Thursday, 10 September 2015

BRAPA - 2016 Good Beer Guide Published, "Bookwork" completed!!!!!!

Good evening all,

The 2016 GBG is officially released today and CAMRA's enforced "secrecy laws" can be relaxed.

Thanks largely to Christine (and I suppose, through gritted teeth, the Good Beer Guide Privilege Club), I have spent the last ten days cross ticking the 2015 GBG to the new 2016 edition ... you will be honoured in the BRAPA end of year awards!

So I can exclusively reveal I have dropped from 742 pubs to 671, a drop of 71 pubs.  It was 75 last year so allowing for all the pubs "going back in" and the pre-emptive ticks coming good, I am a bit disappointed.  I was hoping for a 50 drop at most, but never mind.

Where did I lose out then?  North Yorkshire was a big culprit as I lost 18 out of 100.  Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands were also harsh, I lost 10 between these two.  All areas of London were quite mean too.

Devon was surprisingly the most successful county with a "plus 2" jump.  I haven't achieved a "BRAPA" tick in Devon since I was chatting to Plymouth fans in the Lounge 12:30pm on 9th December 2006 with a 'Dawn Red(?)' by Shepherd Neame.

It was the pre-emptive ticks coming good that most pleased me, especially the Bedfordshire ones in Wrestlingworth and Toddington as I put a lot of research into these days.  Donny's Brewery Tap was also satisfying because that came down to 'local knowledge' gained in the Corner Pin back in 2014.  However, I have to shake my head at how Selby's Giant Bellflower Wetherspoons has made it in, but it's good news for me.

Satisfying pubs to see removed?  Two really stand out.  Dog & Gun in Wolverhampton, and Station at Ribblehead.  Oh, and Blacksmith's Arms at Naburn.  Ha ha ha is all I have to say on that trio.

Most mystifying selections are from East Yorkshire.  Boot & Shoe at Ellerton is one of my pubs of 2015 so far so to see it removed when the likes of Larkin's & Hop & Vine (Hull) and Haven Arms (Hedon) remain, is very confusing to me.  And the Railway in Cottingham staying in but Bluebell removed, errrm I simply do not agree!  Sad too for Great Kelk who are trying really hard to make a name for themselves.  Still, no room for sentiment.

To help me, I'm relaxing the rule on "having to re-visit a pub if it has a name change".  This was decided when I saw Aberdeen's Moorings has become Krakatoa, which suits it's ambiance better to be fair.  It also means Reading's "Alehouse" (formerly Hobgoblin) can go back in.

So, in conclusion, one month reverse owl syndrome only took 2 weeks this year, and I can now focus on pub ticking again, starting in Lewes on Saturday morning.  Brighton & London will feature too that weekend, the report will be with you either Sunday or Monday evening.

But the "book work" goes on too, I've got 22 more West Yorkshire pubs (mostly in L**ds) to archive and then, we have 42 pubs that I visited pre-BRAPA but weren't in the 2015 GBG to archive in addition, from all over the UK.

See you soon, Si


  1. I suppose that having been to more pubs, you expect more pubs to go out, so as your loss is 4 less than last year, that reflects the pre-emptives and the pubs getting back in.

    Devon is clearly en-route to Bristol, though with the change of kick off time I'm wondering what we can do with that one. Normally we would probably be looking at outer Bristol, but is there anything that wouldn't be suitable for either Rovers or City, given that they are at opposite ends of the city? The likely microgricing destination is Chippenham, if there is a pub there I am happy to go for it. I'm open to ideas, the other thing that did occur was Weston-super-Mud.

    I'm delighted at the Dog and Gun being removed, as I am sure is the rest of the country, as it means I don't have to walk naked across the arch of Wembley Stadium. I think that was the bet anyway.

    Some that you disagree with you may have been unlucky in that you have hit a bad pub on a good day or vice-versa. Some will just be bizarre. Have you still cleared the East Riding of Yorkshire?

    See you in Sussex. It may be in a pub, it may be at Lewes station, it may be on the train. I honestly don't know, and while three plans will be written tonight, I won't know which I am on until 2416 turns up or otherwise.

    As a matter of interest, how many West Mids pubs got in this year? I have reviewed my research from last year, and the definition of West Mids region used on the West Mids CAMRA website was confusingly the combined counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffs, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the modern make believe county of the West Mids. Do I have to face a charge of poor research of similar? If so, I will be taking it to trial.

  2. What time and date is Bristol? You are aware I live in York and not Penzance aren't you?

    Ha ha yes that was your dog n gun bet. Also nice all our other Wolves day pubs remain.

    A few new East Yorkshire villages. Hoping to get Dad back on the chauffeur trail first blank sat in 2016.

    West mids pubs we'll do a rough count tmw. I've now been sent TWO new GBG's. One to give Christine and a spare one for me! I'll bring master copy tmw.

