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.
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.