CAMRA Pub of the Year judging guidelines

Pubs don’t have to be picture postcard, unspoilt gems. Whether a pub is located on a housing estate, is a modern city centre bar, or a back street local it can be an exceptional pub.

Please find below a checklist to give you some guidance on what to look for in a Pub of the Year.

CATEGORY 1 – QUALITY OF BEER/ CIDER / PERRY

  • Is the beer, cider and/or perry sold of good/excellent quality?

CATEGORY 2 – STYLE, DÉCOR, FURNISHING AND CLEANLINESS

  • The pub should provide a comfortable, pleasant and safe environment throughout, with a friendly atmosphere.
  • The pub and glasses should be clean. Toilets should be hygienic and clean with hot water, suitable hand drying facilities etc.
  • Is the décor and furnishing appropriate to the style of pub? Does it suit what it is setting out to be and is the décor in good order.

CATEGORY 3 – SERVICE, WELCOME & OFFERING

  • Service should be welcoming, friendly, polite and also prompt whenever possible. If the pub is busy, a friendly acknowledgement of your presence is desirable.
  • You should be treated like a valued customer and made to feel at ease.
  • Staff should be knowledgeable about and enthusiastically promote real ales (and cider and perry if applicable – available?).
  • Staff should know how to pick up and hold a customer’s glass.
  • Do you feel welcome to have a drink without having a meal?
  • Where possible products from local producers should be included.
  • Within its limitations, does the pub offer other products/services which may enhance a visit to the pub, good quality soft drinks, food, wifi etc.?

CATEGORY 4 – COMMUNITY FOCUS AND ATMOSPHERE

  • Does the pub seem to have regular customers, e.g. do the bar staff recognise some people by name; do
    customers who have come out separately know each other?
  • Does the pub support local activities, such as sports teams and local groups? (Look out for notice boards, lists of local events such as quiz nights, outings and other various forms of entertainment and notices about sports teams which are linked with the pub.)
  • Does the pub have information on the local area which may be of use to locals and visitors to the area?
  • Does the pub have a friendly atmosphere?
  • Considering the time and day of the week is the pub busy enough to create a good atmosphere.
  • Further information can be found on https://pubs.camra.org.uk/communitypubs .

CATEGORY 5 – ALIGNMENT WITH CAMRA PRINCIPLES

  • Prices and opening hours should be clearly displayed.
  • You should get a full measure or a top up without asking. Does the pub use oversized glasses?
  • Is real ale (cider and perry where applicable) promoted in a positive way?
  • Does the pub try to stimulate interest in the sorts of issues we’re concerned about?
  • Beer, cider or perry should not be sold using misleading dispense methods.
  • It should be clear who has brewed “house branded” beers.
  • There should not be any inappropriate noisy electronic amusement machines.
  • Beers should not be served through tight sparklers unless brewed to be dispensed in that way.
  • Where possible there should be a range of beer styles and strengths. Where applicable, the range of ciders and perries should be taken into consideration. It should be noted that it is better for a pub to sell a small range to maintain quality if that is what suits their trade.

CATEGORY 6 – OVERALL IMPRESSION

  • This category covers the undefined elements that are not considered elsewhere.
  • Did you enjoy your visit to the pub?
  • Taking into account the style of pub and its location, did you feel that you received reasonable value for money. (CAMRA discounts should not influence this)
  • Did you spend more time than you had anticipated at the pub or wish you had been able to stay longer and would look forward to a return visit?