ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Friday, September 25, 2020

10,000 pints later

On New Years Day 1996, I sat in the William Morris pub in Merton Abbey Mills, drinking a pint of Draught Bass

A callow youth with a few months of teenagehood still remaining on the clock, I had no idea that this was the start of something that would stay with me for the next two and a half decades.

It wasn't - don't be disappointed now, internet - a lifelong love of Bass. But it has been a journey through a further 9999 different beers.

The Bass was quickly followed by Gale's Christmas Ale, back when Gale's was actually a brewery in Hampshire, and the following day I enjoyed a Burtonwood James Forshaw, and a Hopback Summer Lightning



Fast forward 9994 beers

Last night, at the Radius Arms in Whyteleafe, I reached the 10k milestone. And for most beer tickers, that's the 'big one'. (Well, the big one and four naughts, given that 100,000 is unlikely to be attainable in most lifetimes!)

Beer no. 10000
Beer No. 10,000!
A pint of Kent brewery's Mandarina (4.5% and easy drinking; really showcasing the citrussy character of this hop) was No. 9999. And the 6.5% Hopmonster NEIPA Hoodoo Voodoo from Twisted Wheel conveyed me opaquely into five figures.

Achievement Unlocked! And it only took me the best part of 25 years.

What sets me apart from most other tickers is that I only count cask beers, and I only count them if I drink a full pint. (Technically I have to drink the largest quantity available, which is almost always a pint, but in some rare cases of very strong beers it has occasionally been a lesser measure, and in some places like bars in the States selling 32oz measures, it's been a larger one in order to qualify!)

My overall tally is a fair bit higher. If I were to include bottled, canned, keg and tank beers, and beers of which I drank only a small quantity, I'd probably be pushing 12k. And there were a handful of cask beers I drank pints of prior to 1996 that I haven't had since. And if lockdown hadn't happened I'd probably have reached the 10k quite a bit earlier in the year.

But I shouldn't really have to explain myself. Ticking beers is what I do. For me it's a big part of the pleasures of drinking.

And I have no intention of stopping. So here's to the next 10,000 pints!


  1. Good going young man. Pint men always the best.
    I started drinking around the same time (late developer) but only count GBG pubs (c.12,000).

    Good choice for Number 10k.

  2. Congratulations are definitely in order. Well done!

  3. You did very well.


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