Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

How we decide our Pubs of the Year and GBG entries

How do we decide on our Pubs of the Year (PotY) and Good Beer Guide entries?

We don't just pick a list of pubs from a hat (none of us has a hat anyway). The processes are democratic, being entirely decided by the branch membership voting for their favourite real ale pubs. National Beer Scoring results, entirely completed by members, are also taken into consideration.

We choose three PotY - one each for a) a Peterborough city pub, b) a town pub (Wisbech, Stamford, March, Market Deeping, Oundle, Ramsey or Bourne) and c) a rural pub. During the year, we hope to receive some pub nominations for Gold or Merit awards from our members, either by post, using the form in Beer Around Ere (BAE), or a simple letter or email to the secretary. All successful nominations are eligible for the PotY appropriate to the pub's location. The cut-off date is the day before the November branch meeting each year. The online vote takes place during the last weeks of the year - ending at noon on 30th Dec. Postal votes are also permitted. A panel of scrutineers, nominated by the AGM in early December, counts and approves the votes received for each pub. The winners are announced on the branch website in early January and emailed to all members soon after. The January branch meeting then decides which of the three pubs should be our overall PotY, and which of the three pubs are to be nominated for the county rounds of the regional PotY competition.
With voting for the Good Beer Guide (GBG), the same online voting form, described above, allows all branch members to nominate their favourites, those pubs that they believe stock beers of a quality good enough to represent the branch's pubs in the GBG. We ask that they only include pubs with which they are familiar and have visited during the last year. All pubs receiving votes are considered for scrutiny by members present at the January meeting, who then volunteer to travel far and wide in order to check the beer quality of the nominated pubs. With a large branch area to survey, any branch member is welcome to join in this onerous task. We have over 350 pubs in the branch, but an allocation of only 34 in the GBG. These are further split into five for Northants, seven for Lincolnshire and 22 for our pubs in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Sometimes a pub selling great beer might not get many votes. This may be due, for instance, to the lack of branch members living nearby. At a branch meeting, members are empowered, by rights outlined in our policy document, to include such pubs – especially those that have received high scores in the National Beer Scoring System.
So now you know – it's not perfect, but we believe it's a fair system, resulting in the best real ale pubs getting the plaudits they deserve.
If you believe your pub deserves some recognition, but isn't on the radar of the local branch members, then fill in the form in the back of BAE or write to the email address listed there.