Last night on the Zoom call we were discussing the Halt to Ticking, and Simon nipped out to get another artisanal beer.

I thought it was this one;

but on buying one for Mrs RM just now (£1.49, Tesco) it appears that it’s 7.3%.

Better go and buy another one then” shouts Mrs RM from her (almost ready) shiny new living room.

Anyway, Simon comes back with a book that I’d have struggled to confirm the existence of, if asked.

Good job Baa Baa Toure has been keeping mine safe and in pristine condition, still in its delivery carton.

I reckon I got 2 weeks use out of the 2021 GBG, just enough to race through East Angular before the November Nightmare preceded Tier 3 Torture.

After a frantic 2 weeks of cross-checking, pinking and going “Gosh, is the Nutshell really back in then ?”, I haven’t opened the Beer Guide since pinking up those frantic London ticks from 4th November.

With the house move in December there was no time to add to my tally of 35 ticks GBG21 ticks before moving into the wastelands of Tier 3.

So, as I approach 2 months in South Yorkshire, I’ve had no need to even think about tackling the treasures that await in Barnsley (two !), Oxspring (where ?), and Brinsworth (how ?).

Perhaps I should start to think about them, but until we know if, never mind when, these gallant new entries are going to re-open it all seems a bit pointless.

As, sadly, does a GBG22.

28 thoughts on “WAIT, THERE WAS A GBG21 ?

      1. Mine of 2018 and 2019 were so little used that I didn’t buy 2020 and 2021.
        Very different from the 1970s and ’80s when they’d fallen apart by the time the next one came out.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. How could it possibly be adequately judged is the big question. Surveys might be tricky too. A 2022 special edition listing all the pubs that have survived and are open would suit me, and give a timely boost to the highlighter pen industry.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Some interesting debate on Discourse tonight. Be interested to hear John Clarke’s view. Some of the branches with decent numbers like Stockport might manage it, I suspect some of those with more stretched branches would struggle.


      1. Not sure that even in Stockport there are enough NBSS scores from 2020 to support a proper selection procedure.

        If the pubs have fully reopened by the Autumn of 2021 there will be a huge financial and publicity benefit from publishing a 2022 Guide. What I would suggest is simply to include all 2021 entries that are still eligible and top them up with the reserves from 2021. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than nothing.

        And, of course, in the normal course of events, any scores recorded now would go towards the 2023 selection 😮

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Decent idea.

        Agree, to NOT have a GBG out when pubs hopefully fully emerge from all this would be a great shame.

        I don’t buy the suggestion of a retrospective edition (greatest hits of the past etc). It’s the survivors that will need our promotion.


  1. I don’t see how GBG22 can be possible, without a significant delay to publication. It will be unknown, even for a while after reopening, how many pubs will survive without going bust. There will have been no branch visits to assess pubs for much of winter, indeed for those areas that have been long term residents of COVID League Division 3 for longer than that and I think Leicester ever since March (don’t think they ever exited the first lock up did they). That leaves a hell of a lot of work for CAMRA volunteers to squeeze into a short time – I am sure a lot goes on behind the scenes that we don’t see. The pertinent question for me is “will there be a GBG23?”.

    For your few South Yorks ticks, assuming you don’t intend to walk all the way, I recommend the magical mystery £8.80 SY Connect+ ticket.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Tom.

      The plan at present is to continue with a timetable to produce a GBG in October (as in 2020), recognising that depends on the ability of branches to actually visit pubs and the pubs actually opening in time.

      The GBG is important, not only as a campaigning tool (it highlights good real ale) but also for CAMRA finances. The fact it’s the 50th anniversary makes it even more disappointing if we were to have a fallow year.

      As you rightly say, it’ll be tight for branches to pay visits individually or in groups (if even possible) and there’s the risk that older branch members (most of us) won’t feel comfortable returning until the second jab etc etc.

      NB Leicester were allowed to re-open pubs in August, but with some restrictions, and not for long.


      1. That there is a plan is a positive at least – I suppose the practically of that plan will be revealed when Johnson’s speech is leaked on 21st February. To be honest, I have long thought that the release is a little early in the year – with a normal September release about 30% of the Guides validity is in the previous year to that stated, so moving to a December release to still accommodate the Saturnalia market would not necessarily be a bad thing. It would be a real shame though to see nothing published at all.

        I just want to go to the pub. I am fed up of looking in from the outside.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I suspect that those involved in the book trade would tell you that a September release is the best time to capture the Christmas market.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Good Pub Guide in recent years has been launched a week before the GBG and has often stolen much of its thunder with headline-grabbing press releases, such as “The smoking ban has transformed British pubs for the better”.


      1. Yes, brewed by Marstons in Bedford.
        We’re told that “Champion is an obvious name for this outstanding, premium and award-winning beer. With a rich, strong flavour and unique sweet and fruity character, Champion is a firm favourite in the McEwan’s range”


      2. HH,
        I remember third pint bottles of Fowlers Wee Heavy ( originally Fowler’s Twelve Guinea Ale ) on a 1977 holiday in Scotland, and brought one home with me, but can’t find any reference to the beer around that time.


      3. Not that recall anything to say so on the labelling, but believe it’s brewed in the formerly Charles Wells Eagle Brewery (if still called that since acquired by Marston’s) in Bedford.


      4. HH,
        Yes, it was a Scottish and Newcastle beer in 1977 so it would be Marstons brewed at Bedford now but oddly I’ve not found references to the between the 1950s and quite recently.


  2. ““Better go and buy another one then” shouts Mrs RM from her (almost ready) shiny new living room.”


    Sigh, after reading the rest I will deviate from my copy/paste/respond affectation.

    Martin, it does indeed suck. As the kids might say, it even suxxors mate. 😦

    But, this is merely a pause (a bloody awful one indeed!). Things will get better. Somewhat like you, we are getting rather annoyed, to say the least! We saw our grandson back in early August, and nothing since. We missed Christmas; we’ll miss his 2nd birthday on Valentine’s day. Our eldest (his dad) moved into a brand new house this past weekend, complete with a bedroom and full bathroom in the basement (as he requested from the contractor) for my darling wife and I to stay in whenever we visit from now on and… we can’t do that right now!

    Take comfort in the Zoom calls (they look great by the way; soooo jealous!). And they fact you have a new area to discover.

    Take it one day at a time. If you lapse into having canned beer in your underpants at home, we’ll forgive you. 😉

    Keep blogging. It keeps some of us sane that you do. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. ““We are getting rather annoyed” would make a great blog title.”

        I have idly thought about it at times. But… I prefer responding to those who can jot down things more eloquently than I. 😉
        (I was the same writing ‘death’ poems for hardcore folks in Diablo 2. They’d write and I could piece it together in a eulogy.

        “And cheers. Keep commenting. It keeps several of us sane.”

        Cheers back! I shall endeavour to be my usual self when commenting. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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