Yes, there’s going to be a slimline Good Beer Guide 2022. We’ll (we are all CAMRA) use “best endeavours” to identify 3,600 pubs that are actually open and serving cask, and use a late October launch to promote pubs and real ale, and bring a bit of cash into CAMRA coffers.
It’s all kicking off on Discourse (“What a mess !”) and Twitter (“Basically going to be GBG21 with some minor amendments and some extra micros to replace the proper pubs that won’t reopen. I can’t wait“) and the Society of Guide Tickers Forum (pictured below) on t’Dark Web (“What the hell is wrong with Livingston’s pitch ?” *).
Friendships made over decades have been ended, 50th anniversary bottles of Doom Bar smashed in anger, questions (no doubt) will be asked in Parliament.
I applaud the decision to publish a Beer Guide with 20% less entries in late October.
It would be nice to feel I can get some more use out of the current Guide first of course. If pubs DO open in, say, May (2021 for the avoidance of doubt), I’d get five months worth of ticking done.
I started GBG21 with 713 ticks needed to complete the Guide and join Pubmeister as a true completist (as opposed to someone who picks the 1987 Guide to tick and waits till all the pubs in it close).
But I’d only knocked 35 off those 713 off by the time Lockdown 2 put a stop to the fun; I can’t really see me doing 678 pubs in 5 months, particularly if the Manxmen won’t let me travel there to do their quintet.
Selfishly, a reduced GBG22 would make it easier to tick the Guide. Though only marginally; actually most of my travels are likely to be into the wilds of northern Scotland and deepest Devon. And to Herm.
The argument against reducing the Guide by 20% (“But, but, ALL our pubs are going to re-open, AND we’ve got a dozen brand new micro/bottle shops/gin bars to include“) seems rather at odds with the earlier messages of doom and despondency, often from the same correspondents.
If, on the other hand, there’s a shortfall of entries to make up the Guide numbers, I’m sure there’ll be a few niche “clubs” to take up the slack.
*Nearly all pub tickers are also groundhoppers.