Pub-crawlers reach 20,000th ale house

Image source, Peter Hill
Image caption, Black Country Ale Tairsters, pictured in 2013, during a crawl of every pub in Wales

A team of charity pub-crawlers has reached its 20,000th ale house after three decades of touring pubs.

The West Bromwich-based Black Country Ale Tairsters began visiting pubs listed on a map, issued by Wolverhampton brewer Banks's, in 1984.

But on Friday, they arrived at the Knot and Plough in Stafford where they were given free drinks.

The group's co-founder Peter Hill said £24,000 has been raised for charity since their epic tour began.

He has asked landlords at each pub for a £1 donation.

"I am the Samuel Pepys of my day. On every pub crawl everything is documented - from the beers in the pub to the decor," he said.

The Tairsters - Black Country dialect for tasters - initially planned to tour just 300 inns listed on the brewer's map, but turned their focus to the 12 Midlands counties in 1991, followed by a seven-year tour of Wales in 2006.

Image source, Peter Hill
Image caption, Black Country Ale Tairsters at the Railway Tavern in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, on 21 February, 1988

Mr Hill, who has drunk 46,632 pints during the tour, said the milestone was "a bit emotional" after losing his father in 2014.

"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," said Mr Hill,

A spokesman for Marston's, which runs the pub, praised the group.

"Pete and his friends' journey is a brilliant achievement.

"The fact he's raised thousands for good causes while having a great time is a tribute to him and the Great British pub."

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