A Ferry Good Tap

My stint as East European correspondent over, it was back to domestic Good Beer Guide business with two closest to me, a Lothian double.

First up the Ferry Tap in South Queensferry, not just home to three immense bridges but now a brewery for the first time since 1851. The eponymous ferry became redundant in 1964 when the first road bridge opened. The iconic rail bridge dates back to 1890, whilst the majestic new road crossing opened in 2017. Bridgetastic in every way.

A year earlier than the new bridge was the Ferry Brewery established by Mark Moran and his camera-shy wife Jane, who served me and created a welcoming atmosphere in the small bar.

The 3.8% Ferry Fair was a nicely dry, pale ale with plenty of body. The only other customer just after opening was John, a groundhopper and Good Beer Guide ticker who had travelled from Liverpool. Somehow our paths had never crossed but he peaked at over 4,000 Guide pubs when working as a rep and is a prolific hopper. I wish us tickers could claim expenses.

John left to get the train to see Kelty Hearts while I went to Inverkeithing Hillend Swifts, just across the Forth.

We talked about how we started drinking in pubs. John said he used to go to pubs in Cheltenham in full school uniform. I should stress that he was at school at the time, it wasn’t some kind of adult fetish.

He recalled going into one owned by Jet Harris, once of the Shadows, and asking for a pint of cider. Jet said no but, as John and his pals started to leave, then said “but you can have a half.” And a few more.

Ferry Brewery held a successful festival in June in collaboration with other local breweries and will run it again next summer. The day I visited they had a marquee up for an event with Top Out Brewery.

It all smacked of a well run, high standard operation in a very pleasant location. I don’t always enjoy brewery taps- they can be austere places- but this was a rewarding experience.

After the match I completed Lothian with a visit to the Dreadnought in Leith, with its slickly designed sign.

It had a tap takeover by Cross-Borders Brewery from Dalkeith. Beer Twitter has recently been debating whether tap takeovers are a good thing. I sometimes like them in regular haunts but less so on a first time visit when it’s better to see a pub in its natural habitat. Not that there was nothing wrong with the 4.1% heavy.

This corner pub is in a mixed housing catchment outside Leith’s hipster central. But there were still plenty of twirly moustaches and waistcoats plus Rod.

Their crafty amp bar was in situ next to the crooner.

The trip covered about 140 miles – if only they were all as close.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “A Ferry Good Tap

    1. Agree – guarantees a point of sale for brewers with control over quality. That’s the new bridge in the football pic which satnav took me over just as I realised seconds too late it was for buses and taxis only…..

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “The eponymous ferry became redundant in 1964 when the first road bridge opened.”

    Apologies if this is a bit deeper than usual but I think this partly shows how things are constantly changing. Ferrys close, coach travel lessens and things move on. Sadly, the same is true for pubs. We just notice it more these days; maybe due to the Net and how quickly we can notice, connect, and comment.

    “I should stress that he was at school at the time, it wasn’t some kind of adult fetish.”

    (chuckle)

    “then said “but you can have a half.” And a few more.”

    Ah memories. Me Da and me used to go to a bar a year before I was ‘legal’. As I was with my Dad I was never asked. Should have seen the look on the face of the bartender when we went there to celebrate me turning legal. 🙂

    “but this was a rewarding experience.”

    Good to hear.

    “with its slickly designed sign.”

    Have to admit, that looks pretty cool.

    “but less so on a first time visit when it’s better to see a pub in its natural habitat.”

    Totally understand that sentiment.

    “But there were still plenty of twirly moustaches and waistcoats plus Rod.”

    My wife’s a big fan. I can use this as a reason to come visit. 🙂

    “if only they were all as close.”

    Tell me about it!
    (he says from over 7,000km away)

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right about how people and places connect. Social media is both brilliant and awful depending on how someone chooses to use it. Take it your wife is a fan of Rod and not just twirly moustaches and waistcoats!

      Like

      1. “Take it your wife is a fan of Rod and not just twirly moustaches and waistcoats!”

        LOL!

        Yes, she’s into Rod (now now, no comments please!). 🙂

        If she was into twirly moustaches and waistcoats I’d be sporting both!

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s