The new Good Beer Guide landed on top of Mrs RM’s tax bill this morning, ending a fortnight of torment for one of us.

Regular reader and top #PubMan Quosh posed the key question.

About 12 hours, I reckoned. That’s what I’m doing at the moment (in between visiting exciting Fenland towns).

First up. here’s a reminder of the vast GBG spreadsheet (Sheet 1), showing in green the counties I’d finished.


That’s the result of a year’s toil using a very beleaguered looking GBG18.


New GBG and marker in hand, the first step is to open the spreadsheet of all past GBG pubs visited (10,676 of them).


Then I mark the pubs in the new Guide that I’ve been to in my neatest pink marker pen. Pink marker pen, note.  Green is the colour of Yeovil.

GBG19 starts with a cracker…

So you can see I’ve done a few in Bedfordshire, but that Bear is a new (and hugely unlikely) new entry.

Having done the pinking for Beds, I mark up the county map with the ones I still need to do.


Four newbies in fifty entries is about par for Beds, though the lack of micros is vaguely interesting.  At some point I’ll check that local CAMRA haven’t moved places to new geographical headings, but that’s mainly a Milton Keynes and Halifax affliction.

Finally I’ll update my big spreadsheet;


Exciting, huh ?  Only another seventy-one chapters to go.



    1. I don’t think there was, but there was a hardbacked brown cover to slip it in to. However, that was rendered obsolute by its ever-growing size. I’ve probably still got one tucked away somewhere.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, there was a GBG cover that was discontinued because the spine wasn’t elasticated.
        Rather than “for a few years” there was a hard back edition only for the 25th Good Beer Guide, the 1998 edition.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I get not keeping a shelf of ever expanding numbers of book of pubs from years gone by, might seem the way to go, but one of the things I miss having been an app user, till they ruined it, is Ive got no record of those pubs that have been in the GBG for the past 10 years now.

        And the thing I notice most especially with pub closures that ultimately do have an impact on GBG selections, yes even GBG pubs do close, is how quickly that collective memory of a pub vanishes from peoples recollections, to the point you can be discussing a pub with friends and yet it feels like the place has been totally erased from time, whereas with an old GBG to reference you can validate it was there, so I have always kept my copies, still waiting for my 2019 edition to turn up though.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Actually there have been (at least) three hardbacked editions of the Good Beer Guide. 1998, the silver edition which assumedly sold well; 1999, the following edition which assumedly did not sell as well; then 2008, the 35th edition which also perhaps did not sell as well as hoped. I thought these hardbacked editions were excellent, and far superior to the softbacked versions. I wonder if CAMRA HQ will produce a hardbacked version of the 2023 guide which will be the 50th edition.


      4. With so many drinkers using things like WhatPub instead sales of the Good Beer Guide are declining and now only seven are sold for every ten CAMRA members.
        A couple of years ago I heard, from a reliable source, that the GBG would be about “for a few years” and so there’s no certainty that we’ll see a fiftieth edition for 2023, and I wouldn’t expect to see another hardback edition.


  1. Are you the Michael Portillo of beer tickers ?
    Do you manfully stride everywhere clutching your GBG rather like he does his Bradshaw’s train guide ?
    Do you,in fact,wear canary yellow trousers and a pink jacket on your travels.
    I think we should be told.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Presumably you also have a database of all non-GBG pubs you’ve been in, so they will count as a tick if they appear as new entries. That Bear must be one you have possibly visited in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t keep a list of non-GBG pubs, there’s only a dozen or so (like Levenshulme Blue Bell) and I rely on memory to add those at this time of year. You’re spot on, I could have been in that Bedford Bear but it’s the most unprepossessing of town pubs, and I’m delighted to see it’s taken the place of the Brewhouse & Kitchen !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Incidentally, that couple who were blogging about all the pubs in Bedford seem to have given up the ghost. Mind you, from what I hear it is rather like doing an architectural blog of Slough.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I went to Bedford two or three years when it was covered by London Midland’s ‘Great Escape’ ticket.
        I am NOT suggesting Bedford for a Proper Day Out – but there are probably worse towns in Britain for beer.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yes, Bedford is a hard sell, Paul, as a town and Proper Pub crawl. Mostly refurbished Greene King and Wells houses, only the Wellington to tempt me (possible Bass) and that’s a bit “Ale House” style for me. I suggest Uttoxeter with its four Bass pumps !


      4. “Uttoxeter with its four Bass pumps” – yes, and those four are just in the one pub, the pub with Vaults on one side of the beermat and the red Bass triangle on the other side.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “Exciting, huh ? Only another seventy-one chapters to go.”

    Mrs RM’s tax bill is starting to look more exciting. (j/k) 🙂

    I can why you’re annoyed at the delay. Getting everything prepped is almost the work of Job.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting view from the young…as son arrived for the weekend he saw the new GBG and proceeded to tell me it’s doomed. Dad, there’s no point having a list of pubs compiled at the end of 2017 being released in September 2018. It’s out of date in the online world. And then he mumbled some techie stuff and I switched off.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your son is right of course, and given the lengthy lead times between surveying, selection and publication, it’s the real world where the guide is out of date, as well as the digital one!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, much of life moves in an annual cycle, so it’s in the nature of things that CAMRA branches sit down once a year and ponder which pubs in their area have the best beer. Maybe you could also have a “transfer window” just after Christmas where branches can do promotions and relegations.


    1. New GBG gets delivered.

      Mrs. RM looks at RM sitting in corner with treasured copy from previous year and exclaims “Thank Goodness, time to get rid of that tatty, useless, old thing”. Martin throws out old guide in perpetual anxiety and hope…..

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Very interesting behind the scenes look at the technicalities of pub ticking Martin – fascinating stuff….

    If I buy a GBG 2019 at least it will only take me two minutes to transfer my half a dozen Hampshire ticks from GBG 18 – if they’re still in….(I know… I didn’t quite finish it).

    On the other hand I’ve already pre-emptively visited the new GBG19 micropub entries so I’ll have plenty of time to visit all those dining pubs…😬

    Very worried about the damage to your GBG18….😮. Hope you came out of it in better shape…🙂
    I noticed the comments on hard back GBGs, but shocking evidence that Kevlar could be the answer here….


  6. Does anyone actually have a complete spreadsheet of all GBG pubs ever ?
    In the absence of the GBG, I decided to start with my tatty 1974 edition and work forwards. But it feels like re-inventing the wheel, and I seem to have a page missing from 1975.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is that an in-joke? I have a 1975 guide here, and am pretty sure there has been one every year since 1974. There was also a 1972 guide I’ve only seen as a PDF download from the (old) CAMRA website which looked like a set of 18 typed pages that had been in a ring binder.


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