NATIONAL COACH TRIP – SATURDAY 8TH APRIL
One of the stated aims of the local branch is to try to support pubs in our more remote areas which may be facing difficult trading conditions due to the change in the Scottish drink-driving law along with a significant reduction in already poor public transport provision. To that end, we are pleased to announce the return of the popular Rhins Grand National Coach Trip after an absence of a few years. The bus will leave the Ruddicot Hotel, Stranraer about 1315 and travel via Kenmuir Arms, New Luce; Clashwhannon, Drummore; Harbour House Hotel and Crown Hotel in Portpatrick, and the Blue Peter, Kirkcolm where we will watch the race unfold. We will then travel back to The Grapes, Stranraer for about 6pm where there will be an evening buffet. The Clashwhannon, Drummore
A 22-seater bus is being provided by Wigtownshire Community Transport and will meet any Ayrshire members who wish to join us from the train due to arrive at the station at 1256 (Dep. Kilmarnock 1104 / Troon 1116 / Ayr 1131; From Kilwinning dep, no later than 1055 to connect at Ayr; An anomaly of the ticket system also means it's about £20 cheaper to buy a return from Largs / WK / Salt / Stev to Kilwinning and then a return from Kilwinning to Stranraer for a full adult ticket). The final cost for the bus depends on numbers but it should be less than £10. Numbers are obviously limited. Non-members welcome but CAMRA members take priority. We need to know final numbers by Sunday 2nd April so please email or phone 01776 704573 as soon as possible to book seats. Any call-offs after that will have to be paid for to be fair to the others, unless the bus is full. 31
SCOTTISH REAL ALE
Showcasing 180+ Scottish Real Ales and Cider / Perry
Edinburgh Corn Exchange 11 New Market Road, Slateford, EH14 1RJ Keep up to date with festival news on our website and social media:
31st March - 1st April
Dobbie Hall, Main Street, Larbert
Fri 31st Mar: 1pm (CAMRA members); 3pm (public)- 11pm Sat 1st Apr: 12 noon - 11pm
60+ REAL ALES PLUS CIDER & PERRY
Admission: £5 (£3 CAMRA) inc. glass & programme
30th PAISLEY BEER FESTIVAL Wed 19th - Sat 22nd April 2017 Paisley Town Hall, Abbey Close, Paisley
Rothes Halls, Glenrothes Thurs 20th April – Sat 22nd April Thurs 4pm - 11pm Fri 12 noon – Midnight Sat 12 noon – 11pm Entertainment Friday from 7pm – Yard of Ale Entertainment Saturday 2pm-4pm – Local Piper Admission £6 (Camra Members £5) including festival glass & programme Over 40 Real Ales, as well as Cider & Perry. Festival Sponsored by
Featuring over 130 real ales from across the UK Plus ciders, foreign beers, wine and food. Admission Charges Non-CAMRA members £6 CAMRA members £4 Free re-admission with 2017 festival glass
Paisley Beer Festival kingdomoffifefestival
Opening Times Wed 5-11 Thu 12-11 Fri 12-Midnight Sat 12-11 @PaisleyBeerFest
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WhatPub.com, 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 www.whatpub.com. Over the past year, 92 people submitted 2,771 beer scores in our branch area – but only 40 were Branch members (and we currently have over 680 members, meaning just 6% of you use WhatPub!). The others were CAMRA visitors from around the country. From the 40 scorers, 55% of the scores came from just 9 people! So this is a genuine and heartfelt request. If you visit a pub with real ale, then log in to WhatPub.com and submit a score. It only takes 30 seconds. If you are unsure of how to log in (you need your CAMRA membership number and password), details on accessing / updating your details can be found on page 17.
Just because a pub is in a larger town please don’t assume that we’ll get a lot of scores for it, and pubs outwith the big town centres, in our rural areas and islands always need scores. And we'll welcome low scores as well as high scores. If half of our members started scoring their beer on whatpub.com, it would be an amazing effort and one which your committee would greatly value. We have around 80 outlets in our area but are only allocated 27 entries by the Good Beer Guide publishers, so only the best pubs with the highest average scores get selected. The more scores there are, the better the overall average will be.
