Bolton Beer & Cider Week
Have you ever wondered about how pubs get into CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide (GBG)? Unlike guides where paid individuals submit reviews, the GBG is an independent selection of pubs judged by local CAMRA members to consistently serve quality real ale. There are nearly 150 pubs and clubs in our Branch so we need members from across the town to help us gather information about them year-round. The easiest way is to use beer scoring.
How to score
It’s up to you how you record your scores while in the pub.
0 = No cask ale available.
1 = Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment. Includes beer taken back as being poor.
2 = Competently kept; drinkable but doesn’t inspire in any way. Below what is expected for the GBG.
3 = Good beer in good form. A GBG user would not be disappointed with it. You may seek out the beer again in the same session.
4 = Very good: Excellent beer in excellent condition. Exceeds expectations.
5 = Probably the best beer you are likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.
Don’t give a pint 5 just because it’s (say) Doom Bar and you happen to like Doom Bar. Think: in your experience is this beer in front of you an excellent example of a Doom Bar, or a pretty poor one? And don’t score 1 because it’s a stout and you happen to hate stouts. Try to give an honest account of how well-kept a particular beer is.
Some things to consider
- Is the cask beer served at the cellar temperature (not too cold or too warm)?
- Is it in good “condition” ie not undercarbonated (flat) or overcarbonated (too fizzy), and does it seem alive and with a good mouthfeel?
- Does the beer have off-flavours which suggest that it is not ready (sweet apple flavours), too old (unpleasant sourness), or pulled through unclean lines (stale, mouldy, lifeless)?
- Does the beer have the full range of expected flavours? Note that really good cask beer may develop different flavours over time.
How to submit scores?
The easiest way is to log onto CAMRA’s WhatPub.com with your membership number and password, search for the pub and use the Submit Score button. If you can’t do this on your phone or on your PC at home, you can provide written scores (with your membership details) to the Branch Pubs Officer either in person at Branch meetings or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A blank form is available to record your scores on, see the branch website at bolton.camra.org.uk. You can also use the WhatPub Feedback form if any of the pub details need updating.
How are scores used?
The scores from all members are used to help work up a shortlist for final GBG voting in February. Scores highlight pubs in which you are highly to get a good quality beer (with an average score of 3.2 or above) throughout the year.
So, your scores do count. Judging the best pubs in Britain is something you are uniquely placed to do. Please take the time to beer score and make your contribution to the Good Beer Guide!
WARNING TO PUBLICANS
CAMRA never charges for entry into the Good Beer Guide.
NEVER give money to anyone claiming to be collecting for this purpose.
(Some of this article has been plagiarised from Reading and Berkshire CAMRA Branch – for which credit and thanks go to them)