The BRAPA Express continues to chug along through the beery landscape, stopping occasionally for fuel at a series of weird and wonderful real ale outlets. Choo choo!
But I'll stop this lame analogy now to tell you that as part of a new feature of this blog, I'll be doing a brief summary of the previous month and some of the forthcoming events for the new one.
Jan 2016 Review
26 new GBG pubs were achieved, easily eclipsing my target of 15 per month, though in truth, I try and aim for the 22-25 mark in these early days where ticking new pubs is "easier".
I also visited two promising pre-emptive pubs which I am confident will make the GBG in the next two years.
I am nominating three to go onto the shortlist for my eventual pub of the year for when I do my awards ceremony next Jan. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Ebor, Bishopthorpe, North Yorks
2. Red Lion Hotel, Salford, Beds
3. Graziers, Stanley, West Yorks
Two of those only sold one cask beer on my visit, which means it really was about the pub experience over the beer.
The overall quality of pubs in the month wasn't the best ever encountered, but finishing Bedfordshire and West Yorkshire were great positive steps, and the East London day on 2nd Jan was great.
Feb 2016 Review
Last Feb I only managed 16 new pubs but this time, it could well be edging 30 with loads of plans in place.
We'll start with a Friday night trip to Harrogate/Knaresborough (moved from this Tuesday for gig reasons) and that will be it for my North Yorkshire evening ticking before starting on the South Yorkshire midweek plan. But hold your horses - I might be able to do some Lancashire / Greater Manc midweek places after work so watch this space.
Also during the week, a Hull City trip to Ipswich will help, though will they do their usual "try and ban away fans from every pub in town?" Give me Norwich any day! There's also a winter beezer booked for the North East with two guest BRAPsters, and another possible trip (North Yorks or Merseyside?) still to be confirmed.
Saturday's should be equally productive but Burnley will be a tricky start this Saturday. A week later sees me implement a new branch of BRAPA called NFFD (Non Football Football Days! Catchy eh?) This will be done when Hull City have a hugely unattractive fixture for reasons like high ticket prices, rubbish town, boring place we've done loads, dearth of good pubs etc etc. Blackburn is a good example so expect to find me on the outskirts of Aspull instead!
Having completed Bedfordshire in January (hurrah, no more Wells Eagle!), I'll be kicking off Berkshire with a trip to the east of the county, and the month ends with a classic Dad Chauffeur Day (DCD?), in either South or North Yorkshire. I have two ideas in mind for this.
Happy pubbing all! Let's drink the winter away.