Summer scooping schedule

When a toper is tired of Reluctant Scooping, he is tired of life. But I want to remix the soundtrack this summer - here's ten things I want to do beer-wise. If anyone can help me out with them, let me know.

Brew again - only this time, I'll do more cleaning and shovelling. Any microbrewers fancy a spare pair of hands for the day?

On the road - I want to be a drayman's mate, get a feel (literally) for lugging barrels around. If it's a beer I've helped to brew, even better.

Be a barman - I've never pulled a pint. What's life like on the business side of the bar? Even better if I'm pulling pints of a beer I've had a hand in brewing and delivering.... can you see the connection?

Understand cider and perry - perhaps one for the autumn but I'd love to spend some time with a cidermaker. And Mrs Reluctant, being a perry-head, would like a look-in, too.

Work at GBBF; never worked a CAMRA fest before, never been to GBBF before so there's two birds with one stone. Anyone have advice to offer a newbie on what GBBF is really like on both sides of the bar?

Have a weekend in London; Southwark pubs and Utobeer, Sam Smiths architectural gems, meet up with Bloggers and Twitterers and Ratebeerians. All without having to stagger back to St Pancreatic and plead with East Midlands Trains to let me go home, even though my cheapo pre-booked train left two hours before.

Take a European beer trip that isn't to Belgium; I love the place but I'd like to try something different. Germany? Austria? Italy sounds like it has a thriving beer scene. Any other suggestions?

Trade beers with the United States; I haven't yet dipped my toe into the water of transatlantic beer trading. If anyone has experience of this - either via a site like or off their own bat - I'd like to know. If you're Stateside and fancy trading, really do let me know!

Go fishing; no matter what fish, as long as the sun's on my back and the beers are in the cool box. To get a few people together who are keen and knowledgable about beer and fish but don't bore on about either for an afternoon. Eating beer-battered fish that evening would be a bonus.

Have a relaxing European Summer Gathering; they'll be tons of ratebeerians, pubs, brewery visits, odd bottles... I want to meet old friends and make new ones, share local and rare beers, but not feel like it's a mental-merry-go-round. Chill in Sheffield with some hoppy summer beer and a few cupcakes.

Sheezh, looks like a busy summer. But OMGWTFBBQ it should be fun.


  1. I will send beer as soon as I have won the california state lotto so i can afford the postage. Only kidding. Trying hard to empty california of ale at the moment. San diego is now done, with great trips to the Green Flash tap room (30th Street Pale (nice balanced hops, but not crazy), West Coast IPA (growler also refilled and emptied with this stuff), and the superb belgium style trippel which tasted ban on. Took me back to a pleasant January in Brugge. Also hit Stone brewery in Encinitas which is just how every brewpub should aspire to be (apart from the smell of the marsh next door), and also done hamiltons on 30th Street in San Diego, which had a cracking selection including loads of Stouts, IPA's, Double IPA's and lots more that beer made me forget. Sampled stuff from Alesmith, Russian River (pliny the Elder) and Bear republic. Heading to San Francisco tomorrow to hit the big 5 there and then onto Russian river. One of these days it will stop feeling like a holiday (vacation).

  2. Good list!

    Have you really never pulled a pint?! The first time you pull a handpump and it fills a glass is very satisfying. It continues to be satisfying for a few more minutes until you realise that none of these beers are for you!

    Will you be at GBBF this year? I got my trade session tickets through today. you should book some holiday and get on down to the big smoke for a few days in august!

    I have toyed with the idea of trading with guys in the US but ultimately it is just unbelievably expensive and I can't justify it to myself even as I weigh the oppurtunity of getting some rare US brews (I satisfy myself with thoughts that if I save harder then I can actually GO to the US myself and drink it there!

  3. Si,

    find some water you fancy a bash at, fluff chucking, would be sensible. Or river trotting for some summer chub?

    I can bring beer and the geer.


  4. Willington Lake Trout Fishery
    Findern Lane
    DE65 6DW

    Mobile: 07792 791439

    Fancy it?

  5. @scott - that list of places is the least I'd expect from you! Keep drowning those DIPAs!

    @mark - trade tickets sound fun. How do you go about blagging those ;-)

    @beermerchants - sounds like a good plan. Will DM you soon. I may even sacrifice some fluff wot I made myself with my hook-scarred hands.

  6. Just email CAMRA, tell them you got a blog, etc, that's all I did and four days later two free tickets arrived! Woo!