June 2016 will forever be known as the month I visited more new Good Beer Guide pubs than Simon Everitt (45 v 41). I should be happy, but the fact that Simon has now done the Great Cumbrae pub puts my duller achievement into perspective.
Lots of travel to finish off the Beer Guide chapters for Norfolk, London, Bucks, Surrey and Worcestershire, and visits to 18 counties in all. Beer quality remained more than decent, with not a single pint returned. No Bass this month though.
Fairly dull weather and destinations to match in June, so I only averaged 11 miles a day, well off the pace. Each step through the Donington mud felt like ten though.
New pub of the month
The Welcome Stranger I wrote about today was probably the star, but with very similar values I’ll pick the Joiners Arms in Croydon, which would have been a great place to see England’s valiant battle with the Icelanders.
Beer of the month
The best quality ale of the month came last week at Clifford Beer Festival, with Brass Castle’s Sunshine on KeyKeg and Elland Pale from t’wood starring. They also had the Cloudwater Pale, but it was their Bitter which gets beer of the month and prompted my apology to the York Tap for ever doubting it. It too was a top pub experience.
Discovery of the month
I did enjoy Knutsford, rather more than Wilmslow. It’s a beautifully preserved small town, and local craft/gin emporium Dexter & Jones was the ideal place for John Clarke’s tutored Belgian beer testing. We enjoyed the banter as much as the beer (Orval the winner) and Mrs RM has now fully recovered (from that at least). The Cheshire Gin is nearly gone though.
Re-discovery of the month
Stourport sparkled on a decent day, and the Black Star was a perfect canal-side lunch stop. A micro and proper coffee shop could turn it into the Leighton Buzzard of the west.
The sequel to Finding Nemo is out. What more wisdom is necessary ?
We’ll be taking our campervan to Durham, Melton Mowbray and other places with electricity.