Ayrshire Live Pub of the Year: It’s easy to see why The Clansman has been nominated

The finalists for the Ayrshire Live Pub of the Year have been revealed.

Your top 10 bars have been announced after hundreds of you submitted nominations.

Our secret reviewers have been dispatched to sample the delights that each of the finalists has to offer.

And one of those finalists is The Clansman in Kilmarnock town centre.

Planted on Kilmarnock’s busiest street, it can be easy to overlook The Clansman in the town centre.

An image overhaul a few years ago has reignited the John Finnie Street venue, so it’s no real surprise to see it land in the top 10 for the Ayrshire Live Pub of the Year.

I was driving for this visit and thought this presented a good opportunity to try out the non-alcoholic offerings.

I was gutted to see that food appears to have halted here — this was the birthplace of the Meat in the Middle burger chain which has went on to have a multitude of takeaways across Scotland. So i had to make do with nuts.

I plumped for a bottle of non-alcoholic Tennent’s and a packet of Thai-spiced nuts — a reasonable £3. This was followed up with a non-alcoholic Kopparberg coming in at £2.50.

Away from the non-alcoholic beverages, the typical pints you’d expect to be on tap were all there. A Smirnoff cocktail tap did look quite smart.

The pub was quiet but it was a midweek afternoon, and is well known to come alive in the evenings.

The venue was immaculate, as was the men’s toilets — apart from a few vandalism defects on the wall and door.

The place also looks like it’s had a freshen up recently. The one barmaid holding the fort was very friendly and a band of regulars at the bar enjoyed bantering back and forth with her.

Top marks for Covid compliance too, with signs and hand sanitizer throughout.

With a cosy atmosphere, a nice bright bar area and reasonable drink prices, it’s easy to see why this boozer is a finalist.

If you want to vote for the Clansman to be crowned Ayrshire Live Pub of the Year for 2022, fill out the jotform below no later than Wednesday, April 6 at 12pm. Or click here to vote.

Every person that casts a vote has a chance of winning a £50 beer tab on us.

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