Everybody’s doing the Isle of Man these days; it’s the new Bermondsey Beer Mile. Except it’s for PubMen and Women, not beery folk.

BRAPA did the 27 pint GBG set in February (and survived), Pubmeister has just summed up his record-breaking achievements (completed a whole GBG there), and of course Kirsty is there now, looking for a bit of Douglas that is forever Runcorn;

Duncan and fellow (nearly) GBG completist and all-round goodfellow Martin (aka Maltmeister) had kindly offered to let me hitch a ride on their trip round the island.

Duncan had just a handful of targets, Martin (2) had a frankly scary number to tick, some from Beer Guides from before the abolition of birching onward.  Assuming they hadn’t been reclaimed by the sea.  Oh, sorry, that’s Norfolk.

Sadly, the Ben-my-Chree ferry had neither WiFi or pre-emptive micropub, so we spent 3 hours discussing ticking tactics county cricket. Pub tickers often have weird perversions.


Man, like Wight, or Guernsey, or Louth, is one of those places that tickers love and loathe in equal measure.

It takes a day to get there, costs a week’s beer budget, and you can bank on there being a new pub or two every year. On the other hand, it’s a really great place.

This was only my fourth trip in two decades of ticking (one of them the Icelandic ash cloud affected CAMRA AGM), so I reckoned I’d done quite well to have just four pubs on my list.

I knew there’d be a lot of this;

Proper beer, Proper glass

We started, inauspiciously, with two estate pubs from Martin (2)’s list, shown here on this lovely aerial view.  The cloud is a tax dodge device.


Some very dull exteriors, two pubs surrounded by identical shops, two modernish dining pubs of the type Holts do well/badly in Cheadle Hulme.

The Horse & Plough, notionally on the Business Park, was heaving with family diners, which rather limited my snapping.


The Two Martins, a possible future comedy duo for Hen Nights (keep reading), necked halves of the Bitter, which was cool and tasty (NBSS 3).

In and out in 3 minutes, appropriately, while Duncan was conducting a long telephone conversation about cricket, or possibly crickets.

Due to duff directions we took more than the estimated 7 minutes to get to the Cat, so if there really were only Seven Minutes to Midnight we’d have missed our last pint. Which could have been an exciting “Guest Beer” !!!

You again

My notes say;

Okells better. NBSS 3.5. More pubby. Pool.”

And then,

craig. One. Minute. Bulgarian.

What can it all mean ?

And I reckon this bit of art is from the 1976 League Cup Final, Dennis Tueart and all that.


But it could equally be Union Mills (A) v Laxey Reserves.

Talking of Laxey…

30 thoughts on “2 MARTINS, 1 DUNCAN, TOO MANY OKELLS

  1. “The Two Martins, a possible future comedy duo”

    I hear there’s a couple of Ronnies that can give you a few tips. Either that or you could change RM so it means Rowan and Martin. 🙂

    “necked halves of the Bitter, … In and out in 3 minutes,”

    I hope you didn’t ‘neck’ that fast whilst dating!

    “Due to duff directions we took more than the estimated 7 minutes to get to the Cat, ”

    There’s only four roads in total isn’t there? 😉

    “Talking of Laxey…”

    I’m guessing you don’t mean that you had dodgy takeaway that bunged you up? 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I spend longer thinking about your comments than I do actually writing this stuff”


        Thanks for that Martin, made my day. 😁

        Just got back from accompanying my wife for medical testing as a follow up to her surgeries back in March. Now keeping her company while she naps. When she wakes up she’ll be chuffed to hear someone else thinks my thoughts takes weird side trips. 😋


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wondered how you were going to group that weekend’s haul. Like the comment about Martin’s pre-birch Guide hunting. To be fair the Cat wasn’t in the Guide – and hasn’t been for a while – so three minutes seemed about right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, 3 minutes is fine for a half, you need a lot longer than 6 minutes for a pint. There’s not a lot of action or banter in the dining pubs either.

      With so many H&B (Okells) pubs of similar consistent standard the Cat is a good measure of underlying quality on Man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “In and out in 3 minutes” and thankfully you were across the sea from the carriers of coloured goldfish bowls !.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Okells isn’t a drink for sippers, but I’d happily have it as a session beer (whatever that means) if on pints. Particularly good in the sunset at the Terminus and Queen’s in Douglas.


      1. Okell’s is mandatory in Market Town Taverns pubs/bars (they bought MTT out a few years ago). All you have to do is just stand at the bar and watch it fly out – Not! Okell’s are just the Wolverhampton and Dudley of the IOM – Dominating by Monopolising.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sadly Brass castle and Bad Seed struggle to get their beers OTB in their home town, such is the stranglehold of the big players and the shallow outlook of the native and visiting drinkers who prefer bland, unchallenging beers that they have heard of before.


      3. I can’t claim Okells Bitter is exciting, I’d put with Lees as a very good session beer when served cool. Rather that than Carling. Some folk eat fish & chips rather than Salt & Pepper Chicken, different isn’t wrong.


      4. Exactly, a bit like Lees Manc Pale Ale is their standout session beer. There’s no way the Okell’s beers will succeed across the sea though, not distinctive enough (though they were well kept in their two pubs in Liverpool (still in the Beer Guide)).

        Liked by 1 person

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