Have you ever wondered how CAMRA selects pubs for the annual Good Beer Guide? Each CAMRA branch is responsible for the entries in its area within the county (see In the Sticks January 2012) and each listed pub must consistently serve real ale (and real cider if offered) of good quality. To help us do this, members collect beer quality information through CAMRA's National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) in which they are asked to contribute scores for pubs throughout the year.
It is easy to score your beers. Log in to CAMRA's online pub guide, WhatPub (http://whatpub.com), using your membership number and the same password that you use to enter the CAMRA national website. Search for the pub on the main page; remember to give its full title and location, (Smartphone users can use the 'Pubs near me' tool) and the using the 'Submit Beer scores' tab, enter a score for each beer that you drank. There is plenty of help and information about Whatpub in the FAQ's tab. Using the Smartphone version you can score your beer in the pub while you drink it! If you don't have online access at all, then ask your pubs officer at a branch meeting for paper forms and they will enter your scores for you.
Having collected hundreds of beer scores over the year, the branch generates a report in January giving the average, best and worst scores for each pub and a confidence factor based on the number of scores received. The Branch Committee uses this data to draw up a list of eligible pubs with the highest average score, supplemented by other sources of information, and then visits them to update the pub details ahead of a selection meeting in February. All branch members are invited to that meeting at which entries for the next Good Beer Guide are chosen.
To make this work better, we need many more members to enter their scores. We value the opinions of all members whether active or not and we need as many opinions as possible for as many pints in as many pubs as possible. This is so we can have confidence in the statistics. We ask members to score the pubs continually not just once or twice. NBSS works across the country not just in our branch. If you are not a member but would like your opinions of beer quality in pubs to count, then please join CAMRA!
At a Branch meeting held in early March, Halton determines it's selection of pubs to go into CAMRA's Good Beer Guide (GBG). That choice will remain secret until the guide is published in late September. Unlike any other pub or beer guide (and there are lots of them) a publican cannot (does not) pay a fee to be included in CAMRA's GBG. Inclusion in the guide is solely down to merit determined by CAMRA's grass-roots membership - you the beer drinkers!
- The outlets chosen for the 2020 guide have been selected, (eligible criteria allowing); their details have been submitted for publication late 2019.