How we select our Good Beer Guide entries and Pub of the Year from 2016.
Invariably every year, when our Pub of the Year is announced or the Good Beer Guide is released, there are enquiries as to ‘why isn’t XXX pub included? and shouts of ‘Fix!’ or allegations of nepotism. This is both unfair and disrespectful to the volunteers that give hours of their time to survey the pubs and couldn’t be further from the truth.
The selection processes involved have been documented many times on this website and in our newsletter but, in order to be as transparent as possible, the entire selection process is documented here for all to see. This process is ongoing throughout the year and is openly discussed at every branch meeting. All branch meetings are open to non-members and anyone is free to attend meetings and have their say.
Good Beer Guide.
There are around eighty pubs in our branch area, and the branch allocation for the Good Beer Guide is only seven.
GBG entries are judged on QUALITY OF BEER alone. No other factors are considered.
The selection process in ever on-going with monthly online voting with everyone having the opportunity to list up to seven pubs where they are consistently drinking good quality beer. The lists are handed to the GBG/POTY coordinator who then collates the list into a table with the most listed pub at the top. This gives the basis for a shortlist.
At the branch AGM in November the submitted results are collated to produce a table and the highest scores are finalised by the branch committee and become GBG nominations. The seven pubs are then surveyed once and a GBG nomination form filled in with all the information which will eventually appear in the guide.
These forms are then sent to the Regional Director for checking for the end of February before going through to the editorial team at HQ.
The process then starts all over again for the next year’s guide.
Pub of the Year.
The CAMRA Pub of the Year is a National award that starts at branch level.
Anyone can nominate, in writing, a pub in our branch area for the Newark CAMRA Pub of the Year award. Multiple nominations will have no effect on the competition – one nomination is as good as one hundred!
At the October branch meeting the nominations are closed. The nominees are then individually surveyed over the next three months, to a set list of criteria (such as customer service, décor, community spirit, value for money, and of course the quality of real ale), by a number of volunteers separately and on two different occasions. So, for example, if there are nine surveyors, the pub will be visited and scored on no less than eighteen different occasions. If a surveyor fails to visit all of the pubs twice for any reason, that surveyor’s results form any of the pubs do not count.
The results are collated into a table and the pubs ranked 1 to n. These ranking scores are totalled and the pub with the highest score is declared branch Pub of the Year.
If two or more pubs are tied on the same whole number score then the assessors and branch officers at the meeting shall determine the POTY based on the beer scores.
Each of the 200 CAMRA branches can enter a POTY into the National competition. The branch winners are entered into 16 regional competitions and then the 16 winners battle it out to reach these final stages. Four finalists go head-to-head in a National final. The winner is announced in February.
If you would like to get involved and become a surveyor for GBG or POTY please email us.
We will be considering using What Pub scores and a change of dates for POTY assessing for 2017.