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Scoring Categories for Pub of the Year
The categories we're using for scoring this year's Pub of the Year are
listed below, along with a description of what we're looking for.
These categories are also used in the later regional and super-regional
rounds, so using them to select our Branch Pub of the Year should
give it the best chance possible of progressing further.
Quality of Beer
This is the most important single factor in judging a pub for a CAMRA award.
Please note that the pub doesn't need to sell a wide range of beers to score
highly - a pub selling a couple of ales in tip-top condition is preferable
to one selling seven or eight of variable quality!
This is partly about the “feel” of the interior – is it a nice place to be?
Is the décor appropriate to the type of pub it is? Does the style show respect
for the building? Factors like imagination, taste and restraint all come into
play. Pubs certainly don’t have to be picture-postcard, unspoilt rural gems
to score highly here. Estate pubs, modern city centre bars, back street boozers
– all can be excellent in their own terms.
Service and Welcome
Is the service prompt, efficient and friendly? Do you get full measure or
at least a top up without having to ask? Does the person serving you seem
to regard you as a human being rather than just a source of revenue?
Does the pub have a community focus? For example, notice boards listing
local events, sports teams linked with the pub, a sense of the pub belonging
to the people and the local community. When you go in do you feel comfortable,
do the people there also feel comfortable and has a pleasant feel about the place.
If a pub operates in such a way as to exclude some sectors of the community
then that counts against it for this competition. That’s not to say that
pubs which target a particular type of clientele cannot be excellent in their
own right – but a CAMRA Pub of the Year does need to be inclusive, not exclusive.
So look out for whether the pub attracts a good cross section of people and age
groups. Appears to be the hub or a vital part of the community.
Sympathy With CAMRA Aims
This doesn't mean the pub has to agree with everything CAMRA does, but we
wouldn't expect a Pub of the Year to operate in a way which conflicts with CAMRA's
aims, or specific policies relating to pubs. On a more general note, does the
pub espouse and promote our values? Is cask beer given a positive push here?
Is information offered about the ales sold? Does the pub try to stimulate interest
in the sorts of issues we’re concerned about?