Food & Drink

These men just hit their 20,000th pub on the world’s longest pub crawl

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Gary Ogden
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A group of men from West Bromwich have finally reached their 20,000th pub on a 33-year-long pub crawl over 300,000 miles. They decided to start visiting different pubs when they became bored of simply heading to their local every week, and so visited the first pub on their proposed list back in 1984. The original plan was to visit a mere 300 pubs, in particular those listed on a map by Banks's brewery – of course, this clearly spiralled out of control and became something much bigger.

The guys, who call themselves the Black Country Ale Tairsters, eventually completed 1,000 pubs in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, before heading off on a seven-year pub crawl of Wales (in which they visited every single pub in the country) and are still going strong. When they started, a pint cost 64p, but they finished in the Knot and Plough in Stafford, where they were treated to free drinks – who’d have thought the price of a pint would have gone down that much? 

Beers on the crawl weren’t all free though – the founder of the group, Peter Hill, said: “Last May when we'd done 19,000 I took my lump sum out of my pension to get to 20,000 and I have spent the bloody lot. Today is a bit emotional to be honest because it was my dad's ambition to get to 20,000 and it would have been his birthday tomorrow.”

Hill has knocked back a total of 46,632 pints during his mammoth trek, and he doesn’t intend to stop any time soon: “There are 44,000 pubs in the UK. If I live until 93 I think I can make the lot – I'm certainly going to give it a bash.”

He’s even made money for charity as a result – while the club tours the country, they ask each landlord for a £1 donation, a total which has reached around £24,000 over the years. They also rate every pub in a strict fashion, according to their own-branded BAT scale, which is named after the group. They’re so dedicated to this rating system, that an approved BAT score has become a recognised seal of approval amongst pubs around the country.

Basically, these guys are better than you and your mates – your pub golf night last weekend was an absolute shambles, and you know it.

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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