January Progress Report
39 new Beer Guide pubs, in 16 different counties plan, helped by generous Travelodge and Premier rates in Dover, Newbury and Altrincham, and the usual hospitality from my Sister in Falmouth.
Mostly halves and shared pints in those, and a few too many thirds at Manchester Beer & Cider Festival (MBCF), meant my Dryanuary was less successful than that of Mrs RM.
New Pub of the Month
By some distance, the Robin Hood & Little John in Arnold. A pub where anyone would feel at home, serving superb beer from a small brewery and doing a proper cob.
I also loved Craft Clapham and the Red Lion in Ambleside, both rather more modern places but equally homely.
I had some excellent beer at the Piccadilly Tap and Café Beermoth, but loved the IPAs I tasted during John Clarke’s tasting session at the Manchester Festival. Brass Castle and Brewsmith IPAs stood out (once decanted into a pint glass !).
Beer quality throughout the month was better than I expected in a relatively quiet month, with most beer scored between 3 and 3.5.
Discovery of the Month
Brightlingsea in the Essex estuary wasn’t a beer trip, but I was captivated by the light, buildings and art at a small and isolated town I’d completely forgotten.
Re-Discovery of the Month
Tempting to say the Arden Arms in Stockport, but everyone else has said that now. Revisiting Altrincham after a 2 year break was startling; the renovation of the Market Hall and an emerging craft scene seemed overdue.
4pm opening. I’d planned on visiting a pub in Sunningdale, an area where all-day opening is the norm. My public transport delightedly told me I’d be wasting my time, despite what the Beer Guide told me. The slow death of weekday pub-going.
Also, live music in pubs, enjoyed in Altrincham and Waterbeach is something to be treasured, particularly when the musicians are older than you.
Newcastle and Berwick this weekend for Lanterns on the Lake and Berwick Rangers. Then Stockport to monitor the controversial elections for GBG17 at The Hope and complete “Greater Manchester” GBG. Later, a free Premier Inn night in Chichester, and returns to Reading and Cornwall.
Unless it snows.