Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes – The three (3) months late Good Beer Guide highlights post

I’ve had a few draft posts in my “draft” (or is it draught ?) folder on Word Press for a while. NOW is the time to share them with you. Pubmeister beat me by a mere 3 months.

And the theme for GBG 22 is;

1) Name changes

Loads of pubs like to keep tickers on their toes by “modernising” their names.

In ancient Glastonbury, the Hawthorns I did only 2 years ago is now the much trendier Queen of Cups. WHY ? It took me a month for someone to tell me they were one and the same, and NO-ONE wants to make an unnecessary trip to hippy-land.

In the Hawthorns I’d pondered on the apostrophe in Church End’s beer, which brings me to,

2) A change in the way we think of apostrophe’s

Ralph’s Wife’s has tormented us tickers since it’s appearance in the Guide tucked away between sophisticated Preston and ramshackle Southport (or the other way round).

Surely a GBG typo ? Apparently not.

Full report coming up; its a cracker.

3) Opening times changes

As in GBG21, CAMRA produced a Beer Guide without any opening times, so chaotic were they in a Covid world. I only get grumpy if a pub isn’t open when its says it is, but some pubs seem to have decided their next week’s hours on the day. This board below is Christmas times*, but you get the point.

*Incidentally, note the authentic spelling of Wednesday there.

4) A change in the assumption that pubs will be open at weekends

As I continually say, pubs and brewery taps can open when they like, it’s a free world (does not apply to Maidenhead), but the inclusion of places like the excellent Rock Mill only open Monday and Tuesday evenings has certainly prompted debated on CAMRA Discourse.

5. A(nother) change of county for Danehill

This year the Coach & Horses in Danehill (North Sussex CAMRA) decides it doesn’t like its rowdy East Sussex neighbours and reverts to the West Sussex chapter And who are we to judge ?

6. A triumph for retiredmartin’s long range pre-emptive ticks.

In 2015 I visited the Royal Standard in Cambridge’s Mill Road. Re-opening after a period as a curry house, it was (at least then) operated by the same folk who kept the Cambridge Blue and Blue Moon, and was therefore a GBG cert.

Well. it only took SIX years. See also perennial “reserve lister” the Farmer’s Arms in Yaxley.

7. A change to the assumption that pubs have to be actually open to be in the Beer Guide.

The Salutation in Hulme had just re-opened on 29 October 2021, having been shut since March 2020, but had somehow still managed to get enough high beer scores to enter the GBG for the first time in my ticking lifetime. Duncan found a similar entry in Witney.

8. Changes due to Brexit.

Well, the Maison du biere in Ashbourne became the House of Beer, I guess.

9. A change in the Fens.

Standing in Ely in November, I checked for the closest GBG pub on the App.

Wait, what ? Has Ely CAMRA been abolished ?

“So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same”

17 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes – The three (3) months late Good Beer Guide highlights post

  1. Hadn’t occurred to me that pubs changing their names could create yet another minefield for pub tickers. Sincerely hope this hasn’t led you to visiting a pub you’ve already been to.

    A place only being open on Monday and Tuesday evenings sounds like what happens when there’s a mistake at the sign painter’s shop but they decide to just go along with it rather than have the sign repainted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s a WhatsApp group where we shared information like “47 Berties” was previously in the Guide as “Frog & Firkin” in 1998, but generally we pick it up by looking at What Pub for details of opening times. But not always !

      Some folk complain about all the odd opening times but I suspect us tickers enjoy the challenge and variety. We get upset when we turn up and it’s unexpectedly closed.


  2. Three months late? Can you let me have the link to the delay repay scheme please?

    Oh, wait a minute. It’ll only be another pint of Doom Bar. Just donate it to charity instead.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. If the European Union had been on its game it would never have allowed Maison du Biere in the first place. (As I understand it, only the Ashbourne branch has gone for an English version; the Barnsley and Elsecar versions are still using incorrect French.)

    Leaving the EU just to get the pub name right is not so much using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut: more like using an atom bomb to kill a fruit fly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The French, on the other hand, rather sensibly call a cul-de-sac “rue sans issue”

        They also call Persil washing powder – which means “parsley” in French – “Parsley”, which is sort of neat, I suppose.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A few branches – including Ely – chose not to submit any entries for the 2022 guide, because they thought they didn’t have enough information to produce a useful guide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for that explanation.

      I don’t recall seeing anything about that on Discourse, though there was some debate in early 2021 when the decision to publish a GBG22 was made and the advice to branches seemed to be “roll-over GBG21 entries if they look likely to have re-opened”.


      1. I have sympathy with the branch to be fair. With no opportunity to survey beer quality between October 2020 and Spring 2021 some will have felt unable to vouch for pubs. The suggestion was that, effectively, GBG21 entries be rolled over unless there were concerns about quality or reopening.

        The 2 Ely pubs we went in back in 2017 would have been probable entries.


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