OCTOBER ’21 STOCKTAKE + NOVEMBER PREVIEW

Welcome to November, and a reminder of the only date you need remember from now on. 22 December. I’ll be planning my birthday shortly; all I can hope is it’s more like this one and less like last year’s disappointment.

Not much chance of a birthday abroad while it’s so much fuss with tests and stuff, and October saw another constrained month of travel. Not even Wales or Scotland, let alone Devon.

My faithful Aygo passed 200,000 trouble free miles. 30,000 miles a year, even with the intervention of Lockdown.

Quite where I found the time to write ninety-one (91) posts I’ll never know. And I’m still a fortnight behind on blogging.

HIGHLIGHTS

A really great month in many ways, which felt back to normal apart from the postponement of the new Beer Guide. Football, gigs, Chinese takeaways, Mrs RM buying and then immediately returning items to IKEA….

I also joined TikTok, ostensibly to feed my worrying obsession with Matilda Mann, whose little demo is stuck in my brain.

You’ll probably have to join TikTok to play it, and they you’re part of the problem.

Mudgie got the gang back and our Proper Pub Day Out in Stockport was a triumph. I hadn’t visited classics like the Swan With Two Necks and the Sun & Castle (below) for six years. They may have been a tad quieter, but the joy I’ve felt in pubs since re-opening was more evident than ever.

And the beer was superb, as it has been throughout much of the autumn. Loads of 3.5s and 4s in my scores, none of which I’ve added to What Pub yet.

More important than the beer is the welcome, and once again London delighted with its cheery barfolk and blue skies imported from Manchester for my delight. They’d even opened a new tube line so I could tick the bar at Battersea Power Station.

THE STATS

Eighty-two (82) different pubs visited, forty-eight (48) of them new GBG ticks. That’s pretty good, though I didn’t manage a GBG tick in the last 8 days of the month, which is like not getting a boundary in the last 8 overs of a T20.

My big spreadsheet issue attracted most blog views, so I’ll do another one when the dust settles on GBG21.

PUB OF THE MONTHBlind Monkey, Sheffield

Which is fortunate, as it’s my local, one minute’s walk from my front door. It was the only pub I went in more than once last month, and had a great time. Stick with the keg, though.

Stick with the cask at the wonderful Ingate in Beccles, and sleep it off in the little pink house.

BEER OF THE MONTHTanglefoot, Ship & Shovell, Charing Cross

It wasn’t actually the best beer, but it was the beer that worked best on a revisit to one of central London’s best boozers.

NOVEMBER PREVIEW

I’m typing this waiting for the GBG22 to “land” (ugh), so I can see what damage there is to the spreadsheet. I bet CAMRA have sent it to Waterbeach. CAMRA HQ should really relocate to Sheffield so I can pick up my privileged copy first next year.

Assuming the Guide arrives, I’ll target 60 new pubs in November, hopefully getting the campervan out for a few trips to anywhere in the UK that isn’t underwater.

But before that, there’s a mini crawl in Macclesfield on Friday. See here if you want to join us for Bass and bollards.

13 thoughts on “OCTOBER ’21 STOCKTAKE + NOVEMBER PREVIEW

  1. Followed the Macclesfield link to the ‘Grumpy Old Men’s Moaning Newsboard’ and saw this comment from you: “I’ll keep my views on Stockport CAMRA and Robbies to myself”

    Really. Perhaps we can discuss that one next time we meet. Be interested to see what they are….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest John it was a churlish comment prompted by the omission of any Robbie’s pub from the Macclesfield itinerary (from memory the Dolphin and George & Dragon are worth a stop) in favour of a Spoons. Given your folk know the pubs in Macc better than I do you may be making the better call. In any event, no offence intended, I’m just a bit defensive about Robbie’s beer having had so many good pints over the year !

      I was pleased to see that the Robbie’s pubs in Stockport remained on such good form, particularly the Swan and the Arden.

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      1. You wanna get on that codger forum, Clarky. This lot are always slagging off the CAMRA. I have a right job defending the beardy beer club from them. The forum could do with some CAMRA positivity. Get on it, tell how great CAMRA is.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It certainly was churlish given that we hold numerous meetings (committee, branch and beer festival) in Robinsons pubs – not that I should feel the need to explain this to an itinerant pub ticker. Trouble is your throwaway comment would have been grist to the mill for some of the denizens of the Grumpy Old Men;s Newsboard.

        And this does answer your gripe really – given that good quality Robinsons is both readily available and enjoyed locally, if we have a day out we are going to seek something else (unless there’s a particularly good heritage pub to be had).

        You will enjoy Macc and you will certainly enjoy the Jolly Sailor – I suspect it might be your pub of the day (but the Castle may run it close – the home-made pie is recommended). Even I enjoyed the Bass in the Jolly Sailor and it’s normally a beer I swerve. Oh, and if you are inclined to have a pop at the local CAMRA branch you’ll need to know the Jolly Sailor is their Pub of the Season for Autumn.

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      3. Mudgie made exactly the same comment about seeking something different when you visit Macc. Sadly there’s no Robbies round my way (without going into the Peaks) and I love their pubs.

        Can’t wait to make that first trip to the Castle in 6 years.

        Anyway, peace; the next pint of Doom Bar at Manchester (or Stocky) beer fest is on me.

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  2. I also enjoy spreadsheets. Your blog goes back to 2015, so is the Essex GBG 2021 entry that you’ve not visited a Tendring branch one that my spreadsheet says was back in the guide for the first time since the 2012 edition? Locally in the 2022 guide we have one pub back in that hasn’t been in since 2017 so you might have been there already (I can’t say which due to embargos and the like – the pub doesn’t know yet).

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    1. It’s actually the Mile & a Third in Leigh-on-Sea; I was headed down a couple of times but first they closed to see Bruce Dickinson in concert and then the murder of David Amess dissuaded me from visiting. I’ll go there soon.

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