About our reviewers
A little bit about our reviewers
Ever wondered about who's behind fancyapint.com's reviews? Here are brief biogs about a few of them.
Our very first volunteer, Piranha likes a nice pint, good food and a drop of malt now and again; but, he hates theme bars, crappy lager, stroppy service and smelly pubs. Of course, he will drink most things if it says > 5%ABV on the label. By day he's a telecomms professional. By night… well that’s another story. His qualities as a reviewer here at Fancyapint include being drunk on three different continents - mostly courtesy of his expense account, knowing lots about northern beer and having impeccable taste in drinking establishments.
This whole thing is his fault! Pubdog started a personal pub guide back in the mid 1980s and has been pursuing this area of research ever since. An "expert" in several fields, until recently, he was working in telecomms, but has now quit to run Fancyapint and become a "consultant". A transplant to East London in the late 70's, he's never been too far from a pub. As a professional drinker he claims to have been in most of the pubs in London. Judging by his almost encyclopedic knowledge of pubs, it's probably true. He believes in re-incarnation in the (probably vain) hope that he will come back as a pub dog in his next life.
To call redcat a pub enthusiast is like describing the Himalyas as "a bit hilly". The most prolific of our reviewers and not your archetypal beer-bore, it seems his mission is to unearth the newest, oldest, trendiest, obscurest and quirkiest pubs in every corner of the country. When he's not in the pub, or writing up his latest findings, you might catch a glimpse of him en route to his next review target driving that other passion of his: obscure Nissan luxo-barges.
As the name suggests, Septic is from "over the pond" (though, on account of his demeanour, he's been made an honourary Yorkshireman on more than one occasion). He professes to like it here to the consternation and confusion of the local populace. Formerly a theatre designer, he's been contenting himself with graphic design for large establishments in the City in recent years as well as turning out the odd novel. While he has been practicing his drinking in the Smoke for almost two decades now, he is still getting to grips with using a knife and fork in the proper manner (not to drink, mind), but there is still hope.
When we asked Jack for his contribution to this section he could only utter the words "Jack is unwell", so we've had to make this up for him. Although he isn't an asylum seeker (Daily Mail readers can relax), he is yet another reviewer who is not from round here and has been drawn from the far, far north by the prospect of fame, fortune, floozies and flat beer. When he emerges, twice a day, from his troglodyte existence amongst the archives of one institution or another he can be seen striding manfully in the direction of his latest notion of the perfect pub.
Squirrels are known to be very fond of their nuts, but in this reviewer's case a bag of pork scratchings would be far more welcome. Hailing from cider country he is partial to alcoholic apple beverages, unless it's that rubbish served over ice, but is more likely to be found with a pint of Guinness or ale, sometimes accompanied by pilfered cigarettes. He has reviewed far and wide, using lower league football matches and a geographically-diverse set of acquaintances to spread his influence further. You're allowed to disagree with his reviews but we may send the lads round for a quiet "chat".
When not tracking down special guest stars, Columbo is in search of fine pubs and the perfect pint of Guinness. Leaving Mrs. Columbo at home, the Lieutenant will not rest until a case is closed. He often works alone and puts in all the hours that God sends. His wrinkled mac may be seen scouring London's backstreets in all kinds of weather because, like a good citizen, Columbo always leaves his car at home. His trail? The faint smell of cigar smoke.
Although a boulevadier and raconteur of some distinction (so he tells us), Solokov rarely leaves his south London abode unless in search of the spiritual enlightenment which can be found in pubs. He currently claims to be working on a five act tragedy concerning the philosophy and history of drink.
Venichka, despite his name, is from no further east than the easternmost reaches of the District Line (mind you, that is pretty east). Although he left Essex years ago, he has retained an unfortunate tendency to drag his friends, against their will and his better judgement, to unsalubrious (or, occasionally, splendidly salubrious) pubs, often within spitting distance of the A13 or A12. His professional interests include researching the politics of various countries someway to the East than the place of his birth, and, as a result of trips there, he can commend bars to visit in Banja Luka or Tartu, and detail dives to avoid in Kielce or Odessa. He is still awaiting the right time to visit Petushki.
Krupnik is a thoroughbred Londoner, although she has always lived in the suburbs of the Capital and you'll mostly find her in South Easterly drinking houses. She spent three years studying in a very rural and remote town in the West Country and the only thing that saved her from desperation was the town did at least have a goodly proportion of pubs (along with a cows, sheep etc etc.). She fled back to the smoke as soon as she graduated and has of course studiously continued her programme of pub research. Although Krupnik recognises what makes a good or bad pint, wine is her preferred tipple and has been known to award a pint purely on the quality of the pub’s Pinot Grigio.
An (and some say, deservedly) exiled exile, this Scot’s move to London coincided with the halt of the phrase “brain-drain”. The sheer pace of the capital and the draw of the boozer meant he had to retire to Spain at a still tender age. Even though his local tapas bar now stocks pint glasses and calls if he’s been absent for too long (around 8 hours), he regularly drops back to Blighty for a proper pint. He avers, that from afar, the allure of the pub does indeed increase, as does the expectation of good service and friendly clientele. Although he is now a fan of colourful tiles, fresh olives, cold Mahou and boozing ‘til dawn.
Glider is a country boy dragged kicking and screaming to The City seven years ago because there isn't much to do in rural Sussex except get drunk (oh and that other thing). To Glider's great delight he found that the same was true in town, except that there was this novelty of "going to a different pub". This was such a knockout idea to the boy that he has become frankly evangelical about trying out different juicers ever since. Loves country ales, brewery tours, busty wenches, lost weekends...
JohnnyFP is the Brummie reviewer who drinks draught lager and Jack Daniels, isn't aware what brewery owns the pub, and rarely notices the range of beers on offer. In and out of pubs since he was fifteen and still going strong, JohnnyFP focuses more on whether a pub is a good place to meet, right for a quiet drink, ideal for a session, or the sort to watch sport. When not out he can be found recovering in his north London flat.
Dr. Booze was attracted to London after university by the promise of streets paved with gold. After 5 years there he has not found any gold yet, but has been to a couple of good boozers. If you see someone in a pub trying to write up a PhD thesis, there’s a good chance that you’ve found Dr. Booze.