Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => West Highland Way, from near Glasgow to Fort William, Scotland => Topic started by: Buggiba on February 10, 2011, 03:17:48 pm

Title: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: Buggiba on February 10, 2011, 03:17:48 pm
When we took on the WHW three years ago (2008) we aimed for cheap(ish) accommodation and, being a member of Camra, visiting lots of Good Beer Guide pubs.

Arriving in Milngavie we stayed overnight in The Best-Foot-Forward B+B, a great place, not cheap, but Morag has it sorted. The Travel-Lite people will pick up your rucksack from here, so you don't need to even carry it to the official start :) The Talbot Arms in Milngavie serves an excellent choice of beers.

The Carbeth Inn at Blanefield comes highly recommended, having been in the 2010 GBG.  Next up there is Drymen: the Winnock Hotel was where we stopped but this year, we intend visiting the Clachan Inn (listed in the 2011 GBG).

Sadly there's not much to report until you reach the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, with three traditional ales and excellent bunkhouse accommodation. Have not visited the Drovers at Inverarnan yet but intend making it a lunch stop this year. There is a bar at Beinglas Farm, but it's nothing special.

The Kingshouse in Glencoe has been in several issues of the GBG over the years and rightly so. It serves a superb range of ales but accommodation is not cheap.

Next to Kinlochleven and the Tailrace Inn. Good beer, but choice has reduced in the past couple of years from two handpumps to one. There is, however, the rarity of a fish & chip shop opposite. There is good bunkhouse accommodation in Kinlochleven.

Finally, Fort William. There are 3 listings in the 2011 GBG. The Ben Nevis Inn, at the start of the path to the great mountain, is excellent, if a little out of town.  On the High Street you have two hostelries close together: the Cobbs at Nevisport and the Grog & Gruel are both adjacent to the 'new' finish of the WHW.

Happy walking (and drinking) :-[
Apologies to the Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha, serves excellent traditional ale.

Sadly the Atlas Brewery, mentioned in the WHW Rucksack Reader, in Kinlochleven, is no longer there!! It closed in 2010 and production was moved to Orkney. I was looking forward to a brewery tour this year but I am NOT walking that far!!

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: TomAMoore on February 12, 2011, 05:32:13 pm
My kind of post!


Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way - Update
Post by: Buggiba on May 23, 2011, 06:41:39 pm
Got back from a very wet (in both senses) and tiring WHW on 20/05/2011. The following is a precis of drinking establishments we encountered during the 7 days of our 'stroll' ;)
Talbot Inn, Milngavie: Hyde's Amazing Grace, Wychwood Hot Chocolate, Deuchars IPA. All excellent.
Carbeth Inn, Carbeth: Cairngorm Trade Winds.
Beech Tree, on the 'Way': All keg beer - no Traditional Ale at all.
Clachan Inn, Drymen: Ossian Ale.
Ptarmigan Bar, Winnock Hotel, Drymen: Deuchars IPA, Caledonian 80.
Rowardennan Hotel, Loch Lomond: All keg beer.
Drovers Inn, Inverarnan: Deuchars IPA - £3-80 a pint!!
Ben More Hotel, Crianlarich: All keg beer.
Bridge of Orchy Hotel: Deuchars IPA, Harviestoun Bitter + Twisted and, in bottle, Schiehallion traditional lager. All £3-80 a go!
Kingshouse Hotel, Glencoe: Cairngorm Stag, Cairngorm Sheepshaggers (honest!!). £3-40 a pint.
The Tailrace Inn, Kinlochleven, is now totally keg, a long way down from my first visit when they boasted 3 handpulls!
Both the Cobbs Bar at the Nevisport and the Grog and Gruel (both in Fort William) had astounding beer portfolios, including Fraoch Heather Beer on handpump. Between them they had 15 real ales available.
I think we had an enjoyable time. ;D

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: steve-o on May 23, 2011, 07:06:20 pm
Good to know that you found the grog and guel in FW.  Great place with a great choice of whiskys as well.  Hope it all went ok

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: Buggiba on May 25, 2011, 01:07:24 pm
Cheers Steve-o. The entire event was seamless. The Travel-Lite bag carrying company did exactly what it said on the tin. Only had to wait once for our luggage and that was because we were early!! The accommodation was as booked and very good. The self-catering cottage at Crianlarich was 'to die for' and I intend taking my wife up there in the near future for a mid-week break. Because of the weather forecast on the Tuesday we set off at 6am to walk the 15 miles from Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse to avoid an afternoon soaking. Arrived at our overnight stop at 11.15am!! Bar was open! Feet are now recovering well and, weather apart, it was most enjoyable. How's the foot? :(

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: steve-o on May 25, 2011, 03:33:05 pm
Wow, sounds like it was great.  Sorely missed out on the event...

