You may have read tales of GBG tickers visiting a hundred or more pubs in February and wonder “What had Norwich done to deserve BRAPA“. Read that as you want.

I maintained a more leisurely pace; 46 pub visits, 30 of them new Guide entries. Nowhere near enough to finish the GBG a second year, but as you’ll see from the travel map there was a minor excuse for such poor ticking.

A wonderful week in Greece to end the month with great people in a beautiful country.

Which makes the tragic train crash yesterday even more upsetting to dwelling on as we flew home.

Some great beer in Greece, perhaps surprisingly in a country dominated by coffee. If it turns out this chap in Athens was pushing an urn of flat Bass I’ll be gutted.

Stockton provided the anti-flat Bass at the Sun, of course. Everyone should have a banker in the Sun, and enjoy one of the best atmospheres in any pub in the UK.

Personal highlights included meeting the Andrews and Irvins in our own Blind Monkey, which has become a Top 10 pub,

and getting Matthew Lawrenson to give me a guided trip round Preston’s dodgy suburbs (book your own tour on Ticketmaster.com), before ending up, inevitably at the Black Horse, which might just be a Top 1 pub.

The Plum Porter, beer of the month, was magical there, as it was in the White Lion in Heeley on my tour with Saddleworth legend Jim B. I complimented the landlord on his beer before he told me he was quitting the trade, which really brought home the challenges facing pubs despite some indications trade is holding up well.

A very quick and dirty analysis of beer quality scores produced an average NBSS of 3.42 in February, which I reckon is the best month ever (EVER).

OK, that’s helped by living in Sheffield where even the student pub selling a lone Doom Bar is good, but let’s celebrate beer quality before the heatwave arrives in March and turns it into soup.

Hopefully not tomorrow, where I visit a town renowned as a Bass stronghold (no, not Maidenhead).

And hopefully not from a pump with a wonky pump clip either.

8 thoughts on “FEBRUARY ’23 STOCKTAKE

  1. This woman has completed a much more middle-class ticking quest, which obviously didn’t include visiting pubs with hi-vis-wearing customers in the grittier parts of the North East: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/mar/02/woman-completes-10-year-national-trust-scone-tasting-mission

    I won’t comment on the pronunciation dispute (although the pun in the story’s headline in today’s print edition, “No scone left unturned”, only works if you use the correct one).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s