Border pubs hailed as real glass acts

Eileen Paris at the Exchange Bar, in Hawick.

Eileen Paris at the Exchange Bar, in Hawick.

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Two Borders pubs have been given reason for cheer by the quality of their beer.

The Exchange Bar in Hawick is the winner of the second beer quality award handed out by the Edinburgh and south-east Scotland branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

Eileen Paris at the Exchange Bar, in Hawick.

Eileen Paris at the Exchange Bar, in Hawick.

The annual award is given out to the pubs that rack up the highest average beer score over the course of a year.

The Exchange Bar, also known as Dalton’s, in Silver Street, was named the Borders’ winner and came runner-up to the overall branch winner, the Doric Bar, in Edinburgh’s Market Street.

Scores of zero to five are submitted by Camra members as they drink in pubs.

Owners Jim Paris, 61, and wife Eileen, 64, took over the Exchange Bar in 2003, having previously worked in poultry management and retail management respectively.

Proprietor Sarah McLean from the Plough Inn.

Proprietor Sarah McLean from the Plough Inn.

Since then, the couple, residents of the town for over 25 years, have consistently been recognised by Camra’s annual Good Beer Guide.

Jim said: “It is good publicity for us to have this award. To be runner-up to an Edinburgh bar and winner overall for the Borders is quite good.

“We have been included in the Good Beer Guide for a number of years but this is the first time we’ve got an award like this.”

The Plough Inn at Leitholm was regional runner-up.


The pub was praised for its beer quality and atmosphere by the poll which covered all Camra-recognised pubs serving real ales across the Borders.

He added:“I usually have one real ale on but offer two when it’s a busy time. I usually have the local beers from Born in the Borders or Broughton Ales, from Biggar. These are quite popular.

“It’s about variety, we like to change them to give everybody a taste of different local ales.”

Being named runner-up in the awards came as a complete shock to owners of Leitholm’s Plough Inn, Sarah and David McLean.

The couple, took over the vacant building two years ago, re-opening it as a cafe, restaurant and pub in June 2015.

Sarah said: “We’re delighted to hear be recognised by Camra. We have a good product in a friendly place. We have two pumps, one dedicated to Born in the Borders beers which we rotate through, and the other is for a guest ale which might be local or national. This gives variety but we try to support the new breweries where we can.”