Wednesday 31 August 2016

BRAPA - August Review / September Preview

I'm more "in limbo" than errrm, errrm Thom Yorke (it's a Radiohead song apparently) as I continue to wait for the 2017 Good Beer Guide to hit my doorstep with all the force of it's 1,000,000,000 pages or however thick it is this year.......

Hopelessly optimistic (and increasingly weather beaten) sign on my front door.
One thing is for sure, CAMRA's new distribution centre in Anchor, Shropshire was a mistake. September tomorrow so time is ticking on.   This was the first year my direct debit had been set up / taken correctly too.

And even more galling, the privileged south-easteners (south of Cambridgeshire) have their copies already and have spent the week on Twitter like teenage gossip whores, breaking CAMRA confidentiality etiquette about GBG inclusion left, right and centre.  

Or complaining they've received unexpected copies, which they no doubt rip the pages out of to mop up the caviar and swan gravy from their overfed mouths whilst Tristan parks on double yellows (stuff the fine, he can afford it) to bring the SUV round for Jemima before they scoot off to the Craft Kitchen Urban Tap and order Beavertown and Kernal's #777.76 collaboration brew (matched with "eats").  There's a 'meet the brewer' event with both later, maybe they'll get a selfie with their bearded heroes and Instagram it with the ironic hashtag #evilkegrules

Not that this lack of Good Beer Guide is getting to me or anything ......

All ready for some GBG cross ticking, just one vital thing missing.....
August Review

22 new pubs is disappointing when I've had two weeks of annual leave and it is supposedly summer time, but as I always say, August is the hardest month to pub tick as I've been mentally preparing myself for the new GBG, worried about what might drop out!

The highlight is almost certainly the Welsh trip and in particular, finally getting to the Anchor!  Felt really bad for Mum's sprained ankle which is kind of a metaphor for August pub ticking if you think about it.  The other great day was around the Wigan area where I brought up the 1,000.

Here are my three pubs of the month:

1.  Admial Rodney Inn, Criggion
2.  Masons Arms, Billinge
3. Clarendon, Marske-by-the-Sea

Surprised to see Anchor not in?  Well, it was amazing and magical in so many ways but putting all the romance aside of location, great landlord, great beer, the overall pub experience itself still wasn't quite as good as the three above.

Seriously good Salopian Oracle in Criggion.

September Preview

The month starts with the next leg of my Berkshire trip (part 7 I believe) but no idea where I am going yet.  I'll be using Reading as a base but can only pray the new GBG arrives tomorrow or Friday.

Tuesday's are off limits for now as I enter "One Month Reverse Owl Syndrome" (don't ask) whilst the GBG cross-ticking exercise takes place.  I'm on 1,006 at present, hoping not to drop below 900 but perhaps 850 is a more reasonable expectation.

Saturday's will continue in force, the 2nd Saturday is the annual Hull City away defeat at Burnley.  I should be running out of pubs by now in this part of the world but Padiham and Ighten look enticing.

A week later, another punishing day in North Yorkshire looks the most likely county.

And a week after that, we celebrate Tom Irvin's birthday (not that he'd lower himself to such festivities) with a trip to Crosby which is near Liverpool.  I see Bootle and Waterloo are nearby so it could be a rare pub ticking fest on Merseyside.

And hopefully, Tuesday's (South Yorkshire to a finish) will be back up and running after 15th Sept.  Going to aim for 25 but it might struggle.

Bertie shocked by lack of GBG arrival in August.
Pub Spreadsheet

I've spent the last month logging over 1,250 pubs into a spreadsheet with the (probable) date I first visited them.  What a life I lead!

I'm now filling in the gaps .....  all those 'early' Good Beer Guide pubs I did at Hull City away matches circa 2002-04.

In an interesting twist, I've just had to re-order the 2003 and 2004 Good Beer Guides to retrace my thought processes for the 02/03 and 03/04 seasons.  So I'm waiting for 3 GBG's now!  I must be a masochist.



  1. Are you all there ! Anchor not on your top 3. Kicking you out the Anchor appreciation society now. See your thinking though.

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  3. Oddly, I live at a Number 6 as well. Odd. Conspiracy deepens.

  4. That sign on the door is surely likely to invite an enterprising thief to steal any parcel that is left outside the door.

    I live at number 7. 7 is greater than 6 and is also superior because it is prime.

    Tecnhically the red notebook is a breach of the Code of Conduct as it isn't a Ryman's product. However, I think the court has more pressing requirements unless this is part of some form of grand reoffending, so I do not intend pressing charges.

    If you need any travel gen for Reading area then let me know.

    I am glad that you will be choosing to celebrate the fact that I have moved another year closer to my inevitable early trip to a shallow watery grave. Celebrations should not occur until the nails on the box have actually been nailed down, certain as it is they will be.

    1. Fear not for a fort knox style key code is required to gain entry, so most postmen don't even make it as far as 2nd floor.

      It was bought in Ryman's so there! Maybe Leeds Merrion Centre has different rules from the rest of the world. Actually, I know it does! I wouldn't shop anywhere which didn't rhyme with Simon.

      I nearly got a plus bus but the area it covered wasn't very generous. (Still, I didn't know i'd be doing Lower Earley then). thanks for offer.

      Shallow watery grave? Are we burying you off the North Lincs coast or the Far Cheshire one (or whatever you call Merseyside). Am sure you would rise again.

    2. Those keypads are easy enough to get round. Which is concerning because my building has one.

      I didn't know Ryman actually owned any shops, I just assumed they supplied other shops. That probably makes you innocent of an offence on a technicality.

      For future reference, if ever you decide you need a Plus Bus at late notice, say if you get wind of a pre-emptive on the grapevine or something at the last minute, then you can obtain such tickets from York booking office, or in theory from the guard on the train.

      I don't expect to actually be buried this month bar me being convicted of a very severe breach of the code of conduct or extradited to Algeria for inadvertently starting a riot with an interweb joke, but the pretend county of Merseyside covers areas of the real counties of Cheshire and Lancashire. The area we will be in is Lancashire, the two are bounded by the River Mersey.

  5. You're right about the volume of the new GBG by the way, heavier than ever. They can't make the pages thinner or they won't absorb the pink pen (in 1,000 years time Aliens will wonder what those words mean). Most of the pages are the explanation about what Key Keg is (I'm guessing, I've never read the articles).

    1. Well, I've bit the bullet and am highlighting in green this year .... controversial and it seems a runnier colour than fluorescent yellow. Aliens might prefer green!

      Glad we both live at number 6, I hope Duncan and that Winfield chap do aswell. Tom, 7 might be prime but it's too jagged and easily knocked off the ball right winger-ish.