BRAPA MONTH END REVIEW - SEPTEMBER 2023
Good evening! I don't say it often enough, because it doesn't happen often enough, but that feeling of 'making genuine progress' is one of the greatest feelings in this crazy world of pub ticking.
With Neighbours back and Hull City doing surprisingly well, it really has been a 'Vintage' month on all fronts:
61 ticks for the month (a record, beating my 59 in 2018 and 2022) plus the excellent GBG cross-ticking exercise (8.8% loss, compared with 12.8% last year) means that we march into the Autumn with renewed optimism - yes, completing the GBG whilst I still have two working hips and knees is still possible! Step count of 33,044 in South Lincs yesterday, 32,326 when doing Memus a couple of weeks back, owww, can't keep this up forever.
Walking to Memus from Kirriemuir
Yes, 40 of my ticks were achieved up in Scotland. Basing myself in Dundee, I got a nice chunk of Tayside (23) and the Kingdom of Fife (14) done, I even snuck into Grampian (the new Grantham) for a cheeky 3. In fact, I managed ticks in 12 different counties across the month which is probably a BRAPA record.
Although there has been some absolute utter dross beer-wise, plenty of class was on display too so I'm going to put seven pubs forward for my 'Year End Awards' which will be with you shortly after midnight on 1st Jan. In no particular order:
Five Horseshoes, Barholm
Dave's Pies & Ale, Burley Park, Leeds
Blue Boar, Leicester
Speedwell Bar 'Mennies', Dundee
Railway Inn, Lower Largo
Commercial Inn, Dunfermline
Albert Tavern, Freuchie
No reason why October shouldn't be a productive month despite my lack of holidays. 40 minimum pubs we'd like. Back to weekly #ThirstyThursdays whilst my options remain plentiful.
I'm down at 2542/4500 current GBG entries, this is 54.4% completion. I'd like to think I can claw back my 8% 'loss' by late March, early April. We'll see!
Here's an example of what I'm up against. I had to minus off a pub when it came to light on Friday that Folkestone's Firkin Alehouse has moved premises, across the road! Only a better #PubMan than me (he's called Jim Brunt) would have spotted such a thing. This is why you have to be SO careful when declaring completion. Even more galling, they moved NINE DAYS after my visit. I didn't hear or see any evidence of it! Gah. The most Andovery Tap moment since Andover Tap! Thames Side Brewery also seems to move on a yearly basis. And Edenbridge Secret Cask is currently closed cos they're moving down the street.
If Red Lion at Snargate is rebuilt brick by brick over the road, I'm quitting and going to use pubs 'normally'.
Stick & Twist, Leeds (still a contender for 'Spoons of the century)
'Strategy' blog coming soon, once I know my percentages needed, but I'm continuing apace with Lincolnshire cos I'm obviously suffering from a strange form of Stockholm Syndrome (Scunthorpe Syndrome?) Happy Lincolnshire Day by the way. My annual 'Yorkshire mop up' needs to happen. But I think I'll be looking once more to get into those counties I've never tried to crack before- like Merseyside, Northamptonshire and Northumberland.
Getting there! (ignore Surfleet)