September 2022 looks like being the first month without getting a new tick in the Good Beer Guide for forty years, covid lockdowns excepted.
Meanwhile Retired Martin rampages through the Highlands and Islands, relentlessly closing in on a well deserved completion. My own efforts have been frozen since 13th August , with 17 to do, and they can wait. That’ll teach them. The only disappointment was a planned trip to the one on the Orcadian island of Rousay, which closed that week due to the owners’ illness.
Rest assured I have still been visiting pubs. The Blood Bay, in the centre of Ludlow, is a superb recreation of a Victorian bar, named after Forbra, the locally owned 1932 Grand National winner. The modern sign by Jonathan Adams is painted in the style of pub-sign painter John Frederick Herring Senior. It serves what it says on the sign, a beer of each style, through salvaged nineteenth century handpumps.
The Blood Bay has three rooms on two floors and is delightful.
As is the Towy Bridge Inn, in remote Rhandirmyn, that operates Friday- Sunday only, but had people queuing outside before opening.
A fine time was had at the Tiny Rebel Brewery just outside Newport, debating how many hit records the Wombles had (16) before the famously acrimonious split.
When the Wombles had their first hit (the sublime Wombling Song) there was no actual band. For their first appearance on Top of the Pops other well known musicians- who were also presumably appearing – donned Wombles costumes. They included guitarist Chris Spedding and members of Steeleye Span, including Maddy Prior.
That information needed a couple more pints to digest before we headed into town and the lively Pen and Wig.
This is a pub that attracts a few interesting visitors if the quiz machine is to be believed. And I, for one, believe.
Not too surprised Ken posted the highest score. Bob Malin must have taken time out to visit from his day job as coach to Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns basketball team. The Crays are obviously no relation to the Krays.
While the Food and Drink Festival in Berwick Barracks was a triumph.
The beer tent had an excellent selection of beers of local provenance. I was particularly impressed with the two cask offerings from Bear’s Claw.
They have a taproom that opens Saturdays and the first Wednesday of the month, a visit to which will be on a future agenda.
Where else to finish this short tour but Glasgow’s unsurpassable Laurieston. A local artist covered up some unwelcome graffiti above the bar with a nod to the past and the Clancy brothers’ impeccable stewardship.