I’d been waiting for BRAPA to do his April Review before I staked my own claim for the lucrative monthly reminiscence market.
But Simon has been distracted by cowboys and aliens, which you’ll remember was an underrated track on George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice album.
April was the first month since December where I even had a pub to report on, but with mandatory substantial meals (remember them) they were a bit rubbish, and it was six months ago I last had the joy of an actual new tick.
It all started on The Glorious 12th, with me transporting your hero (Si or Mrs RM, as you wish) to hip new craft bar RLND (ReaLaleNoDemand) in rural Rotherham.
That was our first experience of John Smiths Smooth, but within 2 weeks we’d ALL grown to love it.
By the end of the month I’d managed thirty-six (36) pub visits, 35 of them different, and managed 13 GBG ticks.
At that rate I’ll be nowhere near completing the Guide by October, but I guess the next GBG won’t exactly be packed full of new entries anyway !
New Pub of the Month – Shakespeare, Barnsley
Beer of the Month – Unicorn, Arden Arms, Stockport. It was what real ale is all about.
The food at the Arden was great too, though perhaps even better at the Three Horseshoes in Clay Cross;
You may have read reports on how cask is booming as young people return to pub wine gardens in their droves.
Part of that is true; outside match days and holidays I’ve rarely seen pubs as busy as in Sheffield and Manchester these last 3 weeks, with brides interrupting their wedding to drink flat Bass in trendy Kelham venues.
But I didn’t see that much cask delivered to tables, and I went to more pubs than the bloke who just went to the specialist beer houses. Several pubs had one beer on, which is plenty, often more than enough.
It’s quite hard to “Choose cask” when you can’t see the pumps and the staff just ask “What can I get you ?” or don’t know what real ale or beer is.
Don’t get me wrong; pubs have done a wonderful job in impossible conditions and I applaud them all.
But it’ll be good to get back inside after 17 May (unless that scouse rave derails the Road Map), even with table service for a while longer.
But sadly Baa Baa will have to stay home when we tick one off the bucket list by walking part of Hadrian’s Wall (west to east). No cuddly sheep should EVER be subjected to a Monday night in Carlisle.