Just back from a trek round the Isle of Wight which made me hate buses forever, and reminded me just how ill I felt on the trip round the Fife coast this month.

Only a short hop from Crail to Anstruther though.

Surprised Duncan hasn’t done the micro on Carr Brigs yet

This was going to be a highlight of the Big CAMRA Weekend (fringe edition), something a reformed Arab Strap would write a song about.

The local organising committee had noted the two GBG pubs AND the Anstruther Fish Bar, a former National Champion. How anyone can beat the Withernsea Chippy I’ll never know.


It’s more Great Cumbrae than Largs, by no means a classic, but I liked the simplicity of the seafront.

I had an hour to Do Anstruther before the bus returned, unless they had Bass and Plum Porter on, of course, in which case two hours would be fine.

A big queue for the sit-down (mainly Italians, there being no Proper Food in Genoa), not so much for the takeaway.


Eating outside brings the challenge of our winged friends predators, but luckily I’m a fast eater.

I’ll be honest, the chips were a 4.5, the fish was let down by a tough batter (2.5).  Still, a tick’s a tick, as they say.

Working through the Good Chippy Guide.

I couldn’t finish the chips, good as they were, and you can’t pour chips into the pot plants.

Sadly, I couldn’t finish my drinks in the two pubs either.

Looks a Proper Pub

I won’t have a word said about the Ship, even though I was greeted by this;


Yes, the Good Beer Guide pub without any real ale at all, a rarity never mind six pumps with the same sort of beer six times.

“I’m sorry, the beer delivery didn’t turn up”

I blame the CAMRA members from Stockport, myself.

No Guinness or even Tennents, my fallbacks, so had a can of coke* which I took on a tour of an unpretentious boozer. I won’t rate the coke. Should have had IrnBru.

East Fife FC still suing Hull for Trademark infringement
Marine theme

Sadly, only a lone couple in at 2.30pm on a Sunday, enjoying the seagulls diving for chips through the window.

I haven’t the heart to complain about the lack of real ale.  Sometimes my local Chinese takeaway doesn’t have the squid, and I’ll get over it.

But you can’t help thinking that this was the big chance for local pubs to get some custom.  Or were they all in the Members Bar ?


*Yes, I count it as a tick and mark NRA on my spreadsheet.  You can sleep easy.


  1. Hmmm. Normal protocol is to (a) not count it and revisit (Maltmeister rules) or (b) force down half a fizz and I don’t mean coke (most other people rules). Otherwise you could just go round ticking on coke as it were. Notice they had that 13 Guinness thing on the taps but oh no you had to be different! And it wasn’t even draught coke. You are formally required to attend a disciplinary hearing in due course.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. These are very marginal cask outlets. Expected to hear “CAMRA members drunk us dry”; there was quite a lot of debate on CAMRA Discourse about travelling to Anstruther beforehand.


  2. Reminds me of pubs in SE London. They often have two handpulls covered in cobweb in the corner. Thank god for Guinness, but in lager territory, even that may be off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morten,
      It’s not like that in Manchester.
      At 11am yesterday I was the Hare and Hounds on Shudehill’s first customer and over the next half hour, as the pub started filling up, there was a pint of Holt’s Bitter sold every two or three minutes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good.
        The Holts Bitter is a quite reasonable £2.50.
        The other cask beers are DBs — Dizzy Blonde and Doom Bar.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, the football.
        In the Circus Tavern a few hours later I was talking to four young Danes who had come across for the match.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Er, somehow I never thought to ask the young Danes which team they supported, and they wore no clothing to give a me a clue.
        And clothing reminds me that although it wasn’t a cold day scarves were being touted round the pubs, the conversation typically bring “How much ?” “Ten” “Five ?” “Two for fifteen”.
        Scarves in Manchester, hipster’s underpants in Stockport, kiddie’s clothes in Northampton – each town has it’s pub bargains.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully you scored it NBSS 0 – No cask ale available. If committed pub and real ale people don’t score accordingly then nothing will ever change. You can’t just go around pouring beer down the urinal, not scoring pubs and beer on NBSS and then complaining and expect something to happen? I guess that’s the current British way though.


    1. Oh yes, just put 50 scores on WhatPub.

      Incidentally, I don’t think occasional lack of real ale is necessarily a reason to drop a pub from the Guide though presumably it suggests it’s not keeping many barrels settling in the cellar.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nil points, Zero, Nix – IMO any GBG pub without beer should be scratched immediately. Part of the Landlord/Lady’s art is the proper ordering of beer, including pre-empting busy periods. It’s poor licensee who runs out of ale without good reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So those pubs in Kelham Island that were flooded and beerless for a few weeks in 2007 should have been booted out then? Exaggerating to make a point.

        Everyone has disasters occasionally.


  4. Clearly the only real solution in such cases is to go to a nearby grocery store, buy a cold bottle of Bass, and then surreptitiously pour it into a pint glass while the bartender’s not looking. This would count as several ticks, just based on the extra effort. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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