Not many pubs have a view like this, or this.
Or can take you to Handa Island to see Orcas and Great Northern Divers.
But then https://highland.camra.org.uk/ like some fun and games with what we call the ticking community. Faced with a huge area- imagine a mountainous Belgium without public transport- they seek out the most difficult to reach pubs and persuade them to install a handpump, or two in the case of the Kylesku Hotel.
Then they put it in the Good Beer Guide.
It’s a smartly modernised hotel in a wilderness surrounded only by mountains, lochs and Dutch camper vans. There are two Orkney beers on and I have the lower gravity Raven (3.8%), which tastes like an old fashioned, traditionally malty Scottish beer by modern standards. The Kylesku Hotel is shut for three months of the year, open in March with no cask then puts one on before ‘summer’.
Where else can we send those tickers? I know let’s put the Tongue Hotel in the Guide as its 64 miles along a single track road across the north coast. It’s much cosier and more welcoming than it looks. Just open the door.
More than this
There were enough Australians sheltering from the wet and drinking the Orkney Northern Light to ensure it hadn’t gone off.
After that we’ll make them go another slow 88 miles to Cromarty, home to Cromarty Brewery and now this Guide entry.
It’s opposite Hugh Miller’s cottage.
What do you mean who? The famous geologist that’s who. And here’s his famous cottage.
The Cromarty Arms is a one roomed pub selling locally brewed Happy Chappy (4.1%). Us three customers huddled together out of the wind and rain. I later tried the same beer down the road at the Royal, where it was noticeably fresher.
Put in the Guide
Cromarty is an interesting town with a line of oil rigs close to shore in the firth, being decommissioned or repaired.
More dramatically, this one was under an occupation by Greenpeace that ended two days later.
There are proper street names with rows of Victorian fisherman’s cottages.
For a town of around 700 people it has some beautiful buildings, a sense of uniqueness and a four car ferry to Nigg. So all is forgiven Highland CAMRA. Just don’t do it again ok?