The bad news is I still haven’t seen “Finding Dory” as we’re saving it up for the wet day next week in Wales. That will be my third trip over Offa’s Dyke in a month, as I hope to make some overdue inroads into the 170 Welsh Beer Guide pubs I’ve still to do before the Euros glow wears off from their lovely people.

Rather worryingly, I managed 67 new Beer Guide pubs in July, spread over 17 counties. I can’t be bothered to analyse the scores, but beer quality was pretty good apart from those days when everyone complained about the heat. Most of those 67 were quieter than you’d hope though.

New pub of the month

Two standouts in July, about as far apart on the scale as possible.

Major Tom’s

Major Tom’s Social in Harrogate is as good an example of a quirky modern bar as I’ve seen this year, and had some of the best beer (Cloudwater as well) in that heatwave. Better seating than a lot of the restaurant pubs provide these days too.

The other highlight is, of course the Anchor. I cannot wait to see what Simon Everitt (or if I’m honest, his Mum) make of it when they visit.

The only things in common between these two pubs were;

  • the score I gave to the beer (NBSS 3.5),
  • they both had a roof
  • I was the only customer

Beer of the month

It wasn’t new but Newtown’s Railway Tavern just over the border from the Anchor was the pub experience of the month, the final confirmation that the Welsh Marches are unbeatable. The Salopian Bends scored 4.5, and it was that good, a half served for me in a pint glass by a wonderful publican.


I reckon that Bury’s  Dove has similar characteristics to the Railway, another basic community local with a focus on beer quality.  The Mighty Oak Kings, from the jug, was also a 4.5.

Discovery of the month

Simply, Chichester Harbour is beautiful, has proper pubs and a great Chinese takeaway. Shame about the smuggling.  I was fibbing about the goths.


Re-Discovery of the month

Self-styled punks who steal lines from Rush, Martha were the best thing I heard all month, particularly on their home patch. I’m still playing their two LPs on rotation.  A great evening by the Cathedral enhanced by a return trip to the Elm Tree and Colpitts restored my faith in Durham’s proper pub scene.


1 No-one should have to choose between pub cats and pub dogs.

2 No-one should steal other people’s olives in pubs

3 Just sit down


In August

Snowdon to Swansea in a campervan, City v Sunderland in Manchester, finishing off Kent, Lancashire, Shropshire and Hampshire.  And preparing myself mentally for the new Good Beer Guide.

9 thoughts on “JULY STOCKTAKE

  1. Hate to break it to you, but the 2017 Good Beer Guide won’t be released until September, although they take the direct debit in mid-August.

    Official publication date is 15 September, but I think they mail it out to subscribers a bit before that.


    1. My mental preparation begins early Mudge. Have to make sure my marker pens and spreadsheets are all working. Simon will be buying new shoes for the occasion. Bigger than Harry Potter.


      1. Highlighter pens, shoes, the preparation has to be spot on!

        Last year, it was about 26th Aug for the privilege club release date so would hope for same again, though official release date was 10th or 11th Sept last year so could be a bit later. I think the CAMRA book lads told us, but can’t remember.

        An amazing pub effort for July, well done. Loved Major Tom’s too.

        Why do people stand up in pubs when seats are available? I’ll never understand it.

        Been reading excerpts of your blog to my Mum re Anchor. She looked terrified.


  2. We head north tomorrow. Llandudno for four nights. We also enjoyed The Farmers Arms in st David. Tenby had a decent range of ales. It will also give you a chance to relive some of your favorite pub irritants. Standing etc.. Anchor and Hope had some nice ales on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s