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;

See the source image
Live from Maidenhead

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.

Note Ullage unburnt yet

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.




      1. Their people would be more than happy to do that. We also step out of English tradition and try to host our hosts. Our payback for all the great information we cull out of your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the articles written by groups that visit another region and write up their visit. Really fun to read the description of their crawls. I do think the travel focus of the articles has a wide appeal. I will bring a second suitcase. After watching Borgen I’m surprised we get let into the country:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just offer bribes when you get to the UK airport and you’ll be fine. As you’ll know we’re now a barter economy so products like butter and skins are fine as payments for beer.


      1. Written right they can be more than a holiday list. Your and Richard’s Malta series shows that to be true.


      2. Yes, but I guess those are blogs rather than campaigning devices for local pubs. A report from a blogger on tour might well be picked up by the local branch. That’s why I copy them in on Twitter. Sometimes they’re too honest and quirky !


      3. I agree that “what we did on our holidays” articles are of very limited interest to the typical reader, unless they’re places that local people are genuinely likely to visit.

        In the 1980s, the late Rhys Jones did a series for “Opening Times” entitled “Eisteddfod Diaries” recounting his travels round obscure pubs in North Wales while visiting the Welsh National Eisteddfod. This became legendary for its stultifying boredom, although now might provide an interesting historical record.

        A common failing of local magazines is referring to pubs without stating where they are. The generally very good Leicester one I picked up last Autumn was guilty of this. Locals may well not know exactly where the Jolly Plover is in a town; outsiders won’t stand a chance.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That point about location is true, particularly when referring to the suburbs. Nottingham Drinker (which has a bit of a fixation on discounts) does provide some excellent maps of their many suburbs, warning the visitor which areas aren’t safe to enter.


      5. Martin,
        And of course Lichfield/Sutton/Tamworth’s Last Orders was best known, or notorious, for their ‘Cask and Keg’ cartoon featuring two young ‘ladies’ so different from the typical CAMRA member.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “(oh sorry, that’s Russ).”

    Everyone has to have a hobby. 🙂

    “Note Ullage unburnt yet”

    Love how the titles range from semi cheeky (Pints of View) to pedestrian (Maldon and Dengie Real Ale and Cider Pub Guide). 🙂

    But… Full Measure from L**ds? Si will have something to say about that!



      1. “I’ll send you a packet of them if you want, Russ. I’m nice like that.”

        Not to worry. Dave can pass his along from over here when he’s finished. 🙂


  3. Just caught up with this – thank you for your kind words. Just gearing up for the next issue which will martk my 30 years (30 years! Bloody hell!) as Editor

    Liked by 1 person

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