Campaign for Real Ale

National Beer Scoring System

What Pub, Beer Scoring and the Good Beer Guide

How you can help as a CAMRA Member?

You are probably aware of the ‘Good Beer Guide’, CAMRA’s flagship publication which lists the best 4 500 pubs in the UK. But what you may not know is how those pubs are selected to appear in the Guide. The answer is that pubs are nominated at the nominations meeting, and then debated at the selection meeting where beer scores are taken into account, including beer scores submitted by CAMRA members from all over the country. Individual beer scorers remain anonymous; it’s just the scores that count.

So, if you are a CAMRA member, you can send in beer scores from the comfort of your own home with your computer (see the large picture below on the left), or, if you have a smart phone, whilst you are having a drink (see the large picture below on the right). If you’ve ever wondered why your favourite pub isn’t in the Guide, this may well be because you, and others, haven’t entered beer scores rating the quality of beer in that particular pub. By beer scoring, you can contribute to the process of selection of pubs that go in to the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

So how do I score the quality of the beer?

You don’t have to be an ‘expert’ to begin scoring your beer. However, it is not about your personal favourite beer receiving the highest scores! You may try a beer that isn’t to your normal taste, but what you need to consider is the quality of that beer, how well the pub has kept it and served it, and score it according to the general guide below. It is a simple system of a ten point range from 0 to 5, with half points being used if your opinion of the beer falls between two categories.

  • 0. No cask ale available. Cask ale is not sold at this pub. Please check that the beer has simply not "just run out" at the time of your visit!
  • 1. Poor. Beer is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.
  • 2. Average. Competently kept, drinkable pint but doesn’t inspire in any way, not worth moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing.
  • 3. Good. Good beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again.
  • 4. Very Good. Excellent beer in excellent condition. You stay put!
  • 5. Perfect. Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.

Beer Scoring Booklet

A handy pocket-sized beer scoring booklet has been produced to help you keep your beer scores if you don't have a smart phone or tablet. Please click on Beer Scoring Booklet 2019 - Cover Sheet (see image left) to download the Cover Page and page one. Please print one of these off, double-sided. Then click on Beer Scoring Booklet 2019 - Scoring Pages (see image right) and print off a total of nine pages, also double-sided. You should now have a total of ten sheets of paper. Place them together, cut in half and then staple them together to give you two pocket-sized beer scoring booklets. You can then add your beer scores on your computer at home when you have time, and also have a record of what beer you drank, where, and how good it was!

Alternatively, download the complete booklet, Beer Scoring Booklet 2019 - FULL, and remember to print double-sided if your printer allows, or print the odd numbered pages first, re-insert them into the printer tray, and then print the even numbered pages. There are 20 pages which, when printed double-sided, will use 10 sheets of paper.

How do I submit my scores?

In order to submit your scores, you need to login to CAMRA’s online pub guide WHAT PUB, either on a computer or by smart phone. In order to start submitting scores via What Pub you need to: -

1. Login. To do this, you need your CAMRA membership number and your password. If you do not know your password, please click HERE.

2. You can then search for your pub by name. Be careful here, as there are many pubs in the country which share the same name. My advice is to search by the pub name and the town. The What Pub smart phone/tablet web page (see picture on the right) also gives you the option to search for real ale pubs nearby, very useful if you are in an unfamiliar town or area.

3. Once you have found your pub, a ‘Submit Beer Scores’ box will appear on the right hand side of the screen (or on the tab bar underneath the pub photo if you are using a smart phone).

4. Select the date and your score. Then, as you begin typing, the brewery name should automatically appear underneath where you are typing. You do not have to enter the name of the beer you are drinking, but, if you wish to do so, once you have entered the brewery name you should be able to click on the arrow in the Beer box, and a drop down list of that brewery’s beers should appear. In some cases, the beer you are drinking may be a new or a one off brew by the Brewery, so may not appear on the list. If this is the case, you can simply type in the beer name. Check all the details are correct, one click ‘Submit Score’ and your score will be entered into the database.

It is as simple as that. An added bonus is that What Pub will keep a record of your scores so that you can look back to see what beers you have had and how you rated them if you want to.