Monday 2 May 2022


Colin having fun in Knebworth with John

48 pubs for the month.  An April record.  It felt more like a 30 pub month in truth.

The fact that 22 were done in the first 5 days and 17 in the final 7 days helped me rise above mediocrity. 

Manchester Punk Festival,  a bad dose of Tonsillitis which, in football twitter parlance, was living rent free in my head (well, mouth), caused a for a bit of a mid-month wobble, but I'm glad to report I'm back to full form for a hopefully productive May.  

Flying the flag for National Bass Day at Manchester Punk Festival

Making my debut in Manchester's Unicorn.  Though the general consensus seemed to be I shouldn't have bothered!

The Unicorn was probably the least pre-emptive of the six pre-emptives I managed, three I'm very hopefully will make the 2023 GBG.

The standard of pubs and beer was quite poor this month, the worst yet in '22.  April is always a tricky one for some reason.

Berkshire was a cracking four day jaunt but a bit inconsistent at times, North Kent was down right dire (I'm assuming not everywhere in Kent is like Gillingham?  Please tell me Ramsgate and Dover aren't just 'Gillingham-by-the-Sea'), Hertfordshire continues to be a magnolia airbrushed Essex, whilst my recent Greater Manchester experiences have been chock full of micros and brewery taps selling wonderful beer with a smattering of Holt's only or Royal British Legions for the purist.

Gosh, I'm being a miserable humbug this evening aren't I?

Let's over compensate by inducting a record SIX pubs into BRAPA's year end awards for when we reach December.  Done in order visited:

Park House, Reading

Flower Pot, Aston

Prince of Ales, Rainham

Thirsty Fish, Bury

Green Man, Sandridge

Cart & Horses, Astley

Massive thank you to Sir Quinno and Tim Thomas for being such fabulous hosts on my mini Berkshire break, had great days with both.  And thanks to John Depeche Modem for keeping me sane (well, the John equivalent of sane) on my most recent Hertfordshire trip. 

In other highlights, I finally located the loos at Newark Northgate station.  They were everything I'd hoped they'd be .....

During Manchester Punk Festival, I visited a few 'old classics'.  My overall winner was Peveril of the Peak where I ended up sat outside with a Plum Porter, sharing a bench with a young couple called Ed and Amber, plus this insane old man who shook our hands with the same hand that shook David Bowie's hand in a 1983 trip to Hamburg.  He even rang his mate and passed over his phone, so his mate could verify the tale.  "You'll never wash your hand again" he tells me.  First thing I did after saying goodbye, wash my hand.  

Grey Horse was also decent, both Lass O'Gowrie and Briton's Protection struggled with beer quality (shame cos I have a soft spot for both) and City Arms weirdly failed to impress me for a second time even though it feels like it has everything in place to be a really nice boozer.  And the Unicorn was almost too lively to the point of being a bit intimidating!  I mean Meatloaf singalongs at noon.  You gotta admire it!

Bishopthorpe's Woodman close to home (a debut visit for me) was a very random contender for pint of the month, but the White Rat was spectacular, and to think I only popped in because Ebor was shut.

But a bit like my fried egg game (yes, still on the Keto diet apart from the ale!), April ticking was all a bit hit n miss!

The one on the right was sunnyside up, down and all around!

High hopes for the month of May.

Staffordshire I've neglected for too long (last tick was January), and have all the tricky stuff left, but what I can still do on public transport I intend to do.

Lancashire, I need to start taking it seriously on #ThirstyThursdays (apart from Blackpool which can wait til August).  Outer Preston looks exciting doesn't it?  And a nice man called Ian is driving me round some Blackburny places soon.

Completion weekend!  Look out for this, I'm planning on completing THREE counties in one weekend.  Could be epic.

And I might chip away at a bit more Greater Manchester.  Trying to go from west to east.  Bromley Cross is my furthest West which I've heard is a bit of a cracker, so I am making progress.

Summer holiday planning, I'm still torn between Herefordshire and Cornwall.  Hmmmm.  Need to get something booked, but that isn't until late June.

I'll leave you with the angriest brewery logo of the month courtesy of Bolton's rather quite nice North Monkey, and wish you all a very merry May.

Thanks for reading, Si 


  1. Ramsgate is fine, especially the area overlooking the harbour, but there's nothing to recommend about Dover. Gillingham-by-the-Sea would be an apt description!

    1. Cheers Paul. I've got a lot to learn when it comes to Kent, but I'm like a drunk sponge, ready to take it all onboard and might make a concerted effort at completing the county in 2023.

  2. 48 ? 12 a week will finish the Guide by 2029.

    1. Trying to remember to look at comments after our chat yesterday! Yes, I hope you are right, I still keep telling people 2043 for completion year

  3. Until a few years ago, I went to the Unicorn most weeks for meetings of Manchester Jazz Society in the function room upstairs, until it moved to the Britons Protection, and then online in the pandemic. The Draught Bass was always decent there then- mostly because the gang of old boys who used to work on the street market opposite still came in at dinnertime to drink a few gallons, so they turned over a nine of it pretty much every day - the other cask beers less so. I'd have been surprised if it had got into the GBG back then, I'd be amazed/worried now.

    1. Haha, yes I don't think it was the finest Bass I've had. Though it was hidden around the back, with the other two cask pumps at the front so I had to walk around it more in hope than expectation before I spotted it!