The Pub Guides publist.htm - June 2000
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV XV XVI XVII XVIII XIX XX

As a student, I went to a lot of pubs. After all, I was in York, and York has long-boasted a different pub for every day of the year (though that requires quite a loose definition of pub). The more pubs we visited, the keener the desire to put those pubs into some sort of order: which were the best pubs? Which were the worst pubs? These were questions in need of an answer. So it was, on 7th January 2000 (II(2)), that the Great York Pub Guide (pubs.htm) was born.

pubs.htm - January 2000But there was more to the Great York Pub Guide than just scoring pubs. The site was meticulously researched using books from the library. I generated a definitive list of 88 "pubs" (which excluded "bars", though quite where the distinction lay was vague at the best of times), including the date when their sign was registered. These pubs were then organised into six helpfully titled regions:

Inspired by another guide I'd seen, each entry consisted of the following fields:

On 29th June 2000 (II(8)), following another period of extensive research / drinking, the site was moved onto the Corporate Suite webspace (Xoom), and expanded to include a new section: "The Suburbs". This consisted of:

foss.htm - June 2000The site now had 147 pubs listed (see the long screenshot, right), 47 of which had been reviewed, either by myself, a friend, or ideally both of us (thus providing a contrast of opinions). A typical page (Foss region) is given, right. The front page at this time is shown below:

pubs.htm - June 2000

The guides went off-line with the demise of the Xoom webspace after Easter 2001, but returned with the Freeserve relaunch on 31st August 2001 (III(10)). It was joined by a sibling: The Small Sheffield Pub Guide (shef.html). Here's the entrance page as it was four and a half months later:

index.html - January 2002

And here's the York guide's index page as it was in mid-2002:

pubs.html - June 2002

For this relaunch, the York reviews were reformatted to lose the field structure. Instead, they consisted simply of an address (physical and now also virtual), my review, and my friend's review (in italics to differentiate). A similar format was used for the Sheffield guide.

The Sheffield Guide only included pubs we'd been to. There was no attempt to catalogue everything in the city. As for the York guide, the entries for the pubs we'd actually visited were now duplicated on a single page for easy reference.

From May 2003 (V(7)), the guides were listed on the AVW homepage as being part of AView. A map of the nine best pubs in Sheffield was added to the Sheffield guide on 25th June 2003 (V(8)), and this was followed soon after (2nd July) by a new section: The Good Brewery Guide (beer.html). This page catalogued any brewer we'd encountered at least five different beers of in Sheffield, gave a short summary, a mark out of 10, and a list of recommendations and/or brews best avoided (including tasting notes in each case).

Around Easter 2004 the three guides were formally renamed The AView Pub Guides, after having been that way on the AVW front page for almost a year. Here's the pub guides entry page from June 2004 (VI(8)):

york/index.html - June 2004

The Sheffield guides boasted a thrice yearly update schedule, but the York pages had languished unchanged since August 2002. On 21st May 2006 (VIII(8)) they were quietly withdrawn.

The Sheffield guides continued to be "Supposedly updated every four months" as the front page put it. The last update took place on 17th June 2009 (XI(8)), by which point the pub reviews had been reformatted, everything was colour-coded, and there were graphs for the breweries. Since then, the pages have remained stagnant: while they've never been taken down, they were orphaned at some point before June 2011 (XIII(9)) and are no-longer represented in the menu structure of the A/V Woman site.