Annual retiredmartin Awards 2015

One year of retirement.

  • 4,215 miles walked (a bad December)
  • 3 days spent at home (man flu)
  • 64 new bands seen
  • 525 new pubs visited
  •  10 awards.

1.  Discovery of the Year – Linz

Cheap flights & hotel, rambling cobbled streets off a gorgeous central square, strenuous walks (or ancient funicular) to a hillside castle beer garden, cheap beer, ice cream, modern art, a castle, superb science museum, Bruckner.

And easy bus rides to Cesky Krumlov.

2. Joint UK Towns of the year  – Falmouth & Glossop

Falmouth – coastal walks, urban hills, beaches, top-notch calamari, great craft pubs, top gigs, Rebel Brewery, flat Bass, sun.


Glossop – hills, mills, Sam Smiths, £1.80 pints, vegan curry, UK’s best Travelodge and off-licence.20151127_184503

3. Pub town of the Year – Leighton Buzzard

Black Lion (Bass of the year), Red Lion (pub interior of the year), a good Spoons and micro-pub within a minute of each other. Transformed.


Runner-up: Mansfield – 4 new entries in Guide all with superb beer, including 2 micro-pubs, 1 of them in a cave.  A revelation.

4.  Pub of the Year – ‘Front, Falmouth


A pub where anyone would feel at home; consistently great dark beer.

Runner-Up – Hop Inn, Newcastle-U-Lyme – Banter, Craft & top Bass

5. Beers of the Year 

  • Draught Bass in Black Lion, Hop Inn and Plough, Bruntingthorpe
  • Unicorn in the Robinsons Visitor Centre
  • Alt, Uerige in Dusseldorf –  pretty perfect


6. Brewery of the Year – Rebel, Penryn

Two dark beers at the ‘Front in October, and an 80/- near Penzance last week all superb.

Also enjoyed TicketyBrew (even the Rose Wheat beer) and Cloudwater.

7. View of the Year – Seaton Sluice from the King’s Arms


Runner-up – Duisburg from Landschaftenpark

Runner-up  – Danube from eastern Vienna

8. Pub meal of the Year – Burger @ Sheppey, Somerset – also best décor

9. Chinese Takeaway of the Year – Taste of China, Beverley Rd, Hull

Sweet & Sour Pork – Not to scale

Runner-up – Mick’s Hut, Preston

10. Gigs of the Year

  • Sharon van Etten at Brudenell, Leeds (also best venue)
  • Jane Weaver at Gorilla, Manchester (after IndyMan !)
  • Martha at Oslo, Hackney

Personal highlight – The Hillgate Stagger with John Clarke’s happy band at Stockport CAMRA was a perfect crawl; on a par with doing 6 Glasgow Wetherspoons plus the Pot Still in an hour with Mrs RM in July.

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