Visiting all the pubs in the current Good Beer Guide is a long-term project.  Aside from the logistical issues associated with lack of public transport or cheap hotels, one of the big challenges is the heavily restricted opening times of quite a few GBG entries.

It is clearly the right of every pub/club/off-licence/greyhound racing venue to choose their opening times.  It is also commendable that, in general, CAMRA’s hard-working volunteers pick their venues on the basis of beer quality rather than volume of beers.  I just wonder what benefit a pub or brewery tap open for a handful of hours a week, or only at weekends, gets from inclusion in the Guide.

The venues I’m struggling with include the Sixpenny Brewery Tap near Salisbury – hours below;

  • Monday CLOSED
  • Tuesday CLOSED
  • Wednesday 16.30 – 18.00
  • Thursday 16.30 – 18.00
  • Friday 16.00 – 18.30
  • Saturday 11.30 – 13.00
  • Sunday CLOSED

I attend an annual music festival just down the road from the Tap and am determined to make a visit next month.

Similarly, Naylors Brewery Tap near Skipton only opened Friday evening when I visited. To be clear, it’s great that breweries open up to the public, and I understand the practical limitations some have.

Quite a few pubs only open evening, limiting potential visits.  The pub at Anchor on the Welsh/Shrops border is proving a real challenge to me, without public transport or even a campsite nearby.

I did, however, succeed in visiting the famous New Adephi in Hull last night, (8pm to 11pm) thanks to the kindness of the proprietor in opening up on a non-music night.  The beer, from Atom, was wonderful and this small music venue is a classic of its kind.

In a perverse way, I was slightly relieved that the renowned Old Forge in Inverie has dropped from the guide; a days travel by train and ferry from Fort William to find it again closed would have tested my spirits.

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