This next one was marvellous, but frankly you’re going to need to look at the pub porn and imagine it, so poor was my note-taking.

I don’t normally stick a place straight into my coveted Top 100 on one visit but sometimes rules need to be broken (there are no rules).

Eagle-eyed readers, which narrows it down, will note that the New Inn is listed under Aberchirder in the Guide, but that’s a bit like saying Stockport is in Greater Manchester.


aber age
Males outnumbered in Foggieloan

The good folk wish to be identified as Foggieloan-ers and I always aim to please.

It’s the Newcastleton of the North, a planned village with grid pattern and handsome main square set off the, er, frantic A97.

Village cleared ahead of shooting of 28 Months Later

The New Inn could be a Tim Taylors in a West Riding village, couldn’t it ?


I thought the pub was deserted too, till the nice lady appeared.

Don’t mind me, I’m just nosey” I said, noseying around. Works every time and they never call the police.


One of the few non-Spoons to offer more than a single beer on my Aberdeenshire wanders.

All your favourites

Irresistible handpumps, I cooed, silently.

I got to ring the bell

The nice lady told me the family were at a wedding in Ireland, and the pub livened up early evening. Familiar story.

Which made the ubiquitous but brilliant Windswept Wolf better than a quiet pub with four pumps ought to be. Cool, rich, silky NBSS 4. Yes, 4. Kill the fattened cow.

I took it for a tour of the pub, even challenging it to a game of darts.

Not sure about positioning of dartboard, tbh

But it was more interested in reading what the GBG had to say about it (“roasted malty brew with chocolate and vanilla coffee background“).

2008 a great year for GBG completists
Horse brass porn

I settled on the William Younger’s room as my favourite, and frankly could have spent all afternoon there if Mrs RM wasn’t calling me about curry or something.

Cushions escaped.

A remarkably eclectic soundtrack fitted the mood perfectly. The second airing of Nick Drake’s Pink Moon in 4 days.

What is it with Scotland and melancholy. It’d be Drake and Pink in a similarly rustic Buckinghamshire gastro.


The campaign to get it listed under “Foggieloan” in 2021 (and probably Bridge of Marnoch in 2022) starts here.

41 thoughts on “TOP 100 – THE NEW INN, FOGGIELOAN

  1. “will note that the New Inn is listed under Aberchirder in the Guide,”

    I knew by the names on the OS map that you were in Scotland*. 😉

    * – But then, if I’d been able to keep up I would’ve known that from previous posts (blush).

    “Males outnumbered in Foggieloan”

    I take it the only place that would have persons who are not of the same religion, nor ethnic category, nor same country of birth would be… the prison?

    “Village cleared ahead of shooting of 28 Months Later”

    Silly of them not to board up the windows first.


    With real fries! Are there any other kind?

    “Works every time and they never call the police.”

    Hah! Just try that in an OBGYN office, I dare ya.

    “All your favourites”

    You mean the GK IPA, obvs.

    “I got to ring the bell”

    Doesn’t that mean you buy a round?

    “even challenging it to a game of darts.”

    Did it cost you 15 quid to play?
    (just came from Duncan’s blog)

    “Not sure about positioning of dartboard, tbh”

    Not many other places they could put it from the looks of things.

    “It’d be Drake and Pink in a similarly rustic Buckinghamshire gastro.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “The campaign to get it listed under “Foggieloan” in 2021 (and probably Bridge of Marnoch in 2022) starts here.”

    I can’t think that far ahead right now. (sigh)



  2. “The New Inn could be a Tim Taylors in a West Riding village, couldn’t it ?”
    Yes, especially with the pub sign in 1959 green just like we would have noticed at the Slubbers Arms had we entered by the proper door – but Huddersfield is now a VERY big village, and the Slubbers is now a free house,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Americans will be complaining about the lack of a small-scale map – even I had to consult the atlas for that one 😮


    1. It’s about time the Americans did some work!

      Half the appeal of these trips is piecing the UK together in your mind, not an area I know at all.

      I look forward to meeting a native of Aberchirder in a brewery tap in Berkshire one day and saying “Oh, you mean Foggieloan”.


      1. It’s usually just abbreviated to Foggie.

        We need to arrange GBG pubs for you to visit in Finzean, Strachan and Milngavie just for your pronunciation attempts. At least they tend to be easier than some Welsh placenames.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That certainly seems to be the common feature. I suppose they don’t have many ‘enthusiasts’ to pander to so there’s no point in having a permanent mini beer festival.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. How about just dropping the GBG altogether? Controversial I know, but it’s way past its sell by date and with CAMRA branches applying different, and often conflicting selection criteria, it’s becoming more and more of a lottery.

