A quick update on progress towards completing the Beer Guide for anyone who cares (to be fair my 16 year old son seems most interested).

The top photo shows the GBG counties I’ve now completed, beautifully coloured in pink. Finishing Tyne & Wear on Saturday at least meant that the shape on my map no longer resembles a pink dragon.

Image result for pink dragon

The end of the recent Ice Age makes travel easier, but progress gets progressively tougher as the journey times increase.  My closest unticked GBG pub is now in Epsom, which is 2hrs 34 on the train, or 2hrs 17 if I decide to make a night of it (not unknown).

Alternatively, my closest tick to the north, in Duffield near Derby, is a mere 3hrs 37.

The case for better east-west trains in one image

The Great GBG Spreadsheet shows the gaps by county;




Yes, I really need to make another 347 new pubs before the new Guide hits the floor to stay on track.

To get closer to the prize, you need to visit at least 10 new pubs each week.  And even then it will take you until you’re 62, or 12 if you’re BRAPA.


Each necessary overnighter brings progressively fewer ticks.  I’ve a trip to Skegness tomorrow (calm down) with a mate that will bring that target down by just three.

Retirement means more time to plan, but I can’t be out every night (Matt’s Grandparents would complain).   What’s needed is a few big trips to West Wales, Devon and Scotland in the campervan while youngest son is off with his college on Geography trips.

Duncan sets the pace of course, a Bradley Wiggins to my Benny Hill as Eddy Muckxup (don’t Google it).

The meister



  1. More like a dragon with a very fat arse 😛

    Which are the solitary pubs in Cheshire and the area that isn’t Stockport remaining to be done?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You should try to slip in a quick visit to the Olde Cottage in Chester given its sterling support for Draught Bass and other BBBs and resolute opposition to sexist pumpclips 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Chester has the big advantage of letting you park your campervan overnight yards from the wall and the Joules place for a few quid. Downside is a tendency to overindulgence in Chester !


      3. I shall probably be in Chester so can I do the Goat & Munch for you ?
        No, a proxy pint probably wouldn’t count, and I don’t do micropubs anymore, and I shall probably only have time for either or both of Humphrey’s proper pubs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter has already asked the question which GM tick you need, but I also want to know the story behind the ‘gargoyle’ image (as it is your avatar on the Beer and Pubs Forum) ? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The last time I saw someone like that was outside the medieval house built in 1407 of timber, tile bricks and clay by Richard of Redeness, so he predates the State Management Scheme by quite a few years.
        If Heath hadn’t decided to sell off Carlisle’s brewery and pubs then Thatcher might not have thought of selling off just about everything else the government owned.


      2. “he predates the State Management Scheme by quite a few years”

        I hadn’t realised Martin was quite that retired. He really should have managed to complete the GBG by now.

        In fact he should probably been at the opening parties of virtually all the current entries.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And of course the State Management Scheme had the cheapest beer in Britain, and that’s with nationalised industries looking after the customer rather than the shareholder.


  3. Could i please ask you Martin,
    how do you get your spread sheet onto your blog and looking so neat.
    I am in the process of doing a county spread sheet for my pubs done,when it is finally finished in about two years time by the way i feel i would like to add it to my blog.
    No chance of any new posts on my blog as i am far too tired and those health people would be proud of me as i am losing about 5lb a week and i lost a stone after my op,now under 10 stone.

    Liked by 1 person

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