The last few days have been particularly stressful, as BRAPA taunted us with the early arrival in York of the new Beer Guide, while I stared dolefully at the door.  At least London didn’t get theirs first this year.

3 days after Simon’s copy, my GBG18 arrived this morning at 9.17a.m.  Any longer, and GBG17 would have fallen to pieces. And you’d have found out where the inspiration for “Falling Down” came from.

Luckily, only one of my pubs from the weekend has dropped out of the new edition, so it wasn’t a completely wasted journey to a place I can’t tell you about. Unlike some, I solemnly respect the GBG embargo until the official release date.

At the moment the Guide hit the floor with a satisfying thud I called time on the GBG17 spreadsheet, which thanks to an IT-literate 16 year old I reproduce here;



Rather less impressive than the Pubmeister, but 528 new pubs in the last year took me to the giddy heights of 86.3%, and 41 counties complete.  As you’ll see I’m still hoping for an English CAMRA breakaway Guide to make my task easier.


As I write this I’m working through the new Guide to see how many new pubs are in and how many drop out (450 is typical).  It’s the highlight of the year, accompanied by a mournful soundtrack of Nadia Reed and Low CDs (old skool). Once I’ve finished the bookwork I can set some new targets for the year.

Luckily I have a lifetime supply of Stabilo Boss markers in my nuclear bunker.


Since so many people ask, I don’t aim to do every one of the 4,500 odd pubs in the Guide next year. Just think about how ridiculous that would be.

Too early to sum up the new Guide (give it a week), but fans of brewery taps on industrial estates are likely to be thrilled, fans of “Old Mens pubs” less so.


17 thoughts on “POST No. 1000 – A BEER GUIDE PROGRESS CHECK

  1. You can hold you head up with pride (or Bass). Liked seeing your stats. England performance especially commendable. Think you got the Guide years one year out in case you want to edit.

    I have done Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the islands plus Beds-Essex in England so far. Was going quite well until Dorset which seems to have a big turnover.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately yes! The opening hours of some new ones are very restricted. One in Essex is open 20 hours a week and one in Wales only 16 hours. Need 2 new ones in Guernsey and 1 on Isle of Man- groan.

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      2. That’s the future, and the future is welcome to it.

        My only gap in Cambs is, embarrassingly, a brewery tap yards from where I was born that I keep neglecting to visit. Only open Thr/Fri even and Sat, which makes the old Sixpenny Tap in Dorset look generous !

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  2. “Luckily I have a lifetime supply of Stabilo Boss markers in my nuclear bunker.”

    Those in the know just knew all of them would be pink. 🙂



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you try to retrospectively complete Guides? e.g. if a pub you never got round to drops out the following year, do you write it off, or still feel the need to go?


  4. How do you mark your turnover by year? Do you have an overall spreadsheet of every ever pub visited so that if an outlet comes back into the guide for the first time in, say, 6 years you can still count it as having been visited?


    1. I’ve a spreadsheet of the 10,000 odd pubs that I’ve visited that have been in the Guide (clearly, may aren’t in it any longer). So yes, I’m basically checking the new Guide against that master spreadsheet, and there’s a fair few that come back in, especially in towns with competition (e.g. Manchester). I wouldn’t go back 10 yeas later, no.

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  5. When micro pubs and brewery taps get their acts together they will only open for one hour a week,probably on a Sunday morning when no public transport is running to it,but to prove you are a proper Camra member you will have to take all 45 GBGs printed to gain access into it if you ever get there in the first place.

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  6. It was also a veiled swipe at the clubs that the GBG lists,that i am not allowed into as i do not have a Camra members card or carry a massive GBG when doing pub crawls.

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  7. I love the spread sheet Martin,
    It is a shame that i tend to dislike some top GBG pubs that most like and my main problem is i find it really hard to pass any open pub or bar.
    My wife has also got into finding new bars in Nottingham while we are walking from pub to pub,two new ones on last two visits,no real ale of course,but we liked both and one pretty different.

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