Peebles scores beer guide hat-trick, and Melrose hotel also manages winning double

Nick Henderson, boss at Burt's Hotel in Melrose.
Nick Henderson, boss at Burt's Hotel in Melrose.

Peebles is the only town in the Borders to notch up a hat-trick of entries in the Campaign for Real Ale’s latest Good Beer Guide.

Melrose is home to the only bar in the region to manage the winning double of being given a thumbs-up in the 2019 Camra book and also a main-section entry in the Good Pub Guide, however.

The Cross Keys in Peebles.

The Cross Keys in Peebles.

Peebles accounts for three of the region’s 18 entries in the Camra guide – the County Inn, Cross Keys and Bridge Inn.

Two other towns managed to do the double – Galashiels with the Hunters Hall and Ladhope Inn and Kelso with Rutherfords and the Cobbles.

The Borders’ other entries include Auchencrow’s Craw Inn, the Clovenfords Hotel, the Black Bull Hotel at Duns, Earlston’s Red Lion, Hawick’s Exchange Bar, Leitholm’s Plough Inn, Burt’s Hotel in Melrose, Yetholm’s Plough Hotel and the Gordon Arms Hotel at West Linton.

There is one newcomer among the seven breweries here listed, Campbell’s at Peebles. It joins Born in the Borders near Jedburgh, Freewheelin’ at Peebles, Tempest at Tweedbank, Traquair House near Innerleithen, Broughton Brewery and Old Worthy, also at Broughton.

The Exchange Bar in Hawick, alias Dalton's.

The Exchange Bar in Hawick, alias Dalton's.

Rutherfords, in the Square, was named as the Edinburgh and south east Scotland branch of Camra’s Borders pub of the year in February, with the Bridge Inn coming second and the Plough Inn third.

Burt’s Hotel, in Market Square, is the only pub to feature in the Good Beer Guide and also secure a main-section entry in the Good Pub Guide, produced by Ebury Press.

It’s also been named as the latter’s Scottish dining pub of the year for the fifth year running and sixth time overall, much to the joy of its boss, Nick Henderson.

“We’re delighted,” said the 50-year-old. “There’s a lot of competition out there, so we can never be complacent.

The Cobbles in Kelso.

The Cobbles in Kelso.

“The bar for food in Scotland is raised year on year, but we’ve got a really good, solid team here to thank for our success.

“What we are trying to aim for now is consistency.”

Like last year, it’s one of only three Borders establishments to merit entries in the main section of the Good Pub Guide, the Cross Keys at Ancrum and the Wheatsheaf at Swinton being the others.

The Craw Inn and the Cobbles are the only boozers in the region besides Burt’s Hotel to do the double and be included in both the Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide.

They are given a mention in a round-up of nine other pubs worth a visit, alongside the Allanton Inn, Lauder’s Black Bull, Ayton’s Hemelvaart Bier Cafe, the Traquair Arms near Innerleithen, the Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm, the Gordon Arms in the Yarrow Valleyand the Buccleuch Arms at St Boswells.

This year’s Good Beer Guide, the 46th, and Good Pub Guide, the 37th, are both out now, and both cost £15.99.

For details of the former – edited by Ione Brown, Simon Tuite and Tim Hampson – go to gbgshop.camra.org.uk

To find out more about the latter, edited by Fiona Stapley, go to www.thegoodpubguide.co.uk