HOW SHOULD I SCORE THE QUALITY OF THE BEER?
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.
DIARY DATES MARCH Mon 13th
Committee Meeting, Wheatsheaf, Kilmarnock, 8pm
South Ayrshire Social & SA POTY Presentation: Wellingtons, Ayr, 7.30pm
North Ayrshire Social: Garnock Community Social Club, Kilbirnie, 7.30pm (earlier start for transport connections)
Branch AGM: Abbotsford Hotel, Ayr, 12 noon - 3pm, followed by informal crawl back towards town centre. See page 7 for details.
East Ayrshire Social: Braehead Bar, Kilmarnock, 7.30pm
Please check www.awcamra.org.uk for up-to-date details of all Branch events.
APRIL Sat 1st
2-pub Social, Ayr: Harry's Bar (3pm) / Twa Dugs (4.30pm)
Wigtownshire Social and Branch Meeting: Grand National coach trip around the Rhins
South Ayrshire Social: Cheeky Charlies, Troon, 7.30pm
North Ayrshire Social: Salt Cot, Saltcoats, 8pm
Coach trip to East Lothian: Beer of the Festival presentation to Black Metal brewery and visit to Knops Brewery, Dirleton. See page 31 for details.
Beer Festival planning meeting, Geordie's Byre, Ayr, 8pm
East Ayrshire Social – Weston Tavern, Kilmaurs, 7.30pm
MAY Tues 16th
South Ayrshire Social: The Auchans, Dundonald, 7.30pm
North Ayrshire Social: Waterside, Largs, 8pm
Wigtownshire Social: Day out in Newton Stewart, from 1pm. See page 35 for details.
East Ayrshire Social – First Edition, Kilmarnock, 7.30pm 33
Receive exclusive benefits and meet like-minded people. For more information on membership and to join visit
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For more info on Wigtownshire events and outlets please contact: WIGTOWNSHIRE NEWS Malcolm McNeil (Email: email@example.com) IRVING & CO BREWERS 9TH BIRTHDAY NEWTON STEWART DAY OUT: This article initially appeared in PARTY SAT 20TH MAY the Stranraer Free Press.
The photo below shows Graeme Hilton of South Hampshire CAMRA presenting an award to Malcolm Irving, Brewer and Director of Irving and Co. Brewers Ltd for his beer Jutland which was on sale at the Southampton CAMRA Beer Festival last June. The presentation was made at the ninth birthday party of the Brewery which took place earlier in the month.
There are now 4 real ale outlets in Newton Stewart and it has been decided to repeat last year's successful outing to the town. The suggestion is that we meet in the Creebridge House Hotel at 1 pm before an easy stroll through the town visiting The Cree Inn, Galloway Arms Hotel and finishing at a new outlet, The Black Horse around 5pm where we would have something to eat.
Both Graeme, now living in Southampton, and Malcolm, living in Portsmouth were brought up in Stranraer and are former pupils of Stranraer Academy.
STEAM PACKET SUMMER SOLSTICE: SAT 24TH JUNE
Graeme's father Bill and Malcolm's mum Isobel are Wigtownshire CAMRA members (as was Malcolm's late father Dave). Malcolm's uncle and aunt are Ian and Margaret Morrison, Ayrshire CAMRA members from Kilwinning. They were also at the Brewery party and are regular visitors to our own Festival in Troon.
This year for something a little different it is proposed to visit The Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn, home of Five Kingdoms Brewery to celebrate the summer solstice (and hopefully long summer nights) which takes place on the previous Wednesday. We would again meet up in Newton Stewart about 1.15pm before travelling down to the pub, possibly via one of the real ale outlets en-route, to sample their latest beers and have an evening meal. Accommodation may be available in the Steam Packet for anyone who fancies making a night of it - early booking essential though!
Malcolm's beers are occasionally to be found in The Grapes, Stranraer and over the Christmas period, his Red Plum Christmas Ale and Invincible Premium Bitter sold out in just a few days and Frigate, a tasty golden ale, was on sale early in the New Year. The photo below shows, left to right, Graeme Hilton, Malcolm Irving and Isobel Irving, Malcolm's mother.
