I have long been frustrated with Stirling. Not because of its historical importance or its beauty but rather its reliance on Belhaven pubs. Stirling was only made a city during my lifetime but it is a spectacular place and it really deserves a great beer scene.
We have great breweries nearby; Bridge of Allan, Harviestoun, Williams Brothers and Tryst are all not far away. A great beer scene has always been missing though. For a long, long time Belhaven have ruled the roost. Thats not totally a bad thing but it has stifled creativity and the desire to search for new beers among local bar owners.
Castle Rock (or Whistlebinkies as it is currently known) has changed that. Mark and the the team have really made a difference. Stirling has gone from Abbot Ale to Hardcore IPA in a few months. They still have lots of hard work to do, only last night Mark was rattling off breweries that he wants to bring to Stirling in the coming months. Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Dark Star, Oakham, Kernel and Mikkeller were only a few of the names mentioned.
Whether or not Mark and the team manage to deliver on even half of these remains to be seen but I am almost certain they will. Whistlebinkies has turned from a souless and average pub to a place that you need to be seen in. Things are only going to get better too! Its not often I write such a glowing review of a place which I have no emotional stake in but this place is going to be hot!
Watch this space, Stirling is going to become exciting for beer very soon. Not only for the fact that a new beer brand will be launched here soon........