This Glasgow bar is the best whisky pub in the UK
The Bon Accord pub in Glasgow has been named the UK’s Whisky Pub of the Year for the fourth consecutive year by the Good Pub Guide.
The bar, which is currently shuttered under coronavirus restrictions, was praised for its wide range of more than 500 different malt whiskies and 50 types of gin.
Meanwhile the Scottish Dining Pub of the Year is Burts Hotel in Melrose, according to the new edition of the guide published today.
The guide warned that the next few months will be "frighteningly rocky for the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bon Accord owner Paul McDonagh said: “I’m delighted to win this award. It is the fourth time in a row and the fifth time in six years that we have won it. It is a fantastic thing to win, especially at the moment, when we are struggling through. It’s good for the staff, our customers and the people who are involved in the whisky clubs that usually meet here.”
In Glasgow, where the Bon Accord is located, all hospitality businesses are still shut until Friday when the city moves out of level four restrictions, when they will be allowed to open for the first time since 20 November, but only for food and soft drinks. In level three of coronavirus restriction in Scotland, pubs are not allowed to serve alcohol.
Mr McDonagh added: “My customers are my friends, I’ve owned this bar for 20 years. We will go though this by hook or by crook and hopefully when we do open up properly, it will all be forgotten about in a few months.”
Fiona Stapley, spokeswoman for the Good Pub Guide, said that pubs that rely heavily on specialist alcohol sales have been hit particularly hard during the pandemic.
Ms Stapley said: “It has been particularly hard for pubs in this situation, many of which do not even have a proper kitchen. Despite the fact that many pubs have had to close - or if they can, move to a takeaway food service, they still have their running costs of paying the rent and their bills. It is beyond dreadful and is really heartbreaking.”
She added: “Despite being battle-weary and worried sick about keeping their businesses up and running – I am pleased to say that these plucky/extraordinary people retain a teeny spark of hope. All know that the road into 2021 (or until a vaccine is widely available) is going to be frighteningly rocky. But they do believe that if they are able to pull together with loyal customers, local suppliers, a helpful bank and a great deal of energy and luck, many will survive.”
The guide said the Bon Accord, in Glasgow’s Charing Cross area, had a “remarkable” range of whiskies.
Ms Stapley added: “It’s a really nice little pub, I’m really pleased they won again.”
She said the “delightful, family-run” Burt’s Hotel had won the award due to its consistency, beating off close competition from the Bonnie Badger in Gullane, which is run by Tom Kitchin.
The award of Pub of the Year 2021 has been won by the Olive Branch in Clipsham in the Midlands for its log fire and good food.
The guide features over 5,000 pubs from across the UK.