Both of the above events are at an early stage of planning but please get in touch if you are interested.
OTHER INDEPENDENT EVENTS The House o' Hill Beer and Music Festival at Bargrennan will be held be held on 6th/7th May and is always a good day out.
The Grapes, Stranraer will be holding a minifestival in late spring / early summer. Dates still to be confirmed. See page 31 for details of our Grand National Trip around the Rhins. 35
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Just For Fun WHERE ARE THE FOLLOWING BREWERIES LOCATED (NAME THE TOWN)? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Cairngorm Tempest Deeside Inveralmond Lola Rose Five Kingdoms Valhalla Gallus Top Out Alechemy
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE 1.
What was the CAMRA Champion Beer of Scotland 2016?
What was the CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain 2016?
How many pints are in a Kilderkin?
What does IPA stand for?
What does ABV stand for?
In the shipping forecast broadcast for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency two new sea areas were defined in 1984 by reducing some adjacent areas in the North Sea. What are they called?
Sir James Macmillan recently performed some lost songs on which island?
Desert Island Discs has had two hosts between the original, Roy Plomley, and the current one, Kirsty Young. Who are they?
Who succeeded Michael Aspel as presenter of the Antiques Roadshow
WHICH OF THESE IS NOT A BEER PRODUCED BY THE NAMED BREWERY? ORKNEY a. Raven b. Dark Island c. Head Banger d. Corncrake AYR a. Doctor Whitelock b. Rabbie’s Porter c. Black Narcissus d. Half Inch Whitworth Brass Bolt Pale KELBURN a. Deil’s Awa b. Derek’s Double c. Unco Hoppy d. Kracker BROUGHTON a. Black Dougie b. Elder Power c. Dark Dunter d. Lantern Jack LERWICK a. 60 Degrees North b. Skipper’s Ticket c. Azure d. Norseman
10. How many pins do you knock down if you get a strike in Ten Pin Bowling? 11. Which ITV quiz show ended in Feb 2014 after more than 15 years? 12. Which Scottish family lives at No. 10 Glebe Street?
PUMP CLIP QUIZ ANSWERS - WINTER 2016 1: Five Kingdoms Dark Storm 2: Belhaven 60/- 3: Black Metal Gates of Valhalla 4: Skye Black 5: Cairngorm Sheepshagger's Gold 6: Lawman Horizon 7: Strathaven Craigmill Mild 8: Ayr Rabbie's Porter 9: Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted 10: Cross Borders Pale 11: Broughton Dark Dunter 12: Caledonian Deuchars IPA 13: Fintry Clachertyfarlie 14: Black Wolf Gold Digger 15: Cromarty Happy Chappy 16: Kelburn Jaguar 17: Inveralmond Lia Fail 18: Arran Red Squirrel 19: Bute Scalpsie Blonde 20: Orkney Skullsplitter 21: Fyne Vital Spark 22: Loch Lomond Southern Summit 23: Strathbraan Look West 24: Top Out Staple Pale Ale 25: Tempest Long White Cloud 37
ARE WE PAYING THE PRICE FOR QUALITY?
