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BEER drinkers have seen the cost of a pint from the big four brewing combines go up by 9p in the past year despite the main ingredient – malting barley – costing less now than at any other time since the 70s. All the more reason then to be choosy where you spend your hard-earned cash, so a modest investment in this guide* could prove worthwhile.
For a start you could stop bolstering the big brewers profits and seek out some well kept specialist ales. This, That, Wot, and Tother ales on hand-pump a the Talbot, Knightwick, Hereford and Worcs, are brewed from hops grown on the licensees own small farm and have won the Talbot the accolade of Own Brew Pub of the Year.
This is just one of 13 award categories run by the guide. They cover such diverse titles as Fish Pub of the Year, Unspoilt Pub of the Year and Whisky Pub of the Year and while the food side covers bargain dishes, fish and vegetarian fare where is the Best British Roast Dinner Pub of the Year? With the huge trade done throughout the country in serving Sunday lunches – surely the guides compilers (and the MLC perhaps?) are missing something here. Ill just have to put the guide to good use and start some personal lobbying at a cross section of the 5000 hostelries featured. Cheers! TG
*The Good Pub Guide 1999, edited by Alisdair Aird, Ebury Press (£14.99).