Highland Games

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.

Top Sign

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?

18 thoughts on “Highland Games

  1. But you know they will do it again, don’t you?

    After the Connoisseur Tasting Rooms being in on an “11 days a year”, gig, I do await pubs only open for specific seasonal festivals like Newcastleton’s Trad Music fest.

    Gotta fill up that GBG allocation or they’ll go to place that just serve consistently good beer, won’t they?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Or can take you to Handa Island to see Orcas and Great Northern Divers.”

    We have Quadra Island and boat tours between that and Campbell River take you to see Orcas (no guarantee)*. And, though I had to look up Great Northern Diver, we have those too!
    (over here they’re called Loons) 🙂

    “But then https://highland.camra.org.uk/ like some fun and games with what we call the ticking community.”

    The bastards! Making you go in search of great scenery and wildlife, only to be rewarded with a beer. 😉

    “The Kylesku Hotel”

    Yikes. That is pretty far out there.

    “as its 64 miles along a single track road across the north coast”

    Well, at least you can’t get lost. 🙂

    “More than this”

    Is that a bus shelter on the right? No, sorry, you said no public transport.

    “After that we’ll make them go another slow 88 miles to Cromarty,”

    At least you’re getting closer to civilisation.

    “What do you mean who? The famous geologist that’s who.”

    I confess I’d never heard of him. And, after checking his bio, I must admit he led a *cough* rocky life. 😉

    “with a line of oil rigs close to shore in the firth, being decommissioned or repaired.”

    Or possibly being turned into a new line of fashionable condos?

    “More dramatically, this one was under an occupation by Greenpeace that ended two days later.”

    One hopes that they didn’t use any oil powered vessels to get out there (or to get up to Cromarty in the first place!).

    “So all is forgiven Highland CAMRA.”

    See! Just think of what you would have missed.

    “Just don’t do it again ok?”

    Har, har. Pretty sure they’ll put in one more next Guide. 🙂

    Cheers

    * – But they are known to pass through here. This is what took place whilst I was in Cancun:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/iAw1Ymb74AysL5yb7

    Like

      1. I’ve seen them twice; once, at about the same spot where that photo was taken, when we took our eldest on a four hour fishing trip whilst he was visiting us back in 2011. The other was when my dear old mum (bless her 89 year old heart) stayed with us for the month of August back in 2016. Seeing whales was on her bucket list so we went down to Victoria one weekend and went on a whale watching tour there. Pretty much guaranteed to see Orcas (not the other type of whales) as they have two pods that live in the area around Victoria.

        And it took me a second to get SGC but… thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Read an article recently about villagers boycotting the Old Forge, which is run by a Belgian now. Saw a picture of them setting up a shelter nearby and drinking bottled beer. Also think Scourie may have changed hands but sure another will find its way in!

      Liked by 2 people

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