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The West Kirk, Ayr

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The West Kirk, Ayr
Article date: 01 Mar 2009

Pub manager Colin Rawson has three reasons to be cheerful, at The West Kirk, in Ayr.

The outlet has recently gained an impressive 100% score in a real-ale quality inspection by Cask Marque.

A routine inspection, during an unannounced visit from a Cask Marque assessor, tested the temperature, aroma, appearance and taste of the five real ales on sale at the pub, judging them all to be in perfect condition.

Cask Marque is an independent real-ale quality-control organisation, dedicated to raising pubs’ real-ale standards.

Colin Rawson said: “We are delighted to have achieved the top score possible for our real ale. In Euan Scott, we have a very good cellar champion; it is all down to his hard work that we have gained 100% from Cask Marque.”

The West Kirk was also voted as runner-up in the Ayrshire & Galloway CAMRA ‘Pub of the Year 2008’ awards. The local branch members were polled and asked to name their top three real-ale pubs in the area.

Colin added: “We just missed out on the top spot, but it’s a great achievement to be voted ahead of so many good pubs in the region, including The Wheatsheaf Inn (Kilmarnock) and The Salt Cot (Saltcoats).”

Colin has also been elected, for a second year, as vice-chair of the local trade alliance scheme. The Ayr Licence Trade Alliance (ALTA) – similar to a pubwatch scheme – was set up to advocate Ayr as a good-quality and safe night out.

Colin, whose role with ALTA is completely voluntary, said: “We hold monthly meetings and work together to promote and support positively other pubs, clubs and restaurants in the town.

“We started a radio-linked scheme, initially with the involvement of eight licensed premises; this has now expanded to include 15 members, with more wanting to join. We can share information and help one another to ensure that Ayr is a safe and enjoyable place to visit and in which to socialise.”

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