You can set your watch by some things. Liverpool’s title challenge will end on 20 October. Retired Martin’s birthday will always be on 22 December (it’s marked in your diaries, I hope), and the post welcoming the new Good Beer Guide will appear on the 3rd Thursday in September.

Except that since 2020, for spurious reasons, the GBG has appeared in October, and last year due to CAMRA despising life members or something it appeared in November.

My 2023 copy arrived yesterday, with the annual note about Privilege Club members not breaking the embargo seeming a bit irrelevant so close to it “dropping” (ugh) in all good bookshops and WH Smith.

You’ll notice (if you’ve squint) I’ve pinked the Ferryboat in North Laneham (it’s on the River Trent near Rampton Prison). I had to gratecrash a wake to get a pint, too.

Does this mean that I’m going to repeat the completion of 2022 ? Or will I do a Nico Rosberg and retire at the top ?

I’m not sure, but ticking is compulsive, and as Kevin Rowland sang in 1980 (remix),

“You should welcome the new Good Beer Guide”.

Simon certainly has, and with a five (5) day head start he already knows the scale of his task.

Sorry, it’ll be a while before you get my cross-checking results, as I’m miles behind on my master spreadsheet.

Here, for the benefit of the amateurs, is what a fully completed GBG looks like;

You’ll be pleased to know that the Albion in Ampthill (visited 20 years ago, was great) is STILL the first entry in the Guide, almost as important as being one of the Five ever-presents. Are the Famous Five still in ?

The Good Beer Guide remains the crowning glory of CAMRA’s achievement, and a testament to the tireless work of CAMRA staff and volunteers in directing you to the best quality beer, whether Wainwright or St Mars of the Desert.

Anyhow, must be off. Four (4) new entries in Chesterfield to tick, all of them containing the words “Crafty” or “Cask” or “Tap”.


  1. I’ve had mine a week or so and I REALLY don’t like the new format. Put the breweries section at the end, not scattered around the book. If you want to look up a brewery and you don’t know which county it is in (CAMRA counties, not the real ones) then you have to cross reference it, which is a pain.

    This may well be my last year of buying one, never mind being a privilege club member!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed the brewery section should be scrapped. It used to serve a purpose if you were going around the country and wanted to know about the regional brewers. Now it lists loads of hobby brewers in railway arches producing 57 varieties of murk and there’s no guarantee you can get any of them. Should you want to.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Spot on, Bill.

        I visited over 700 different pubs in the last year and I never saw a beer from 95% of those breweries (and you’d expect to see them more often in Beer Guide pubs). I guess if I spent all my time drinking beer from cans at home or at beer festivals I might have a different perspective.

        Liked by 2 people

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