The month that began with wailing and gnashing of teeth over non-delivery of the new Beer Guide ended with some revelatory trips to Nuneaton, Luton and Stevenage.
Decent walking weather in the main, and a couple of glorious days in Halifax and Manchester while it bucketed down in the South. The sun shines on the virtuous, even if they can’t always spellcheck their blogs.
With one trip to go today to finish Cambridgeshire in Four Gotes (scary place) I’ve managed 47 new Guide entries in 16 different GBG “Counties”. It would have been 50+ if the Guide had arrived on time, something CAMRA Books will know doubt regret to the end of time.
Some good to very good beer* everywhere in the month, even with most of my (or Mrs RM’s) drinking seeming to happen between 11am and 1pm these days. Those dark evenings have been set aside for binge-watching the “Desperate Housewives” Box Set.
Pub of the Month – Lord Hop, Nuneaton
The highlight of a night of highlights in Nuneaton, this was a (rare) micropub for the masses, with the cheeriest people, the best seating and, almost incidentally the best beer.
There were several contenders in Halifax for RM’s POTM, and the return visit to Halifax’s Big 6 was an hour of joy. A packet of Snyders pretzels washed down with Salopian is very hard to beat.
Beer of the Month – Greene King Mild (in a Tring glass)
The Left Handed giant in Lord Hop should have won, but for a 3.0% ABV beer first out of the pumps at noon on Thursday in Stevenage to be this tasty deserves worldwide acclaim in my view. Particularly as I’m spending the rest of this blog slating Greene King.
Discovery of the Month – Nuneaton
One of the great nights out of my life, on a Thursday in September. With an auditor. Obviously having done it once I can never go back. It’s Market Harborough next.
Architecturally the street art in Manchester’s Northern Quarter continues to flourish, but it was the Victorian splendour of Halifax that starred. My Dad said he’d move there if it didn’t have hills, which rather misses the point.
My month’s highlight was musical. End of the Road is the perfect combination of new music, good beer and calorific food, and listening to this wonderful tune by Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker in a garden accompanied by Beavertown’s Lupuloid probably won’t be bettered all year.
John Murray in Manchester wasn’t far behind; Gullivers is a superb little venue.
In October I start with a trip to Cardiff, followed by a return to IndyManBeerCon with Mrs RM, who really ought to start with the lowest ABV beers first.
Then I really need to start making inroads into Scotland and Dorset.
Now my passport has arrived I can plan a trip to Glasgow Airport, from which you can walk to four Guide pubs and fly back the same day. For £20.
*Everywhere except London, of course. I assume that you know that by now.