Grief, I nearly forgot to jump on the bandwagon by doing a new Good Beer Guide post on official launch day, the nation’s second favourite after my birthday Ed Balls Day.

First things first.  Thanks to all the CAMRA volunteers who recommend and score pubs.  They do a fantastic job.  Ignore the naysayers who tell you otherwise.

Of course, us Prestige members, the ones who keep CAMRA’s noble cause (whatever it is this year) going, have been ticking new pubs for 12 days now.

And even before the book landed on doorsteps in York and Carluke, we had enough licensees declaring their entries to enable me to produce an embryonic Guide.

Forza Fortrose

Duncan and Simon were up at 5am finishing their posts, both of them definitive if that’s possible.  Read them now.



It would be lovely to see some new young blood in the ticking game, you know.  It’s a great way to meet new “friends” and lose all your savings and self-respect.

The initiation ceremony at Maidenhead Conservative Club isn’t so bad, bar the green pen, and I’ll let you nip in the Honeypot for a pre-emptive tick.  Or some sort of tick, anyway.

Just missed out this year

To be honest I’m still a week away from the scholarly analysis of the Guide, having been stuck at a music festival listening to angry Scots in a Dorset field, Duncan sending me random page extracts to taunt me with new pubs I couldn’t reach.

The big news is there’s a new trip to Maidenhead. For the Maiden’s Head.  Bet you can’t wait.

That’s one of 832 pubs I’d need to visit to complete the whole Guide this year and join Pubmeister and the lady who’s done all Spoons among the ticking legends.

I won’t manage 832, but I might make 605 this year, which would get me to 95%.

This was the first of those 605.

Good beer here from Shefford

Ten points for identifying this hotbed of socialism.

I’m feeling #BeerPositive, 12 days in, 12 pubs up, and only 1 pint below NBSS 3. But at least I got this T-shirt as well as that below par pint.


I’ll be easy to spot in Buckinghamshire this year.

34 thoughts on “HAPPY NEW GOOD BEER GUIDE 2020 DAY !

  1. The Red Lion in Kirby-le-Soken (Essex) is back in for the first time since the 2017 Guide. If you missed it then, you get until the 18th to visit it with the current tenants in charge – we might have to pull it after that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I still owe you a pint for alerting me to that omission, Ed😉

        There were hardly any new entries for me this year in Essex. Maldon, Colchester and Leigh. Thought the Harwich Spoons might make it.


    1. I’ve just had a call from the Ship (also in Kirby) to confirm tonight’s branch meeting. They tell me that he hears the Red Lion is closing on 16th with new people in on 18th, giving those who’ve not been there before even less time to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. P P-T,
        And here’s hoping that all that proper cider in Bristol doesn’t worsen your gout – or you’ll really tell us what you think.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. 832 is achievable! Will make the helicopter available on request (need 24 hours notice). Fear your call for new blood in the ticking game may fall on deaf ears. Some Groundhoppers have come through the youth policy though so maybe they can multi-task.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed.
        It’s not for any of us to judge anyone else.
        And could anyone on here claim not to have been guilty of a personal misdemeanour or two ?


    1. I guess so, Mark, but it’s very similar to previous years. About 400 new or revitalised pubs to do, a few making a comeback after decades out, and some of last year’s targets dropping out.

      I’ll do a post summarising the changes, but really you can’t beat Duncan’s take today.

      The most exciting news is two new pubs on Holy Island (Lindisfarne). Have you heard of that place?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Look forward to the detailed analysis. Somehow, despite going from complete to needing 12 in West Yorkshire, I have only lost 29 pubs, 1357 down to 1328. I think I was helped by going in every micro I came across, my trip to Holy Island at Easter, and Glasgow adding in every spoons in a 50 mile radius. They also moved the White Cart, as I am sure you noticed. Southport seems to be swallowing up its neighbours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s impressive/lucky. Some places have more change than others, but West Yorkshire looks quite “busy” to me!

      The White Cart had moved to/from Busby last year and I missed it on my cross ticking last year 😕


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