The 2009 Good Beer Guide has landed and is the usual beefy tome at 900 pages.
However, the first deletion arrived in my inbox earlier this week. The Wheatsheaf on Putney Bridge Road in Wandsworth, SW18 is to be closed by Youngs.
Described in the Guide as ...a fantastic unspoilt pub ....a little gem ... welcoming.....worth seeking out, The Wheatsheaf made it into the book for the first ever time in 2008 and is retained for 2009. This is of course, no mean feat for the licensees given the abundance of excellent pubs in the Wandsworth area.
The Wheatsheaf is a tiny pub, a legacy of a bygone age, where the beer drinker was king, and after work drinking holes were always full.
My favourite memories of it will be after visits to the brewery or agm on the usual tour of Wandsworth. There used to be a large pub dog, doberman type, who , given the slightest invitation, would disconcertingly choose to sit on your lap.
The pub will be closing on Saturday 27th September.
However, every cloud has a silver lining and I am pleased to report that the licensees of The Wheatsheaf are moving to their nearest other pub, the Crane, Armoury Way. This has been a pub fraught with problems for years. Flooding was the latest but Youngs have now invested in yet another refurbishment, this time to include flood protection and the pub will be opening on 28th or 29th with hosts who now have a reputation for one of the best pints in town.
The Crane has not been in the Good Beer Guide for approaching 25 years so there is clearly a job to be done on the real ale side. I look forward to a visit in the interests of research.