Stewartry “Safaris” were a great success

The Branch bus trips to the ale pubs in the Glenkens and East Stewartry on Friday 20th June and Kirkcudbright & Auchencairn were voted a great success.

We headed firstly for the Clachan Inn at Dalry - the Ken Bridge Hotel, the Thistle Inn at Crossmichael -  then on the 25th July to the Masonic and Selkirk Arms Kirkcudbright and Auchencairn.  We finished off at the Laurie Arms each time.

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  Dumfries & Stewartry Branch News

Good joint-meeting with the

Solway Branch

Thanks to all who turned up for the joint meeting with the Solway Branch at the Blue Bell in Annan on 21st July.  We had eleven members and Carlisle just pipped us by turning our 12! It was a useful meeting

which helped clarify the relationship

between ourselves and Solway Branch -

now our ‘mother branch’.  It also let the

Carlisle members know we can

work well  locally.


The Ship Inn (Dumfries)

The Ship Inn in Dumfries has been taken over by Hawthorn Leisure and is temporarily closed for refurbishment.  Hawthorn recently bought 270 or so pubs from Belhaven (Greene King).  Besides the Ship it now has 4 other pubs in Dumfries - The Mount Sydney, Lochthorn Inn (used to be the Vacuna), the Stag and the Lochside Tavern.

Hawthorn is owned an American,Oxford-educated Noah Bulkin, who made his money as a mergers and acquisitions banker for Merrill Lynch and Lazard before leaving last year to start his own pub company.  He now has an acquired empire of around 350 pubs throughout the UK. 

The Black Bull at Moffat is open again. 

The good news is that the Black Bull at Moffat has reopened after a closure of nearly 2 years.  We have no word on its ales at the moment.

The Black Bull at Lockerbie serving ales

Best news of the lot, however, is that the Black Bull at Lockerbie is serving cask ale for the first time in many years.  The town has been an ale drinker’s nightmare for some time.

We’ll confirm the position as soon as possible.

Historic Commons Vote on tied pubs

Members should know by now that MPs voted recently to change the rules which affect tied pubs. It was a historic vote which will go a long way to protecting pubs and securing decent prices. 

Did you lobby your MP?  How did our representatives do? For information, Russell Brown MP voted FOR the changes but David Mundell MP voted AGAINST it.

There will be other votes before the legislation is final - so it’s best to keep in touch with them to make sure.

The Queensberry has given up cask ales ...

The Queensberry Hotel in Dumfries has finally thrown in the towel with regard to cask ales.

Part of the Smith & Jones chain, the hotel has dabbled with cask ales since it opened a few years ago.  Seems they have now decided to stop serving it.  We’ll update you if the position changes ...

When visiting we presented the 2014 POTY Certificates to Sandra at the Laurie Arms (Runner-up) and to Laura & Phil at the Clachan (3rd place).

More Safaris ...

We intend to run another couple of Safaris in the near future - one to pubs in Annandale and one to Nithsdale.

We’ve got a new Brewery at Wanlockhead

We’ve just received the information that there’s a new local 

Brewery.  Named the “Lola Rose Brewery” it is in 

Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland so it really is a “beer with altitude”. It is Scotland’s highest brewery.

It is currently producing 3 brews - Red, Blonde and Stout and all name “1531” which is the height of Wanlockhead in feet above sea level.

We’ll do a proper report on it when we get more information

Let Liam Chalmers know NOW if you are interested

The Black Bull at Lockerbie


We are unsure of Hawthorn’s plans for the Ship.  There’s talk of making it into a “Craft Coffee” and “Craft Beer” Bar.  We’ll be fighting to retain its character as a traditional Dumfries pub ...