As a kid, I loved the I-Spy books. The family holiday in Devon gave me a chance to spy those ‘exotic’ car registrations. I’d even buy a clean copy of ‘I-Spy On The Motorway’ to see if I could complete it on the run between Birmingham and Exeter. When I heard that Adrian Tierney-Jones had brought out the Real Ale Record Book, the pitch for which was ‘I-Spy for grown-ups’, I had a shiver of excitement not experienced since spying a flashing overhead sign warning of impending lane closures around the Almondsbury interchange.

The Real Ale Record Book is, quite literally, a cask ale ticker’s book. Which is great but there’s an opportunity going begging, methinks. ‘I-Spy Down The Pub’ is just asking to be written; perhaps it’d look something like this…

Pub names:

Red Lion – 10 points

Wheatsheaf – 20 points

The Cock and Cougar – 50 points


Greene King IPA – 10 points

Thornbridge Jaipur – 20 points

Throxheard’s Oak-Aged Double Imperial Goozeberry Hefeweizen – 50 points.


Salted peanuts – 10 points. Minus 5 points if the backing card reveals a ‘hilarious’ picture of a semi-naked woman

Pork scratchings – 20 points. Bonus 5 points if the eyelashes are intact and are longer than the barmaid’s

Rabbit jerky – 50 points


Vase of flowers / half-melted candles in fireplace – 10 points

Huge Bass mirror – 20 points. Bonus 10 points if the pub ever actually served Bass

Wood panelled snug with a service bell, Burne-Jones stained glass, Minton tiling and ex-warship-timber roof beams – 50 points


Overflowing cigarette bin by the back door – 10 points

Non-wobbly picnic table – 20 points

White dogshit by the kiddie’s swing – 50 points


The one who asks for a pint of Guinness after ordering the rest of the round – 10 points

The one who drinks WKD and has an ankle tattoo – 20 points. Bonus 10 points if it’s a woman. Minus 20 points if she’s in a Wetherspoons

The Reluctant Scooper – 50 points. As long as you buy me a pint first ;-)

PS - Michelin have taken over the I-Spy mantle. Perhaps I ought to drop their Big Chief I-Spy a line...

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant idea Scoop! I always remember I-Spy at the Airport, which was akin to ticking plane tail fin liveries!