I could just leave it there, really, couldn’t I ?

There’s a suspicion that all you need to get in the Beer Guide in Scotland is put real ale on. Certainly if I look at my beer scores over the years, there’s a fair number of “X” s against pubs for low beer quality. On the other hand, I seem to come across “3 tick pubs” (nectar) regularly in Scotland.  It seems the pubs that do serve cask make a real go of it.

New Scottish GBG sticker

And there’s no reason why a Brewer’s Fayre shouldn’t be in the Guide.  There’s been a good Hungry Horse (Nelson) and plenty of Chef & Brewers in the GBG over the years.

Frankly, beer quality in the Brewer’s Fayre in Barnsley and Table Table in Newark last year was better than in a fair few free houses with too many hand pumps.

Anyway, this is Glenrothes with Thornton station.  With the emphasis on Thornton.   This was the end of the line, but I was the only person to get off.

A train

Google Maps says it’s a 31 minute walk to the Bank Head Brewer’s Fayre, and I only shaved 6 minutes off that.

Less interesting than it looks

Thornton itself is a proper village, judging by the big red “T” on the pub (closed, so no Tennents review) and the now inevitable Jehovah’s Witnesses opposite Toby’s chippy.  JH are an oddly comforting sight in a strange town.

Jehovah’s Witnesses not shown

I suspect I’m the only visitor this year so it was nice to get a big greeting as I entered town via James Watt Avenue, presumably a site for a Brew Dog Tap shortly.

I must visit Boblingen
Future BrewDog ?

That glockenspiel is one of a number of pieces of public art that raise Glenrothes well above the level of Newton Aycliffe and Redditch in the New Towns league table.

Play me a tune

A scramble across the grass to the Bankhead.

GBG tick ahoy !

What magnificent signage.

An underrated pub design style
Clearly this is why people come here at 2pm on a Wednesday in March

You know what a Brewer’s Fayre looks like, even if you last went in one for an office birthday meal in 2004.  Entirely OAPs and toddlers with those huge laminated menus.

Laminated menus always a good sign

As in (appropriately) Milton Keynes last year, the handpumps were hidden round the corner where they couldn’t scare young children.

I say hand pumps, but you’ll have guessed it was just this one. One is more than enough.

Old Reliable

Five points for guessing the one that was off, presumably only put on during busy period, but you’ll be “cocker hoop” when you get it. The barmaid still turned the pump clip round to make sure it was the correct one.  I was right to worry.

To be fair, the tables away from the “Kiddies ball pool” aren’t bad, ignoring the lack of beer mats and the fakeness of the fire.

Pub life, Glenrothes

I was also strategically placed to see folk approach the sweets cabinet and go through internal torment as they weighed up the instant gratification v Public Health England disapproval equation.

No calories displayed

My Doom Bar wasn’t actually vinegar, but it made a nice photo (top).  It was just warm, and sweet and hence undrinkable (NBSS 1.5). And I do drink the Doom.

And no, I couldn’t take my half back.  What would I have asked for ?  Tennent’s ?

Future craft

I couldn’t even have had an Orange Tango.





    1. Disagree, of course. I wouldn’t have ever gone to Motherwell or Glenrothes if it wasn’t for the generous Scottish allocations. But your soo-to-be-published guide to great Bass will be an essential companion to the GBG.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. A “guide to great Bass” reminds me that in 1974 I wrote to all those breweries mentioned in Frank Baillie’s Beer Drinkers Companion book as publishing guides to their tied estates and those few dozen publications of various sizes are a nostalgic reminder of when it was a pleasure to travel across the country to drink particular beers, but now all too many lazy drinkers expect an assortment of beers to be brought to a free house near them and then they complain about the price.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Cheshire shouldn’t have any more if they’re going to waste them on soulless craft bars and dining pubs with more handpumps than drinkers.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. My Dad always told me to hang back a bit and watch what others are doing before making a choice. On that basis, when in Scotland do what the Scots do – Tennents all the way. One would be a fool to do anything else. Unless you’re in Edinburgh or somewhere like that and there’s a pint of Jarl or Piilot brewing on offer. We all know that Doom Bar Is at best average and that Jennings is probably made in Wolverhampton when there’s an r in the month.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just when it was all going so well – but Brewers Fayre had to be a long shot (to be fair) despite your optimism…

        Surely there’ll be forgiveness for non-cask tickers – when the CAMRA vote is in?..

        PS –
        “One is more than enough.”

        Isn’t that the same as ‘One of those is one too many…?’


        Liked by 1 person

      2. “but they will be found out on the Day of Reckoning” –Ha! I’m sure there’s an area off to one side of the pearly gates. “Sorry, you’ll have to wait here for a few years, as it seems you fudged the numbers on your GBG ticking…”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a pint of Doom Bar ( the Abbot wasn’t on ) with my breakfast in the George Wallis last Wednesday morning and although there was nothing wrong with it I must admit that it certainly wasn’t the best pint I had in Wolverhampton that day !

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “Watch what others are doing before making a choice” is good advice but I usually do some research in advance and, wishing to drink neither Guinness nor Tennents, have not been to Ireland since 1979 and have visited North Britain about once every ten years since then.
      You will understand why I’m a far far more regular visitor to Wolverhampton – and not just for the £2 beef stew ( and other bargains ) in the Stile and £2.50 hot pork baps in the Great Western.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. For reference, the Bailey’s Head in Oswestry served me a fine Venison stew with generous portion of bread rolls for £4.50 the next day. A possible Proper Pub Day Out there.


  2. I don’t think that Station Hotel is the only pub you’ve seen in NB with bars on the windows, but they don’t go the full height as on Liverpool’s Roscoe Head.
    Given your disappointment with the beer I expect you might have considered using a match to eliminate the “fakeness of the fire”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I could just leave it there, really, couldn’t I ?”

    Yep. 🙂

    “and I only shaved 6 minutes off that.”

    So, is Google Maps improving or are you slowing down? 😉

    “Less interesting than it looks”

    I was wondering why they specified ore for the one mill but didn’t give a clue to what old Mackie was up to, but then I realised it’s on the ore river. (and don’t get me started on Graham’s Folly). 🙂

    “via James Watt Avenue”

    They should really think about having a small steam engine to ferry tourists up and down the street.

    “Laminated menus always a good sign”

    Those are a page out of a lot of North American chain restaurants.

    “but you’ll be “cocker hoop” when you get it”

    A Jennings then. 😉

    “and the fakeness of the fire.”

    Indeed. Absolutely no character at all to that fire. It just seems so… wooden. (LOL)

    ” It was just warm, and sweet and hence undrinkable”

    As you couldn’t take it back I’d have been tempted to add some of the vinegar to see if it made it more palatable. (sheesh)



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