My right foot has now gone to a size 10..from a size 9. No idea what attacked it..It looks normal, there appears to be no swelling anymore and thankfully the pain has gone. The vets saw me three times in one week, which is extremely rare as they normally see me once year....hey ho

A day didn't go by last week when I was thinking of where I should be but by the sounds of it we got the better weather.  I'm looking at mid July at the mo for the event, other than that I've got to postpone it until next year

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: Buggiba on May 25, 2011, 05:56:14 pm
Glad to hear things are improving. Trust me it is really hard going underfoot and not to be undertaken if anything less than 100%. The last day is a real killer, especially if the weather is bad. Walking poles are a must, imho, and take so much pressure off the knees and ankles. The weather was certainly better down here and I'm glad we did it last week and not this!! Keep me informed of your plans, particularly if you decide to leave it until 2012. I suppose I could be persuaded to do it for a third time!!

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way
Post by: Buggiba on December 08, 2014, 10:36:05 am
See also my posts on The Great Glen, Wetherspoon's new addition in Fort William, right next to the end of the West Highland Way. A welcome sight indeed.

Title: Re: Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way - Updated April 2016.
Post by: Buggiba on April 24, 2016, 11:33:48 am
As promised here is the updated Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way as of April 2016.

14/04/16 - Talbot Arms, Milngavie. Provenance 'Bruges'. 4.3%
                                                  Jaw Brew 'Drop'. 4.2%

15/04/16 - Beech Tree (on the WHW) all keg beer.
                Drymen Inn, Drymen.   Belhaven 'Golden Bay'. 3.8%
                Clachan Inn, Drymen.   Greene King 'Old Speckled Hen' 4.5%
                Ptarmigan Bar, Winnock Hotel, Drymen. 2 handpulls, sadly neither in use  :(.

16/04/16 - Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha. Belhaven IPA, 2 x Loch Lomond brewery beers.
                Rowardennan Hotel. Still all keg beer.
                Rowardennan Youth Hostel. Traditional ales in bottles including selection from Fyne Ales.

17/04/16 - Inversnaid Hotel. More Fyne Ales in bottles.
                Drovers Arms, Inverarnan. Deuchars IPA. 3.8%. £3-90 a pint. (An increase of only 10 pence in 5 years!!)

18/04/16 - Bridge of Orchy Hotel. Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted. 3.8%
                                                Harviestoun Haggis Hunter. 4.1%  Both £3.80 a pint.

19/04/16 - Kingshouse Hotel. Cairngorm Trade Winds. 4.2%. £3-70 a pint
                                           Timothy Taylor Landlord. 4.2%. £3-80 a pint.

20/04/16 - Kinlochleven. Bothan Bar, River Leven Brewery Tap, only open Thursday to Saturday.
                                    Macdonald Hotel, Bothy Bar. Cairngorm Trade Winds.
                                                                              Cairngorm Wildcat. Both £3-20 a pint
                                                                              River Leven beers in bottles.
                                    Highland Getaway Inn.          River Leven Blonde and Dark in bottles. £4-40 each.

21/04/16 - Fort William. The Great Glen (Wetherspoons). Oban Bay - Skinny Blonde
                                                                                  Strathaven - Great Glen
                                                                                  Orkney - Northern Light
                                                                                  Blackwolf - William Wallace.
Sadly time did not permit me to visit the Grog and Gruel or the Cobbs Bar at Nevisport to examine their beer portfolios. I have every confidence that they will both have an interesting selection for the weary and thirsty traveller.
So there you have it. A long and tiring walk made bearable by the many and various opportunities to sample beers from breweries large and small, for the length of this fantastic trail. Enjoy.