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Beer of the Year

Ayrshire & Wigtownshire  Beer of the Year, as voted for by branch members who attended our AGM, is Orkney Red MacGregor.  A presentation will take place in due course.

Brewery of the Year

Ayrshire & Wigtownshire  Brewery of the Year, as voted for by branch members who attended our AGM, is Ayr Brewing Company.  We hope to make the presentation on Saturday, 18th June, as part of our 2-pub social.

SNIB Pub of the Year 2018

SNIB PotY Presentation
SNIB Director Sarah Crawford makes the presentation to Nigel Finlay

Staggs in Musselburgh has been officially crowned SNIB Pub of the Year 2018 at a presentation on Saturday, 3rd November.

The award was handed over by SNIB Director, Sarah Crawford.

A delighted Nigel Finlay was taken aback when he discovered that he made the last four in the national competition.

Congratulations to all at Staggs!

Charity Benefits from Ayrshire Real Ale Festival

Our annual real ale festival was a resounding success.  Our new beer card token system was much appreciated by the majority of our customers.  £2,000 was raised for our festival charity, Breast Cancer Care.  Many thanks to all those who contributed so generously to this total.
Our thanks also go to all our sponsors, customers old and new and the staff at Troon Concert Hall .  We look forward to seeing you again next year.
Breast Cancer Care Cheque
Festival Organiser Douglas Graham along with fellow committee members.

Brewery News

Arran Brewery
The Isle of Arran Brewery has purchased a 27 Brewers Barrel plant for installation at Loch Earn to add to its existing 20 barrel plant on Arran, more than doubling its brewing capacity.

The plant was purchased second hand and was formerly located at the Dunscar Brewery, Bolton. Arran also acquired the cask fleet of the Dunscar Brewery increasing its own fleet by around 60%.

Managing Director, Gerald Michaluk said “The addition of the brewing equipment will mean we have the capacity to brew almost 50 barrels a day (8,200 litres) over our three sites.  That translates into a real rise in production capacity from 875,000 litres to 2 million litres a year. We have been plagued by not being able to keep up with demand for our beer in Scotland and had to withdraw from international markets as a consequence to meet demand at home. Frequent “out of stock” situations have seriously hampered our growth in recent years. This new brewing equipment will reverse the situation and we will be focusing on creating the demand for our beers in the rest of the United Kingdom and overseas. We have a lot of growing to do and with the introduction of a range of lagers I am confident this can be achieved both domestically and by building our trade around the world“.

This new brewery, which should come on line by Easter, will eliminate the main constraints on the growth of the business. Their new lager, to be called Insignia (3.6%) should be brewed on the kit, with ‘variants’ available for Glasgow and Edinburgh markets.

The sake brewery to be based at Dreghorn also seems to still be on the cards, but no timescale as yet.

Arran ID won a bronze medal in the cask IPA 5.5% to 6.4% category in the SIBA Scotland competition held in November at Drygate.

Ayr Brewing Company
Ayr is supplying beer to Scottish Government European Union Burns Night in Brussels.  In the run up to Christmas, a cask of Leezie Lundie was available in the Stranger’s Bar at Westminster.

Five Kingdoms Brewery
Alastair Scoular continues to develop his brewery and pub business with a third staff member being trained on brewing techniques. He is now selling cask ales to trusted local outlets, including Selkirk Arms, Kircudbright and Murray Arms, Haugh of Urr, and his bottles throughout Dumfries and Galloway.  The beer range has been modified and driven by demand.  Capt Morrison IPA has been upgraded to a strong IPA (7.3%). A new mild, McGregors Mild has been launched at 3.5% (for a new local moved up from the Midlands and made just for him.  He apparently drinks a barrel per week!), and will replace Criminale.  Alastair has also tried an experimental brew based on Green Hops grown in Fife, called Hop Harvest 4% which went down well.  Bitter X recipe has been modified with a new hop blend.

Tied Pubs and Adjudicator

CAMRA has long campaigned for greater fairness in the pub trade.  MSP Neil Bibby has proposed a Bill which would offer greater protection to licensees, particularly those tied to a pubco.  A number of MSPs have already signed up to support Neil Bibby’s Bill on Tied Pubs and Adjudicator are listed be here.

If your Constituency or Regional MSP is not on this list please lobby them to support the Bill to help gain a success for this important CAMRA campaign. Hopefully, we can end lack of choice for the consumer in pubs owned by PubCos and help small brewers get their produce to market by expanding guest ale choice.

To identify MSPs associated with your post code, follow this link.

Neil Bibby MSP
Neil Bibby MSP

Evelyn Carden

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden and untimely death of Evelyn Carden, licensee of Geordie’s Byre in Ayr.  Evelyn, in partnership with husband Eddie, had run the pub since 1976 and in that time they accumulated many CAMRA awards, including Scotland and Northern Ireland Pub of the Year in 1996.  Geordie’s Byre has appeared in 28 consecutive editions of the Good Beer Guide. 

We offer our sincere condolences to the Carden family.

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