Beer scoring - We need your help!

How about doing a little campaigning every time you enter a pub and have a pint?

All we ask you to do is give a considered opinion on the quality of the beer(s) you have drunk by submitting a score to CAMRA. These scores are then used to:

1) Contribute to the discussions when selecting the Pub of the Month.

2) Help the branch compile a shortlist of establishments for inclusion in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide.

3) Help the branch keep track of the performance of all our pubs - so please score at every pub, not just at the good ones.

How do I submit scores?

The easiest way is to log onto CAMRA's with your membership number and password, search for the pub and use the Submit Score button. If you can't do this on your phone or on your PC at home, you can provide written scores (with your membership details) to the Branch Pubs Officer either in person at Branch meetings or by email at A blank form is available to record your scores in either Word or Adobe pdf format. You can also use the WhatPub Feedback form if any of the pub details need updating.

Which pubs can I score?

Any and every one that you visit, whether within the branch or when you are on your travels, covers the entire country. It is especially welcome to get the views of people from outside our area who (we hope) give feedback un-biased by local perceptions. It is all too easy to over-score your favourite local.

What about key-keg?

We now collect scores for all live beers, not just cask conditioned (usually identified by a handpump), but also key‑keg live beers. This means many beers served via a font can now be included, as long as they are live.

How do I discover if a font served beer is live? This can sometimes be difficult. Try the following:

  1. The pump clip or beer chalkboard — It is not unusual to see such as "CAMRA says this is real ale".
  2. The bar staff — If they are knowledgeable they should be able to answer this. If you get a vague answer or a blank stare I would employ additional questions such as "Are they metal or plastic containers?".
  3. The brewery website — They should know! Sometimes a beer can be available in cask, key-keg and {traditional?} keg. In this case add the word "Font" to the beer name.
  4. If all else fails — Score the beer and again add the word "Font" and we will try and determine its provenance.

How to score

Sample your beer then determine where it lies on a simple 0 to 5 scale (including half points) as outlined below.
Don't fret too much about "getting it right" because there is no correct answer!

0 = No cask ale available.
½ = Ask the landlord if they serve chips because this is the only use that this beer can be put to!
1 = Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.
2 = Competently kept; drinkable but doesn't inspire in any way. Well elow what is expected for the GBG.
3 = Good beer in good form. You may seek out the beer again in the same session. The minimum expected standard for GBG shortlisting.
4 = Very good: Excellent beer in excellent condition. Exceeds expectations.
5 = Utter perfection. Beer which demands you drop everything to have more of the same. You can go for years without ever experiencing beer this good.

Never give more than one 5 in the same session, and in reality rarly more than once or twice a year. Also only score each beer once within a day/session because multiple scores are compounded (unless you definitely know the barrel has been changed).

Don't give a pint 5 just because it's Crudingtons 6X and that is your favourite beer. Think: in your experience is the beer in front of you an excellent example of Crudingtons, or a pretty poor one? Don't fall into the other trap of giving a score of 1 because it's a stout and you happen to hate stouts. Try to give an honest account of how well-kept a particular beer is.

Some things to consider

Is the cask beer served at the cellar temperature (not too cold or too warm)?

Is it in good "condition" ie not undercarbonated (flat) or overcarbonated (too fizzy), and does it seem alive and with a good mouthfeel?

Does the beer have off-flavours which suggest that it is not ready (sweet apple flavours), too old (unpleasant sourness), or pulled through unclean lines (stale, mouldy, lifeless)?

Does the beer have the full range of expected flavours? Note that really good cask beer may develop different flavours over time.


Pub Of The Month selection

At each month's branch meeting (dates here) a number of pubs are proposed for our Pub Of The Month award. The proposing member then explains why the pub deserves this accolade. Comments and questions are then invited from the floor. When all arguments have been made a single transferable vote system is used to select that months winner.

There are no written criteria for eligibility, only a set of guidelines.

  1. The proposer MUST have visited the pub within the previous four weeks.
     - Ensures an up-to-date report and not a long distant fond memory.
  2. The landlord must have been in place for six months or more.
     - Ensures they have a proven track record and not riding on their launch event.
  3. Having won the award, a landlord becomes ineligible until two years have passed.
     - Ensures one or two pubs don't dominate the award
  4. The award is given to a pub of excellence and not just because it serves a multitude of beer.
     - Excellence can cover:
       Conversion or reverting to real ale after years without
       Social events, eg themed day, eg Victorian, fund raising event
       Community inclusion, eg darts teams, meal for OAPs,
       Upgrade of the pub fabric, from an extention to a re-decoration
       Continued beer quality

Unlike the popular perception that awards given by the Campaign for Real Ale are to the pub with the most beers, we in Stockport and South Manchester endeavour to recognise excellence, commitment, enterprise and sheer hard work. Thus an establishment selling but a single beer, and located in a back street industrial estate, but which is packed every night and runs three darts team and annual events for senior citizens is as likely to win as a multi-ale free house.


Good Beer Guide

Unlike guides where paid individuals submit reviews, the Good Beer Guide is an independent selection of pubs judged by local CAMRA members to consistently serve quality real ale. There are nearly 400 pubs and many clubs in our Branch so we need members from across the branch to help us gather information about them year-round. The easiest way is to use beer scoring.

Publicans, please don't solicit good beer scores from your customers, and don't offer inducements. Doing so will cause your pub's beer scores to be regarded with suspicion and will make your pub less likely to be chosen for the next Good Beer Guide.


⇨ CAMRA never charges for entry into the Good Beer Guide.

NEVER give money to anyone claiming to be collecting for this purpose.

Join our lively discussion group

Would you like to sign up to the Stockport and South Manchester discussion group where you will recieve news and updates about branch activities?

Topics of wider interest are also aired, ranging from names/locations of former pubs to the merit of serving beer using air assisted pumps!

To join send an email to

Membership is restricted and has to be approved by a moderator so please be patient. Thankyou