“Chiquitita”, arm wrestling and more than adequate cask. No Mallaig malaise…

Last post I was rehashing old material filling in the gaps from the mini posts from The First Great Scottish Beer Guide Assault in late August.

We’d arrived in Mallaig at 11pm, keen to find out from locals how to pronounce Sgeir Dhearg, Rubha na h-Acasirseid and (Come on) Eileen na h-Acairseid, all of which I would spell wrong on my mega GBG spreadsheet if they were Guide entries.

The actual Guide entry was called Steam, after the Peter Gabriel “hit” from 1992.

Naming your pub after the next song to come up on the jukebox was a brave strategy. It could have been “Too Drunk to ****” or B.O.T.A, I guess.

I told you all I can about Steam at the time, and the only observations in retrospect are how full of young folk the pubs were (see also : Stornoway), and how expensive the beer on the west coast.

£8.25 for a pint and a half of cask in Steam, and across the road at the lively Chlachain,

it was £7.30 for two decent halves and a packet of Nobbies.

But the place was heaving with the town youth as midnight approached, with a soundtrack of classic clunky mid 80s pop,

and the Official Lochaber Arm Wrestling to Chiquitita World Championships;

I should make films. The girl won, obviously. But the lad tapping his foot out of tune to ABBA was the star.

It was great to see young folk out enjoying themselves before the end of the world the BBC tell them is coming, and they were all still there when we turned in at midnight ahead of our early start.

The nice folk at the West Highland Hotel

had given us a small loft room but the morning view across to the islands almost made it worth the ambitious pricing.

You’ll know where we were headed, but on the way to the Uists we were serenaded by leaping dolphins singing “It’ll be closed” and a view to the Small Isles, whose cask scene is “undeveloped”.

More previously unseen photos later. Bet you can’t wait. You’ll have to.

13 thoughts on ““Chiquitita”, arm wrestling and more than adequate cask. No Mallaig malaise…

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