Brain Moore, 77, of Stannington Road in Sheffield, is Britain’s Number One Beer Ticker.
Brian has sampled 60,000 different beers by the half pint over the last three decades. And he’s still going strong.
Beer-ticking, or beer scooping, involves travelling the country to sample real ales and record them.
Beer-tickers will record the name of the beer, the brewery and the beers alcohol content (ABV). Some will also make a note of their first impressions and rate the overall taste of the beer.
Our interview takes place in the Kelham Island Tavern in Kelham Island, an area now known as “Beer Valley”.
Brain says that the hobby began over 30 years ago when the Fat Cat pub in Kelham Island first opened its doors. The Fat Cat was one of the first pubs in Sheffield dedicated to real ale and it began introducing new beers from around the country.
“I’ve always enjoyed my beer but when the Fat Cat opened, I noticed that they kept a list of all the different beers they were selling. I wanted to try them all so I made a few notes so that I didn’t miss any,” says Brian.
What started as taking notes in the local pub soon turned into a favourite pastime. From local pubs to beer festivals, Brian has traveled up and down the British Isles tasting beers ever since.
“The best thing about beer-ticking is that you get to meet new people. Some even become friends. Whenever I travel to a beer festival, I know that I’m going to bump into someone I know. It’s like a fraternity.”
Brian adds that if he wanted to he could go to a beer festival every week, there are that many. His plans for this weekend include travelling up to Darlington for a beer festival.
It’s no wonder he has been crowned the Champion Beer Ticker in Britain, he’s a legend to avid pub-goers and ale-lovers. He even stars in “Beertickers: Beyond the Ale” a documentary produced by Quick Feet Films in Sheffield.
He takes out his personal beer catalogue and shows me. It is organised in two volumes, alphabetically listing the breweries and the beers they produce. There is also a space for notes.
Peering through the pages, there are a vast amount of ticks and scribbles against beers he has sipped. But many remain blank and untested.
“There are so many pubs and breweries now, that there are too many new ales being produced. Even if I ticked all of these, I still wouldn’t have tasted them all.”
Despite being a self-confessed lover of ale, Brian can’t pick a favourite.
“I’ve tasted thousands of beers. There have been some that I liked and some that I didn’t like. The ones I didn’t like, I won’t try again. But it all comes down to personal taste.”
Brian says that he has had to slow down due to health reasons and doesn’t drink as much as he used to. Now, if he’s ready for going home and hasn’t managed to try the all the new beers, he’ll ask to take the samples with him.
He now spends most of his time at his allotment where he grows his own fruit and veg.
“I had to slow down after my heart surgery and I’m not getting any younger. But I still enjoy having a drink and trying new beers. I’ll stop when I no longer enjoy it!”
Video content uploaded by FilmBuff Movies
Words by Jessica Peace
*Feature image taken from hand-pumped.co.uk