Sunday 1 October 2017

BRAPA - September Review / October Preview (2017)

Boars' Head, Newchurch.
The month began on the 1st (as it so often does) with me crying big salty tears of bitterness over the new edition of the 'Good Beer Guide', as I realised I'd "lost" 178 pubs.  Where had I put them?  The equivalent of six months worth of pub ticking down the pan, and don't even ask what that equates to financially!

But as I travelled back from London to York last night at the month end, my mood had brightened immeasurably.  38 new pubs visited across the month, all very much IN the Good Beer Guide (for now!), and all this without any special trips / holidays off work (unless you count the farcical Tuesday afternoon where flooding on the line stopped my progress west of Bradford for much of the day).

No, the month was a success due in part to it containing five Saturdays, plus my new mentality which ensures six pubs are achieved each Saturday, and more than one on a Tuesday where possible.  Midweeks have been made temporarily easier by having some new Yorkshire pubs to tick.

September is traditionally a good month, I guess I get fresh impetus from the GBG release, the average is 32.

Picking top pub experiences for the month out of that decent haul is not going to be easy, but we'll have a go at these 5 in no particular order:

1. Griffin Inn, Gresford
2. Chip N Ern, Bingley
3. Boar's Head, Newchurch
4. Griffin, Haslingden
5. Black Cat, Chesham

Black Cat, Chesham
October Preview

Repeating the 38 benchmark set in September must be the aim, but I fear it'll be a challenge too far.  October is traditionally the least productive month with an embarrassing average of 19.67 but no reason we should really struggle this time out.  After all, there's no Australian work trips, no weddings, no 'evening dos' for work people, no birthday parties - a first since BRAPA began.

We'll start after work on Tuesday 3rd, as West Yorkshire midweeks continue.  Only 7 left and I should be pretty much done by the time we reach Hallowe'en.

Saturday's start with a "secret" trip with Dad on 7th.  He has no idea where we are going, so I can't reveal it here, but let's just say it's a part of the country I rarely go pub ticking in.

A week later, a rare Hull City game - at Norwich - and I could spend about 3 days getting the pubs done, so am looking forward to that one.  And if I don't feel I've done enough, there's always a cheeky Sunday North Yorkshire bonus to throw in there.

I'm then off work on a holiday with Mother and Father BRAPA.  Again, I won't say where it is, but am hoping that amongst much walking, it yields some nice rural ticks.  After all, they recently went to Dorset and seemed to treat it as a breakaway BRAPA adventure!

On 21st, I'm down in London supposedly getting the next leg of Buckinghamshire complete, but slight complications mean I need to be in London by early evening, and am staying over to meet some Neighbours fans (I'm not joking!) which might actually help me 'whip in' a few on the Sunday lunchtime.   Of course, I've demanded they meet me in a BRAPA pub.

And on the 28th, I'll be cracking back on with Cheshire which has been quiet recently, but quite an annoying county as they keep inventing new places beginning with the letter A (as if Agden Wharf, Appleton Thorn, Aldford, Audlem and Aston weren't enough, we now have Allgreave).  Expect a village called Aardvark to appear in the 2019 edition that everyone on Twitter has been to. Over a year I've been at Cheshire now and it's showing no sign of ending any time soon!

Here's some evidence of me getting distracted last year from the job in hand:

At a lovely wedding in North Yorkshire trying to convince myself this hotel pre-emptive potential

Outside the Sherlock Holmes in Melbourne as part of ARAPA

Stalking Bill Bailey in Business Class at Dubai Airport

Hallowe'en night snacks with my saddest Pumpkin ever

Other News

I've now finished my overall GBG figure as well as current ones, it's a bit of an estimate as I haven't been able to look through EVERY single edition, and I can't remember EVERY single pub I've ever been to, which might say, have appeared once in the 1981 edition, but it comes it 1,848 after Saturday's trip which is a much nicer figure to report!

I've had some good news on the Tuesday night front.  Moving back to my old (pre-Australia) team didn't fill me with loads of joy, BUT looks like I'll be able to do 8-4 nearly every week which gives me more scope, especially when I get back into the Greater Manchester area.  Even better, I have to do 9-5 on Wednesdays which gives me an extra hour in bed recovering - hurrah!

I've finished my Micro pub bingo card, along the same lines as my Ember Inns one.  I'll put it out on Twitter as soon as I next get a day where I know I'll be visiting one of these curious little beer houses!

For now folks, have a good start your week.



  1. "Even better, I have to do 9-5 on Wednesdays which gives me an extra hour in bed recovering - hurrah!"
    Heh. :)

    And good on ya for going on holiday with your folks. You're a good son Si. :)


  2. Cheers Russ! They're a good duo and we get on well and of course, pub wise, I get plenty out of it too

    Yes, the 8-4 Tues, 9-5 Wed set up should help, though think I spoke too soon cos today got in as early as 7:30 and didn't leave til 5:30pm, ugh! Better not be a repeat of that tmw before BRAPA night.


  3. Given the structure of the month, I'd say that 34 pubs would be a good target, but given you have a bonus Sunday in London, Sunday North Yorkshire and the holiday (I think I have been told where it is and promptly forgotten), I'd say 45 would be a good ambition (this figure has been carefully computed).

    Hate Allam.

  4. Note that on the 28th, there will be no train services through Huddersfield due to resignalling works. There will be an hourly Newcastle to the Airport diverted via the Hope Valley, beyond that it is go via Drabford.