Pints West: a mine of information

Pints West for autumn 2019

We’ve found ourselves getting a bit excited when we find a new edition of the local CAMRA magazine, Pints West, in the display holder at The Drapers Arms, because we always learn so damned much.

The lat­est issue, for autumn 2019, is just out and is a good exam­ple of why we like it so much.

First, with #Every­Pu­bIn­Bris­tol in mind, there’s a com­pre­hen­sive update on what’s going on with local pubs based on exten­sive field­work from the Bris­tol Pubs Group. It tells us which pubs have closed, reopened and changed hands, usu­al­ly before we hear via social media.

We’re fas­ci­nat­ed by the fate of The Merchant’s Arms in Sta­ple­ton which just sits there with its big, blank, board­ed-up facade; Pints West always gives us an update – stale­mate, appar­ent­ly, with the own­er deter­mined not to re-open it as a pub despite its ACV sta­tus.

But there’s more: we don’t dri­ve (and wouldn’t dri­ve to the pub if we did, obvi­ous­ly) so the pub crawls focused on walk­ing and pub­lic trans­port are always inspir­ing. This quar­ter, Vince Mur­ray sug­gests a cou­ple of trips in South Glouces­ter­shire by bus while Dun­can Shine gives a run down of all the pubs along the Bris­tol-Bath Rail­way Path. We’re already work­ing out ways to tack­le some or all of those on the list.

We were also struck by a piece in the last edi­tion by Robin E Wild on the best val­ue pubs in the area – a pos­i­tive way to address the fraught issue of the some­times exclu­sive price of beer.

In gen­er­al, there’s an open­ness about it that shows CAMRA at its best. All brew­eries are cov­ered with enthu­si­asm and hon­esty, regard­less of their par­tic­u­lar cask-ale cre­den­tials. Licensed premis­es of all kinds get a look in and there are heart­en­ing tales of local activism to save appar­ent­ly doomed pubs.

Now, dis­clo­sure, before some­one brings it up: in the past, before we moved to Bris­tol, we pub­licly rolled our eyes at one of the car­toons in the mag­a­zine. It irri­tat­ed us then and look­ing back, it’s still irri­tat­ing. But we haven’t noticed any­thing like that since.

Any­way, our piece said, we’re off to explore a cou­ple of the pubs men­tioned in the most recent edi­tion – and isn’t that what a local CAMRA mag­a­zine ought to inspire?

3 thoughts on “Pints West: a mine of information”

  1. What a love­ly arti­cle! As a con­trib­u­tor to Pints West I’m delight­ed you find it so use­ful! Our edi­tor Steve Plum­ridge does a fan­tas­tic job and your kind words are very much to his cred­it.

    And if the effect of Pints West is to inspire you to seek out Bristol’s amaz­ing pubs, then our job is done! Thanks again

    1. A big thanks from me too. I’ve writ­ten for Pints West from the start and it’s very reas­sur­ing to know that my non­sense is read by any­one let alone appre­ci­at­ed! Know­ing that peo­ple oth­er than close friends do read it is what keeps us doing it.
      Vince Mur­ray

  2. As for ‘that’ car­toon, Pints West did issue a full apol­o­gy in the next issue. If you have a prob­lem with that car­toon per­haps hyper­link­ing to the time you post­ed about it on twit­ter (over 4 years ago) just increas­es its vis­i­bil­i­ty (and your own) rather than con­done it fur­ther which was sup­pos­ed­ly your orig­i­nal inten­tion.

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