I’m looking forward to Pubmeister’s review of the new Good Beer Guide. I understand there’s a pub that only open lunchtimes or something. Can’t wait.

My “tick”, the Rock Mill in New Mills only opens two evenings a week. On Mondays and Tuesdays.

I’m OK, I live a 45 minutes train journey, don’t work, and it was a Tuesday. But won’t someone think about the children BRAPA ?

Even if he leaves work at 16:00 the Rock Mill will probably be closed when he gets there. Ha ha ha.

I’d spent the whole of Tuesday afternoon counting down to opening at 17:00. I’d send the brewer e-mails, texts and messages by pigeon that were shot down somewhere near Castleton. “Yes ! We’re open !” came back the text.

Dusk fell on New Mills, which went from this,

to this;

We nearly moved here last year instead of Sheffield, swayed only by the time it would have taken to get home to my parents.

Now, it looked magical. Even the little brewery tap tucked away off the High Street which clearly opens when the brewer finishes brewing.

The tap reminds me a bit of St Helens (in)famous Connoisseur Ales Tap, which opened one Saturday a month as long as it didn’t, and infuriated GBG tickers and folk who couldn’t spell Conniseur alike.

Rock Mill makes Connoisseur seem like Brunning & Price, and I loved it for that.

Four chairs, two pumps, one genial brewer who may be the friendliest new entry in the Guide.

The Blackberry Stout was superb, I got a potted history of the brewery and the beer brewed from the Isle of Man races I took back to Mrs RM, and I wish that there were more places like this in the Guide.

Though if I’m honest, Mrs RM and James preferred the Swizzels, fresh from their New Mills factory.

Breweries are fine, but the smell of Parma Violets from the Swizzels factory is to die for.


  1. Sounds very nice, but anyone under the impression that the GBG was a pub guide (which is how it’s usually promoted) would feel distinctly short-changed. Virtually nobody would visit this place on a normal pubgoing occasion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t think you’ll get much argument with that. This is a working brewery that opens up a spare room to share a few drinks with half a dozen regulars early in the week and doesn’t promote itself as a pub, no different from you making some home brew and inviting me, Will and Cookie round. Say, there’s an idea…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, but just think, you could sit alongside her as she delivers to the 3500 micropubs in next year’s guide; ensuring you get let into every one, whether or not it follows the advertised opening hours.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m with Mudgie on this one. We all realise the GBG is a good beer, rather than a good pub guide, but the addition of an outlet with such restricted opening hours is a disservice to guide users – even non-working ones, who are fortunate to live within easy access!

        The inclusion of this “man in a shed,” hobby publican, is also a slap in the face to the many hard-working licensees, who keep and serve cask ale in first class condition, and welcome customers through their doors, seven days a week. Many will be left wondering, where they might have gone wrong.

        However good the beer might be, this is more of a niche entry, than anything else, and one not likely to endear the Guide, or CAMRA, to the licensed trade in general.

        ps. I remember visiting New Mills, along with Marple, when I lived in Romiley, back in the late 70’s. A nice part of the country.


    1. The Goat in the Garden, at the back of a posh Farnborough hotel, is apparently open BY INVITATION to CAMRA members if they text a request to visit at a specific time.
      ****, as they say, ***


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