Monday 1 February 2016

BRAPA : January Review / February Preview

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.



  1. What a good idea for a post for me to nick and acknowledge.

    39 new pubs for me in Jan, helped like you by an early London and quite a few overnighters.

    Warning: Did the Alma in Windsor last night. Children's birthday detritus, all tables full of Sunday lunchers, no space at the bar as people with smelly dogs standing there, Chelsea on the telly, dull beer - a winner !

    1. 39?? Wow. Can't wait til I'm RS (Retired Simon).

      So the delights of Windsor as well as Newbury await! I'll be pleading for a return to Beds before I know it!

    2. 26 in a month is going some, particularly in a month when alcohol was banned, of course. Retirement hasn't made much difference except the ability to walk rather than sit to be honest.

      Alan of the Never Ending Pub Crawl has done 39 at the weekend, of course.

  2. Firstly, congratulations to you both for red penning a multiple of 13 pubs in the month.

    Si, whilst I grant it is a leap year, are you aware that February only has 29 days? You seem to be packing a lot in there. What is the destination of the North Eastern beezer? Have you become part time at work?

    I applaud the decision to go for pre-emptives as well as the current required pub on Saturday. I wonder, despite the aceness of Turf Moor, whether this is a potential future candidate for an Operation Pizza Cutter non football football day.

    Other than passing through on the way to Legoland as a child, I've only been to Windsor the once. The visit consisted of alight from train, take photograph, view and photograph the steam locomotive in shopping centre than passes for a railway station, get back on same train back up the branch. This, and other runs out of Paddington and Waterloo, have left me with the impression that it is a town taken over by American tourists. That said, I will be back as I need track in conjunction with both branches.

    1. Tom, well re NE Beezer and the other half idea, some things have to remain a mystery just so you get nice surprises when you check my blog.

      Part Time Sime (PTS) would be a great Twitter handle. I might rename the review/preview section "Simon Says". Cheesy? Or ace?

      I had the same thoughts re Burnley, as I'm sure we will play them EVERY year for eternity! Losing twice.


    2. I was only thinking of rough geography for ticketing purposes, in case I have any cunning ideas like Merseyside Safeway tickets (I will start buying lots of those on conclusion of Project Pacer). I am happy for it to be left vague so as to create suspense.

      I have said before that in 40 years time there will be a ground that is considered by the then relative youngsters an absolutely outrageous tick, and it could very easily be somebody who ends up in the First Division for a couple of seasons whilst we start to tumble. I have wondered about Swansea, but Burnley would be even more amusing. We have won there twice in recent years. That is a comparable record to Glumford Park when we went there every year.

      We are staying up.