by Stuart McMahon, Full Pints Editor
Since the turn of the year, there has been a huge amount of debate on the internet following a popular brewer’s announcement that they were no longer going to produce cask ale. Cloudwater is a small brewery that has barely been going two years; in that period they have brewed no less than 145 different beers, but they are passionate about the quality of their beers. Cloudwater’s lengthy blog piece was aimed to be as transparent as possible, but it has raised many hackles and opinions around the beer-o-sphere. They claim that by adopting a market pricing structure they just about make sufficient margin on their keg and bottled products, but that cask makes a loss; and that it is the pubs and consumers that are demanding a lower price point for cask products. This price disparity can be obvious when you go into a pub that sells both cask and kegged products. Locally, a cask ale usually sells for an average of around £3.00-£3.30 per pint (sometimes cheaper). A kegged equivalent is often closer to £4.50-£5.00; when sold as 2/3rds pint it can often work out much higher than that - £10/pint is not unknown for some strong ales. Different pubs have different overheads and that affects the overall consumer price, and pubs need to make money somehow in order to survive. But what is a fair price, and who is to blame for the current market pricing? Are higher prices down to landlords demanding increasingly exorbitant rents, or pubcos screwing their tenants for every penny? Or are pubs themselves reducing their 38
margins as they try different promotions to attract more customers because they are drinking less in a pub due to drink-driving laws, or lack of public transport? Or as a nation of canny moneyspenders, are we just too mean to pay more for something? Beer has always been regarded as a cheap drink, but how cheap should it really be? As Sarah Bellis has indicated elsewhere in this magazine brewers’ ingredients and overheads are costing more, just as our own weekly shopping bills are creeping up. Many modern beers use a huge amount of different hops which make them instantly more expensive to produce. So should brewers be putting their foot down and demanding a price increase on their products in order that they survive in an increasingly crowded marketplace? Would we as consumers be willing to pay more for beer than we currently are? And if we did, would we simply buy less beer on a night out in the pub, thus adversely affecting a pub's or brewer's profits?
In Cloudwater’s case, they appear to be in it to make a quick profit by focussing on keg, bottling, and soon-to-beintroduced canning. Despite the higher production costs, they can instantly make a bigger profit due to the higher market pricing for ‘premium craft products’. How often do we now see a 330ml bottle or can of ale selling for not much less, and sometimes more, than the traditional 500ml bottles? However, another side to Cloudwater’s decision to drop cask ale is not because of price or lack or profit on cask, but that of quality and how well kept the beer is at the point of dispense. Traditional cask ales need special and loving care through good cellarmanship in order to maintain their quality once a cask is broached. All too often nowadays, many publicans assume that they can put a cask ale on sale within hours of it being broached. It may have dropped bright, but has it fully ‘conditioned’? Do they even understand as to what that requires? And some publicans don’t properly clean
Keg on the other hand allows the brewer to control the quality of the beer that leaves the brewery and when served in most pubs it will be pretty consistent. Different gas mixtures may affect the amount of added carbonation but the beer should taste and look almost the same in any outlet – just as you would expect from a pint of mainstream lager. But beer quality should be a mandatory part of any brewery’s business - to expect a standard of excellence in their products no matter how, or where, they are sold and served. You will always remember a bad pint of beer and take a mental note to possibly avoid it, or the outlet, in the future. So, as CAMRA discusses the final stages of its Revitalisation project, we must not forget that the war on cask ale availability is not yet won; modern kegged beers may be of high quality but cask is still a superior product when looked after carefully. CAMRA needs your input and opinions – when it comes to voting on proposals at both this year’s and next year’s national AGMs, I encourage you to actively take part in the
process. CAMRA, in my opinion, needs to be doing much more to ensure beer quality at the point of dispense, whether that be in a conversation with publicans or brewers, or both. As CAMRA members, we should not be accepting sub-standard ales, but instead be returning the pint at the bar and complaining about it. And if a brewery always supplies the same pub, then a wee note to the brewery as well about your concerns would not be amiss.
the beer lines, or taste the ale regularly to check on its condition – when a disgruntled customer returns an acidic pint, the retort is often that “it was ok yesterday”. Staff training on handling cask ale is often minimal – I have regularly met staff who know little about what they are serving, let alone what it should look and taste like.
Brewers are able to make more profit from kegged products and any excuse they have to move over to that method exclusively will only be to the long-term detriment of cask ale. Thankfully, in our area at present most of our breweries focus on producing a small core range of cask beers, and on the whole are doing it well. Some are selling cask ales at ridiculously low prices in order to try and get market share. Will they survive? Only if their supplied outlets can get consistent quality in their products. Cans and bottles are now becoming increasingly popular, and that will undoubtedly bring its own set of new challenges. It will be interesting to see how that market develops over the next few years.
The next edition of Full Pints will be published in June 2017. Articles, photos and other contributions should be sent to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday 19th May 2017.
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Published on Feb 27, 2017
Published on Feb 27, 2017
Full Pints Spring 2017 edition. The multi-award winning magazine produced quarterly by Ayrshire & Wigtownshire CAMRA - the Campaign for Real...