    Your findings and report, from your extensive travels, surely support this conclusion Martin; although they do make for an entertaining and enjoyable read. 😀


    1. Paul,
      Sales of the GBG have fallen as similar information is easily available free online but it will continue to be published while it makes a profit irrespective of whether “it’s becoming more and more of a lottery”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Stafford Paul, whilst I agree that the Guide is an important “cash cow” for CAMRA, there is no getting away from the fact that a substantial number of entries are based on the number of different beers stocked, rather than their actual quality.

        Internal branch politics also play much more of a role in the selection of GBG entries than many of its buyers might think, and whilst this is perhaps inevitable, given the voluntary nature of CAMRA, it doesn’t make for a truly objective guide.

        I won’t go into detail, but I have personally witnessed some very dubious decisions being made at GBG selection meetings. This has been a major factor in my giving up on the whole selection process, and indeed the Guide itself.

        I could go on and write a whole blog post on the GBG’s failings, but I will spare you that, particularly as Martin won’t thank me for appearing to hijack his post, and going rather “off piste!”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would love you to hijack my post and expand 😉

        To be fair to you, it’s much easier for a wanderer like me to name the pubs concerned than it is for you.

        On the third hand, a quick look at my massive spreadsheet shows 393 Kent GBG pubs visited over 25 years, only 26 below my NBSS 3 benchmark, which isn’t bad. Two of those 26 were in Kemsing!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Actually my findings tend to support the view that the GBG gets it right 95% of the time, and I reckon fellow tickers like Simon and Duncan would agree.

      The issue is that the Guide chooses the 30/50/100 best places with the best cask in the branch, not the country.

      So there’ll be dozens of pubs that aren’t in the Guide in Manchester or Kent that you and I would score higher than GBG pubs in Fife or Lincolnshire or Jersey.

      But the GBG would be a much duller book without that geographical spread!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Martin, I won’t repeat what I have already written in reply to Stafford Paul, but I do want to build on what you say about pubs not making the Guide in areas already blessed with a surfeit of potential entries.

        The main issue here, as well as in those parts of the country where CAMRA members are thin on the ground, is that of not getting sufficient feedback; particularly in relation to beer quality. Encouraging members to post beers scores, by means of WhatPub, has undoubtedly helped make the selection process easier and more objective in recent years, but there are still dozens of pubs, in many branch areas, that never get a look in, due to them being under CAMRA’s radar.

        I agree wholeheartedly with your last statement about geographical spread, but that doesn’t detract from the fact the Guide seems to have lost its way in recent years. Perhaps a major overhaul would help, rather than my original, and rather more dramatic suggestion of culling the publication altogether, but this is unlikely to happen, especially as CAMRA itself is rather rudderless at the moment.

        My main recommendation, which I’m sure many Guide users would support, would be to remove the totally superfluous Breweries Section at the rear of the book.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with everything you say, Paul. Perhaps we can have a more candid chat about beer quality when I get round to visiting Tonbridge.

        I’ve just remembered you get to visit North Norfolk pubs regularly. There’s an area with a lot of slow moving beer in and out of the Guide, similarly to Lincs.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “there are still dozens of pubs, in many branch areas, that never get a look in, due to them being under CAMRA’s radar” is the main issue, pubs that don’t get enough beer scores to be considered because they’re not visited by active members because they’ve only got one or two beers on, the beers are ‘boring’ not inspiring’ or they’re out in the country rather than the town centre. .

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I think the Life After Football blog, where he visits estate pubs in the east Midlands and gets often very good beer in pubs that are off the CAMRA radar highlights the problem.


      5. Yes indeed, as does me going to four pubs on a recent Sunday, pubs with eight, two, two and one beers on.
        I expect you can guess in which one I got the worst kept (hazy) beer and which one is in the GBG.

        Knowing the work the compilers put into it I’m not being too critical of the GBG but their efforts can be more towards ‘pubs I like’ rather than ‘pubs with the best kept beer’.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Quite the find on the furthest fringes of rural Aberdeenshire. It’s been Belhaven Best on keg in most of the places I’ve been to in the county, which admittedly I quickly developed a taste for, and that wasn’t even THAT far from “civilisation” (If Alford counts as civilisation).

    Liked by 1 person

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