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The Good Book Rules....

It's that time of year again....

Every September, there builds up a great and eager sense of anticipation in some circles as the new Good Beer Guide release date approaches. To many though, this feverish excitement felt by these people completely escapes them as their lives carry on as normal, blissfully unaware that to some the publication of this guide is more eagerly awaited than Christmas, or the birth of a new child, or the release of the new season's football fixtures.

It is a time when hopes can be realised, dreams shattered, or years of hard work called into question. Pages are eagerly-turned, favourites sought out to see that they have made the cut. And likewise they are scoured for those places that are now in, maybe a favourite, maybe one you would vehemently oppose.

For some, whose life's work is to complete every pub in the beer guide, it is the start of a year to plan. More gaps to fill in, more trips across the length and breadth of the country, maybe including a visit to a location only visited a few weeks earlier where there is now a new addition.

And for me, there were a couple of seismic changes to hit my local area. For more years than I can remember, the Three Pigeons in Halifax has been a regular in the Guide. Not in the 2019 edition, a reflection of what has frankly been variable beer quality over the  past year or two. Likewise The Star in Folly Hall, Huddersfield has been a fixture for years, but it just shows that increased pressure from up and coming rivals will eventually win through in areas that seemingly are a closed shop. So, great that in Halifax, the Alexandra and Square Chapel have been recognised, along with this blog's latest poster boys, the Wainhouse Tavern in Pye Nest, also making it into the Guide.

But for those places that didn't make it this time, it doesn't have to be the end of the road. With the right approach, a re-think, a step back to review, and the will to recover from the shock of being dropped, or not quite making the cut, it is often the spur to come back, stronger, fitter, and all the more experienced in a year or two's times.

So, as ever, the release of the new Good Beer Guide is for some a cause for celebration, for others disappointment, and for others a spark for planning new places to visit. But for all of them it is the source of great debate....

New to the Guide: The Wainhouse Tavern, Halifax


  1. Chris thanks for your well thought out and reasoned piece - it is always tricky to select just a few pubs from the many in our Branch. There is a debate to be had about the merits of Town vs Country, old vs new but the quest remains The Good Beer Guide so all have the aim of keeping and selling good quality beer.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Tony, appreciate it is very difficult to achieve a balanced selection in what is an increasingly changing scene, and so that the Good Beer Guide can only reflect the situation at one point in time. In terms of the changes within our area, the Alexandra and Square are well worth their places, whilst in Hebden Bridge, Drink? has been excellent for a long time, but as I say, for the ones that lose out this time, it can be the jolt required to spur them on to come back stronger and fitter!


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