WHERE TO FIND GOOD ALE IN ALLOA'S BEST PUBS
I FIND IT QUITE ASTONISHING THAT A TOWN ONCE KNOWN AS THE 'BURTON OF THE
NORTH' SHOULD HAVE SUCH A MISERABLE AND MOTLEY COLLECTION OF PUBLIC
HOUSES, VERY FEW OF WHOM ACTUALLY SELL LOCAL ALE, REAL OR OTHERWISE. IN
ADDITION - AND I DON'T WISH TO DEPRESS YOU, BUT - FAR TOO MANY OF THE PUBS ARE DINGY LITTLE DENS AND I WOULD ADVISE YOU
TO BE VERY VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHICH ONES YOU ENTER.
THE OLD BREWERY (OPPOSITE TESCO)
This used to be Maclay's Thistle Brewery. Now it's a pub that
doesn't sell real ale. It's a nice big pub, and you can see bits of the
old brewery that they have retained, but for me the lack of ale thing
means I would really only advise you to give it a cursory glance. That
said, it is at least one of few pubs in Alloa that you may feel reasonably
safe in. Seemingly they did try to stock real ale when it first opened,
but it wasn't selling and so they stopped stocking it. I find this a
rather lame excuse. While real ale in a cask might have a limited shelf
life, the ale sold in bottles has a much longer shelf life, and as such
there really is no good reason why they could not have stocked bottles
of the local brewery's ales. I think it's disgraceful. Hrrrmph.
THE JUNCTION, 1
If you don't fancy the idea of balancing a tree on your head to impress
the tough dudes in the bar, then make sure you head for the lounge.
Inside they have bottles of local Alloa ale. When I was there it was the
Williams Brothers' 'Ceildidh', which was beautiful, if not hard to
pronounce after you've had a few.
MANSFIELD ARMS, SAUCHIE
This is a little outside of Alloa, more or less on the Devon Way cycle
and footpath. Be sure to enter the lounge, and not the bar, as the bar
is a bit basic and bristles with rough tough men who chew visitors when
they're bored. Good thing is, they brew their own ale. Excellent
place for a stopover if you're walking from Alloa to