Only two months till two of our three favourite Americans pay us a visit to drink our beer and mock our craft keg. The welcoming party is ready for them;
Mrs RM will be delighted to know I’ve now collected six months worth of CAMRA magazines (and a few specials) into a giant Wilko bag for Dave or Dave to read through and find typos (oh sorry, that’s Russ).
Before that I arranged them into a nice geographical layout. You’ll note the gaps along the south coast and into Cornwall.
I always enjoy reading these; if nothing else it gives you something to do other than talk to micro pub owners about beer festivals and rare homebrews.
Along with Beer Guide selection and maintaining What Pub, the production of the branch magazine is a key campaigning tool. Unheralded pubs get a mention on crawls, Pubs of the Season get promoted, and beery holiday snaps get published.
The best ones, from my perspective, have more trips to pubs and less of the Imbiber-style listings of one-off micro brews. A fixation on eking out discounts is also off-putting.
Traditionally you’re expected to say you can’t choose a winner, but stuff that. Well, 3 joint winners.
Opening Times, Stockport and South Manchester
Still the most reliable place to read about pub crawls around Proper Pubs with honest appraisal of beer quality.
Ullage – West Berkshire
Neat, digestible, flammable, with interesting long reads and a guest column by Pub Curmudgeon.
Full Measure – Leeds
Despite the dangerous craft leanings of its new editor, Full Measure puts pub reports first, and isn’t City Centric, telling us how to get to Greene King pubs in Crossgates in the issue above.
As soon as I hand over the bag in May I can start collecting all over again.