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Or 'A Man With a Mission' !!

People who read the blog will have realised that out of the editorial team, I am, what is politely referred to as , a beer 'ticker'. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means that I dash about the country sampling beers that are new to me and keeping a list of them. I play by my own rules, as all tickers do, but basically I record anything that I have drunk a half pint of, in a pub. My list started back in 1990 when I discovered the joys of different beers in 'The Barge & Barrel' in Elland and continue 20 years later. I have really started doing in seriously since I retired in 2008 and this is the story of a day in my life while trying to collect my 10,000th beer.

To mark this occasion, which admittedly had sneaked up on me somewhat, I decided that I would try to drink the beer in my favourite pub, I would try and make it one from my favourite brewery and I would try to mark the event on my birthday.

Things started badly. Due to personal commitments I could not manage it on Wednesday, which was the chosen day, (make a note in your diary to send me a card next year !!), so the next best thing was Thursday. I rechecked the total beers I needed and discovered that 6 would achieve my target. I knew a trip to Manchester or Sheffield would give me my total, but again, I felt I owed it to myself to stay reasonably local. A bit of research was called for and the good will of one of my local licencees to make sure my record beer would be on the bar at 5pm.

So armed with a DayRider I sent off for Brighouse. First stop was the 'Richard Oastler'. It was in hope more than anticipation but here I found Summer Wine 'Erebus', a dark beer not to my taste but a tick anyway. Then it was on to the 'Ship'. I knew they had a house beer brewed for them which was new to me, Dark Star, 'Shipwrecked' and fortunately it was on the bar. However at 5.3% a bit weighty for lunchtime. Four more to go.

Back to Town. A quick look in the 'Cherry Tree', 'Kings Head' and 'Head of Steam' revealed nothing new. That left me with 4 beers and 4 pubs. Desperation was setting in. A trip to the 'Sportsman', more in hope than anticipation, paid dividends and I found a new Mallinsons, the 3.6% 'Wipe Out'. A good easy drinking session beer, and nice and hoppy. I had achieved part of my plan. But could I still manage to find 3 more.

Next stop 'The Grove', and another success. I did not just find a new beer but also a new brewery, Trinity 'High Light' became the next on the list. Another light hoppy beer and very pleasant. So far so good. Would the 'Rat' provide the goods ?

I was more than impressed to walk in and find a new Fernandes on the bar. 'Nihghtjar' (that what the clip said) was 3.8% and light and hoppy. It did taste of ginger but whether intentionally or not I am not sure. I was unconcerned, one more to go.

Off to 'The Star' and on the bar here I found Green Mill 'Wheat Beer', at 4.3%, a clear, easy drinking beer from Rochdale. I had achieved my aim, the 10,000th beer.

What now ? I suppose the next 10,000. I am a mere novice in the ticking stakes when I compare myself to Denis, locally or Robin, and am not even in the frame when it comes to the master ticker, Brian from Sheffield. He has upwards of 40,000 and can been see around the country with his shopping trolley collecting beers. Nevertheless, I totally enjoy it. I see new places, drink in nice pubs and meet some great people, many of who I am proud to class as friends. So, all being well its off to Sheffield again today for more new beers.