    See you somewhere practically French.

  3. Bristol City is 21st November 12:30. I suggest we go on strike (or in my case it wouldn't surprise me if I was still on strike from yesterday). It disappoints me greatly as it was going to be a stand tick. I just hope they don't move the away end again before we next play them. I have a good approximation as to where you live.

    Are there any new Wolves contenders for the pub that you thought might be the Comermere?

    I think we still have a couple of blank days in 2015 as well. I don't really know the difference between blank fixture and home game these days, which is sad really. Have you already filled your diary for those?

    Did you see the bilingual sign on Lewes station. That and French distances on pub signs, I think I'm going to have to build a big fence when I am in control.

  4. I am undecided on the Bristol City boycott, I'll have to think and see what Dad thinks too.

    The only Wolves one it could be perhaps is the Chindit, it is all very confusing, maybe my newly discovered email folder can provide a clue?

    I have most 2015 Saturday's set in stone now but perhaps not all, I will have to look them up and see if there is East Yorks potential! I quite fancy a North East or Greater Manc/Lanc day before too much longer.

    I did see a lot of bilingual stuff in Lewes. I'm hoping Nazi Tom is going to electrify these fences. Not really, we all have to welcome refugees with open arms, according to the news!

  5. For your Lancashire / Cheshire / West Yorkshire (bits to the east of Manchester are Yorkshire land). See and
    It doesn't make clear the dates of printing, perhaps if you enquire with the YEP they will tell you. Said piece won't easily get you to the north east (you could do it via Carlisle I suppose), but it will get you to Manc via Drabford. Let me know if you need any specific help, I can probably get you a Scunny Telegraph with some tokens, the GSMG offices are just up the road from me, ask and I'll pop up in the week if the YEP is a fail.

    All fences will be electrified. I'm am happy to leave all coasts unfenced to allow refugees in dodgy fishing vessels to land. Does that keep everybody happy?

  6. That's what you call a compromise!

    Thanks re the train info, will follow the link and try and keep it Lancy. Wonder if Merseyside counts. Cheshire I guess is an option, may be time to wheel Lizzy out for her annual BRAPA trip.

  7. Just let me know how many coupons you are going to need, and I shall do my best to obtain them. If needs be, I can always put them in the post.

  8. I've just checked the last 4 GBGs. I lost between 460 and 480 each year. I guess the number edges up each year. That means you need to do 10 a week to make progress with getting to the end. Knew that would cheer you up.

    Only took 10 years to get to 50% though, which you might be at in 5 years time.

    I think the answer is to campaign for a drinking ban, so the number of pubs closure increase like they did after 2007. Or for CAMRA to kick out pubs that serve Doom Bar or something.

  9. Wow, I know you said before but dropping so many pubs when you get to your level of 'pub coverage' (pubberage?) does surprise me! 10 a week to make progress? Waaah, cut me a new liver!

    Can't imagine I'd be half way through in 5 years time but it won't stop me trying. One step at a time!

    My ultimate nightmare is that they stop publishing the GBG, but that might actually end up being the only way I can complete it. No actually, it's okay, I did an online quiz to work out my 'death date' and it was April 25th 2074 (I'll be 94) so may be I can relax a bit if I don't get it done by 2042.


    1. Tom's right about trendy new pubs.

      I looked at two counties I've completed each year for a few years, Kent & Lancs. The new GBG both had 24 for me to do. Would have been a few re-entries and pre-emptive micros there, so at least SIXTY new pubs.

      There's about FIFTEEN micros, four keen clubs, four pubs taken over by their villagers, two craft bars, four Spoons, the Blackpool R&C and the rest are normal sounding pubs in the Guide for the first time (in ages anyway).

      Bear in mind that the Guide is 10% of possible pubs and you realise it's not odd a bad pub becomes good.

  10. I wonder if real ale being fashionable in places like Shoreditch has, by virtue of increasing the number of real ale pubs, increased the rate of turnover. When something else takes over, which I think this craft is starting to, it may see a decline and hence a reduced rate of turnover.

    How did this online quiz work? I'm half interested.

    1. The "Craft" craze is a passing fad, don't worry about that. One pub in Pompey has ripped it all out already.

      The quiz forgot to ask me my alcohol intake and was more concerned with BMI, smoking etc, things that'd generally work in my favour!

  11. Do you have a link to the quiz? I'm intrigued.

    1. Tom, I tried this potentially more accurate one as it mentions alchohol. It thinks I am going to be 79.

      I preferred 95!

    2. I'm going to die on Monday 19th May 2059. I will be 70 years, 7 months and 25 days old. It doesn't take into account my capabilities at crossing the road. I had to remember my mass from when I had my medical a few months ago so I could have cocked that up.