A bit of breaking news to start with (quite literally) as my Good Beer Guide front cover is hanging on by a thread .....
Even more worrying, the binding is slightly coming apart too. Expect to see a rubber band holding the whole thing together by late October, which is the earliest I can expect to receive the 2023 edition.
Isn't life cruel? For once, you try to keep your GBG in tact, and it falls apart on its own. I blame the great drowning incident of Ruan Minor in Cornwall at the end of June, the poor thing has never recovered.
Talking of poor things ......
|I mean the otter, not her
Yes, we said an tearful goodbye to Keane Lewis Otter this month, as he departed for pastures new (British Heart Foundation F.C.) on a freebie. Primarily a football mascot, when Hull City sold Keane Lewis Potter to Brentford, it didn't seem right to keep him.
Someone on Twitter suggested he'd gone off the rails since .....
A sad decline for a promising otter.
Expect a little owl (Martin Junior) to appear soon.
Right let's get down to serious business.
July has been another cracking pub month, with 51 ticks and 7 (highly dubious) pre-emptives . The current total is 2323/4500 which is 51.62% of the GBG complete.
These are heady times at BRAPA towers. After a few frustrating years where it felt like it was a case of 'two steps forwards, one step back', I'm finally seeing real signs of progress. We've already gained 299 pubs in 2021/22, eclipsing the record 257 set in 2018/19 .... and like I said earlier, we are nowhere near the 2023 GBG release date. Staying above the 50% mark after the 'churn' would be ideal.
|Otter Inn, Little Corby (my most recent tick, and a good one too if you ignore the opening hours)
As well as finishing Cornwall (if we ignore Tresco .... you can never ignore Tresco), I'm down to 4 in Greater Manchester, 10 in Lancashire which is a real bugger of a county to complete, and 20 in Cumbria after this week's mini break. Unlikely I'll get Cumbria done in full this year, but I can see it coming down to single figures. Staffs is going great guns too, problem is I keep forgetting it exists.
|Vestry Taproom Freckleton - means I'm down to 10 in Lancs
And I'm eyeing up Kent & South East London as areas I can really make some definite progress in too over August-September.
|Dartford Working Man's Club giving me hope that Kent might actually be quite good
The thing I'm most disappointed about at the moment ..... being so far behind with my blogging. I'm still writing about Cornwall for heaven's sake. Might have to do a few 'in brief' catch ups though knowing my word county, it'll probably still resemble War & Peace.
So which pubs are going into the hat for the year end BRAPA pub of the year award?
1. St John Inn, St John, Cornwall
2. Red Lion, Wheelton, Lancs
3. Vale Cottage, Gorton, Greater Manchester
4. Iron Pier Taproom. Northfleet, Kent
5. Strands Inn, Nether Wasdale
A couple of those were selected with the extremely high quality of their ale in mind, because in July, I had far too many poor quality beers, and I can only think the extremely high temperatures (we got up to 39 degrees in York) must've had a big impact. Not good though when you are using a book called the 'Good Beer Guide' to select your venues!
When Daddy BRAPA got up in Bombay Brew in Rochdale to get us two ice cold lagers to go with our curries, well it was probably the move of the month. And if we get many more stupidly hot summer spells like we've done this year, which the climate experts seem to think is nailed on, I may have to rethink my drink choices!
So there we have it, August tomorrow (Happy Yorkshire day!), doesn't time fly? I'm hoping Lancs and GMR will be fully done before long, and there should be a bit more progress on the Cumbria, Kent & South London fronts.
I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about my last day in Cornwall.
Thanks for reading, Si