Brewing and pub scene across Scotland is 'booming'

The Bridge Inn in Peebles has been named the best pub in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Bridge Inn in Peebles has been named the best pub in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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The brewing and pub scene across Scotland is booming, according to the new edition of the beer "Bible", with 18 new breweries opening this year.

CAMRA's Good Beer Guide revealed that there are 127 breweries in Scotland, including 18 new ones. Among those which have opened in the past twelve months are Lowland Brewery in Lockerbie and Glasgow's Overtone Brewing Co. The region with the largest number of new breweries which opened in the past year is Aberdeen and Grampian, where five businesses including StoatCraft Revolutionary Beers in Aberdeen and Big Fish Brewing Co in Stonehaven were launched.

The Bridge Inn in Peebles has also been named one of the best pubs in the UK, making its way to the next stage of the competition in the nationwide search for CAMRA’s Pub of the Year. 77 Scottish pubs have been included in the guide for the first time. The inn topped the list of best pubs in Scotland and Northern Ireland, alongside 16 winners from other regions of the UK.

The pub was praised for being a "cheerful, welcoming, town-centre local" which is also known as 'the Trust'. Judges said it has a "bright, comfortable bar which is decorated with jugs, bottles, pictures of old Peebles and displays relating to outdoor pursuits" and a "cosy corner with a log burner".

It will now compete in the next round of the competition, hoping to be named one of four finalists - and stay in with a chance of becoming the overall winner, to be revealed in February.

Nicki Cassidy, manager of the Bridge Inn, said: "We're delighted to be representing Scotland in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. We're very proud to win the award, particularly as it was voted for by our customers. We hope to do well in the next rounds."

Sarah Crawford, Scottish director of CAMRA, said Scotland was enjoying an “explosion in brewing”.

She said: "It is fantastic to see such strong growth in the Scottish brewing sector with 127 breweries north of the border.

"This explosion in brewing is a direct response to a more discerning beer consumer which demands a wide range of beers – from the palest golden ale to the darkest, richest stout."

She added: "The beer revolution rolls on and appears to be unstoppable with more and more Scottish breweries opening to keep up with the demand for full-bodied and flavoursome beers. We hope beer drinkers across Scotland will take time to try a new locally brewed real ale to celebrate this great success."

The Good Beer Guide reviews over 4,500 pubs across the UK.

CAMRA chief executive Tom Stainer said: “For nearly five decades, the Good Beer Guide has been a comprehensive guide to the UK’s breweries, their ales, and the best outlets to find them in across the country.

“The Good Beer Guide has always had an important role in acting as a barometer of the beer and pub industry. We believe information gleaned from the Guide is absolutely vital in the drive to save our pubs from closure and campaign for policies that better support pubs, local brewers and their customers.”