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Finding A Fantastic Pie In Beith

Date: 21st July 2022

I remember talking to my good friend John Brownlie, host of the Scottish Football Forums podcast during the covid pandemic. Our discussion found it’s way to Junior football (now the West of Scotland League). We talked about loving the atmosphere, the grounds and such like. John is a fan of Auchinleck Talbot and has been to most of the Ayrshire clubs for an away game.

We then started on the topic of food at the football. I believe this is still and undervalued thing we either put up with (when the grub is rubbish) or for granted (when it’s done properly). Food and football should be an ideal partnership. It can be a way of bringing in more fans and it can certainly up the match day experience as a whole. 

As we were chatting away John enthused about the Chicken and Haggis pies he had got at Beith Juniors. He stated, without any doubt, it was the best pie in the business. That was a big thing for anyone to say. Now unfortunately this was during the dark times of football being played behind closed doors in the top flight and was nonexistent everywhere else. We couldn’t leave our homes or if we could we couldn’t do more than a wee bit of shopping or exercise. So I couldn’t verify John’s bold claim. 

On the most part everything opened up again last season but the stars never seemed to align for me to get down to Beith for a game. Either I was working or had an event on or when I was free they were playing away!

It was so frustrating. 

Two years or so after our initial conversation about these pies, I managed to get down to Beith.

They were playing Blantyre Victoria in a preseason friendly and I suggested to my wife that we could take George our Cocker Spaniel (another plus about The West of Scotland League) and make a day of it. I stated that the pies would be superb and this seemed to swing it. 

Now remember I had never had these pies before, I was just going on John’s word and also some pictures I’d seen on Twitter, had they been honking then my wife would’ve fallen out with me!

We are both foodies after all. 

We arrived just ahead of kick off and the pie shop is there just as you come through the turnstile, enticing you in like a warm welcome from an old friend.

First off I was blown away by the prices. £2.50 for a steak or chicken and haggis pie. £1.50 for chips and the same price for a hot drink. £1 for a chilled beverage, 50p for crisps or biscuits and 20p for sweets. 

Check any club in the top flight and they’ll be charging a fair bit more for pretty ordinary and bland foodstuffs in their kiosks. That very same weekend a punter at Aberdeen posted a bleak beige looking burger that had cost them £5 at Pittodrie, for the same price I got a chicken and haggis pie and Diane got a steak pie.

Our pies were delicious. You could tell they’d been source from a local bakery who take pride in their work. My wife loved the steak and gravy filling but also thought it was a great touch that the pie lid was made with puff pastry. I think my pie was the best. The chicken was succulent and tender, the sauce was lovely and I liked the wee piped on mash tattie on top of the pie. It was as good as John had stated back in the day.

We took ourselves behind one of the goals on a grassy embankment and sat there and watched the game. I can assure you all that George tasted both pies and loved them equally. He also liked the branches that had fallen off the trees that had landed near us. He did watch some of the football but he had more fun with his newly acquired sticks. 

The game was very entertaining. You could tell that Beith were in the midst of a rebuilding job. They had the bulk of possession and were comfortable with the ball but they didn’t create enough clearcut chances. They then missed a penalty and heads dropped a wee bit. 

Blantyre Victoria grew into the game after withstanding a bit of early pressure but more importantly when chances fell their way, they took them! Against the run of play the away side had a two goal lead at halftime. 

Beith certainly made a go of it and continued to push in the second half.

The game ended 3-2 in favour of the visiting Vics.

Now I know there are plenty of places that do good food in Scottish football. Forfar, Brechin, Kilmarnock and Dunfermline spring to mind. I really want to try the steak and chorizo pies they offer at St Johnstone. The unique pies that Pie Sports do look great too. But it should be the norm for clubs to excite fans with the quality of food that they have on offer and I don’t think this is the case. It should be another added factor that gets people talking about their visits to grounds. 

If you are anywhere near Beith, then I can’t recommend their pies highly enough they were outstanding. They are 100% worth a jaunt down to Ayrshire, especially if you have a dug! 

Cheers John. 

By Scott Johnston (@Thefootyblognet)

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