I have said a fair amount about the Good Beer Guide in the last few days, concentrating on local issues. I will have a whinge about it in general too though. Something which occurred to me when I realised I had overlooked The Sair's exclusion.
It is certainly a useful tool for carrying about and finding pubs in unfamiliar areas, I am not denying that, but my complaint is the arbitrary way that these areas are split up. For example it shows Huddersfield, and then separate entries for surrounding villages like Meltham, Marsden and Slaithwaite whilst leaving Bradley lumped in with the town centre pubs. This could be fairly confusing to a visitor hoping to get The White Cross in on a walking tour of the town's finest.
Take Leeds. The City centre is covered, but there is an entry for Holbeck as well. How many passing through Leeds know that the Holbeck pubs listed are as close, if not closer, to the railway station than those listed for the city? And who really knows where Holbeck is? I certainly don't if I use the guide's criteria. Sheffield suffers a similar fate, with a strange split between Sheffield Centre and Sheffield North.
In contrast, Manchester City centre is listed without any splits. Liverpool likewise, although it does show different areas outside the centre. Maybe this method should be adopted throughout, using the postcode as a starting point and anything under that postcode listed as a sub-district of the nearest large town/city e.g. Huddersfield:Meltham.
I realise I am being a little pedantic and I know there is a map to help, but this is not necessarily on the page that you need when searching for those unfamiliar pubs, and the small scale means it is of little use, especially in West Yorkshire where there are so many entries seemingly on top of one another. I just want it to be as easy to use as possible when I'm out and about, and think that with a little more thought there would be less likelyhood of some decent pubs being overlooked by the touring drinker.