There’s a number of ways to skin a Good Beer Guide (no, not a Stanley knife).

Some, like Duncan “The Pubmeister” get their chauffeur Parker Martin to leave the engine running while they nip across the A584 for a half of DIPA necked in 30 seconds before leaping into a moving car and speeding off to catch last orders in Fleetwood. This is called “winning”.

The other approach is to drink only pints, preferably of the strongest beer, at a leisurely pace over the day before falling headfirst into a ditch and losing your Guide. This is called “BRAPA”.

As with boxing, the two ticking codes have never been unified.

My own approach allows for a bit of cheating, as when I give a lift to another imbiber and drink their dregs for a tick. This is called the “unhygienic” method.

As I employed on Tuesday in the Sussex Downs with Hitchin John.


My last two West Sussex ticks were in the heart of the hills above Chichester, and the first was, excitingly, in a hamlet John had never heard of.


Oh, down there” he said, as I took on a lane only slightly less exciting than Tandle Hill to the Royal Oak. There is a bus from Chichester to the end of the lane, but you’ve probably missed it for the month.

Slightly spooky restaurant

Bet they ask if we want to eat” said John, presciently.

Actually, not. And if the Landlord was disappointed at our custom of half a Langham and a small lemonade. I hate ordering lemonade and having to answer questions about ice and lemon; do I look like an ice and lemon person?

Two is plenty

I was impressed by the charity boxes and fish tank, though the bar area was a bit cold compared to the gentlefolk’s dining room.

Full marks for a menu made up of readable words and prices.

Weird light probably my fault
John on the cover of his Explorer map

At the signal, John nipped outside for a fag and I finished his dregs. Flat and tasty, somewhere between NBSS 3 and 3.5 (with dregs adjustment).

“Do you sell much of the ale? ” I asked the Landlord.

Well, that really kickstarted a conversation about cask, CAMRA, craft and Bruce Masters.


Bruce who ?” you ask.

Bruce who’s been to 50,000 pubs, that’s who; the chap who picked his favourite 50 for an article in the Sun this year. I’d been to 46 of the 50. A good varied list, I thought.

To avoid upsetting Colleen “WAGatha” Rooney, here’s the article in the Scottish Sun.

The Landlord got the piece up on his tablet, and I patiently watched as he scrolled down the list.




Then he reached No.47.



  1. I’ve been to that one as well 😀

    It used to have a notoriously grumpy landlord who once saw me tie an empty crisp packet into a knot and said “I bet you used to make model aeroplanes when you were younger” (which I actually didn’t).

    He also overheard us discussing beer and demanded “Are you f***ing CAMRA, then?”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. A friend and I called in there back in 2009. We were walking the South Downs Way at the time, and stayed longer than we should have done – three pints at lunchtime does slow you down somewhat!

        The landlord was quite a colourful character, shall we say, but still offered us a warm welcome. That might have been because we’d arrived on foot.

        It’s worth noting that this particular pub was the first place I found serving draught Doom Bar. I’d seen the beer in bottles prior to that, but never in cask.

        Its quality was the reason for our three pint lunch, as it was that good. How times have changed?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Paul,
        Yes, “three pints at lunchtime does slow you down somewhat” but an early enough start will mean that doesn’t matter.
        Approaching the first pub as those lazy “lie ins” are finishing breakfast makes for a most worthwhile day.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This one was a delightful read start to finish, but I especially loved your description of the various ticking methods employed by you, Duncan, and Simon.

    I expect your description of how quickly Duncan visits a pub is at least a little exaggerated, but at the heart of it is his willingness to be done with a pub visit as quickly as possible when necessary. I wonder what’s the shortest “tick” he’s ever done. I’m going to guess 10 minutes between entering the place and leaving?


    1. Exaggerate ! Me !?

      Actually, Duncan, like me, has a “professional” mode (in and out in 10 as you guess) and a “leisure” mode (an hour or more). Simon was quite leisurely when I dropped in at an hours notice in York. Sometimes you might think we were almost human.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Once again Martin’s posts are riddled with inaccuracies. It was the A6 not the A584. Duration of stay all depends on time pressure but I am afraid the shortest stays have been a lot less than ten minutes. It’s an interesting examination of ticking methods for which Martin should seek external funding to research further. At least he isn’t taking the dregs from
      a stranger’s glass though I suspect he may still be getting a visit from Cambridge environmental health services!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But have you or Martin ever finished your pint or half before being given your change ?
        That’s what a proper short stay is.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The longest you’ve spent in one pub ?
        If you don’t count return visits then that must be one of a few dozen pubs where I’ve stayed the night.
        Other than that it’s probably on a “lock in” before all day opening in 1988, possibly the White Horse in Wem.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Taylorite noun. a modified form of Calvinism that maintains that every person has a free will, and that makes a distinction between depravity, as the tendency to commit sins, and sin, as a voluntary choice of evil actions.


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