I’m not one to look back, in anger or in joy, but according to that Patronised contract that Dave reminds me of I’m legally obliged to bring you an annual awards issue that won’t be as good as BRAPA’s.

And unlike Simon, who works full-time, I’m far too busy to go through all my year’s 895 posts and find the best photos. Unless Mr Johnson closes pubs tomorrow in which case I’ll have time on my hands.

I liked this one from Chiswick Acton though.

Ultimately the heroes of the year are all of us for keeping going in 2021, and I particularly want to thank the publicans and staff who battled on against changing rules and public disinterest to provide the best year for cask quality ever.

Place of the Year – London (2020 – Gloucester)

I loved my trips to the capital. Less frenetic, more beautiful than ever.

With less “city boys” to boost trade the risk was the owners would turn grumpy, in fact the exact reverse, with pubs having time to chat. And with fewer pumps the beer was better, too.

Sadly, no award for the Marble Arch Mound.

Walk of the Year – Hadrian’s Wall

Now, this is a proper mound, and the little walking holiday across the Wall that Mrs RM planned for the re-opening of pubs indoor showed what a wonderful country we live in…

Campervan Stop of the Year – Brill Windmill

…more proof of that in Buckinghamshire.

Beer of the YearRobinson’s Unicorn, as modelled by Matt at the top. Two trips to Stockport, and I swear the Robbies never tasted better. Thanks to Pub Curmudgeon, the inspiration for this blog, for organising that trip.

Pub of the YearThe Blind Monkey, Walkley, Sheffield

There were 652 different pub visits in the 8 odd months we had of 2021, though “only” 353 were new Beer Guide ticks, which shows how many old favourites I revisited. And so it’s entirely appropriate that my Pub of the Year is our new Sheffield local which has yet to make the Guide at all.

But I’ll jointly award the POTY to the Chantry in the mystical “east” Sheffield, which debuted in the 2022 Guide and was everything you want a pub to be. Pray that it survives Simon.

Oh look, there’s our next winner;

Pub Man of the Year – Will aka Sheffield Hatter (2020 – Curry Charles, 2019 – Joan Southworth)

Will welcomed me to Sheffield despite the threat of being plied Doom Bar, got me out and about when I felt like a day off, and helped me finally get together with Stafford Paul after far too long.

Blimey, should have had Stafford’s Railway as a third POTY. Perhaps when they get the Bass back.

Driver of the Year – Duncan Mackay

A flawless driver around the Ayrshire coast secured the title for Duncan, ahead of (checks) no-one.

Tweet of the Year – Matthew Lawrenson gets to the heart of ColmoreGuy/Gal-Gate.

Back seat driver of the year – Baa Baa Toure (2020 Duncan Mackay)

And so to the awards you’ve been waiting for…

Albums of the Year

  1. Anna B Savage – A Common Turn
  2. Lorde – Solar Power
  3. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
  4. Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
  5. Lucy Dacus – Home Video

No. 1 contains the song that made me weep uncontrollably as live music returned in late summer.

(2020 – Maria McKee – “La Vita Nuova“, 2019 – Julia Jacklin – “Crushing“, 2018 Tracey Thorn – Record)

Singles of the Year

1) Matilda Mann – Doomsday. “I’ve stole us a car…”

2) Dry Cleaning – Scratchcard Lanyard

3) Wet Leg – Chaise Lounge

I recommend that BRAPA dresses like Wet Leg when he goes to the Colmore again.

4) The Weather Station – Tried To Tell You

Now I’m feeling all sentimental I can only finish the review by thanking Mrs RM for putting up with me. Here she is in Ancoats, reminiscing with me about Beer Guide ticks in Stranraer.

Thanks to her, and thanks to you all for reading.


  1. I think this is the first time I haven’t had to add a band to my Spotifiy list since it was already there. Your choices must be getting less arcane. I hope you don’t go all mainstream on us.


  2. “Pub Man of the Year – Will aka Sheffield Hatter – and helped me finally get together with Stafford Paul after far too long”.
    And many thanks to you both for providing the Highlight of my Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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