Whenever I write about a great pub experience in a place that isn’t in the GBG I always get folk saying “The best pubs aren’t in the GBG, of course” and “The Beer Guide is just for beer tickers” and “You need to seek local knowledge” (whatever local knowledge is).

But I’ve always been a staunch defender of the Beer Guide.

I know you lot like reading about the worst experiences, but I only have one beer in a hundred in a GBG that’s undrinkable, you know.

Another one for Dave

And the really bad pubs I write about often get dumped unceremoniously from the next GBG.

Of course, the GBG should be about the beer, not the welcome or the karaoke or the grumpy locals or the ability to tick that Archer’s rarity.  There may be space in the market for a book on “Great Pubs That Will Never Get In The GBG“. The Luppit in Luppit seems to be one of those rarities.

I’ve just put my NBSS scores in for Devizes. We had the best time in the Pelican, the best beer in the Black Swan, but the only place where both beers were 3 or above was the GBG White Bear.

In those first two the slower moving beers were part of the cask lottery we know and love.

As so often, the local CAMRA branch probably do know best.



  1. The problem is that you’ve already done all the longstanding stalwarts, so the new entries will inevitably be a bit hit and miss. You’ve often mentioned that some of the poorer ones disappear after a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Given the churn in the pub world in terms of ownership, publicans and beers on the bar (combined with the delay between selection and printing) I guess it’s inevitable that some will disappoint. However in most parts of the country it’s still a classic reference for beer quality. My only issue is the lack of quality consistency across the country. #moreentriesforDerbyshireandStaffordshire .

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well we’re all in agreement there. The only way you’d ever come across 99% of those beers, even visiting as many pubs as I do, is at a beer festival.

        No one uses it as a reference guide to beer, surely?


    1. In my experience as someone who’s taken part in his local branch’s selection procedure for many years, it’s often the case that a new entry gets voted in on a wave of enthusiasm only to prove disappointing. And the NBSS scoring is very much weighted towards the multi-beer pubs, thus introducing an inherent bias into the system.


      1. I guess new pubs, and they’re almost inevitably micros/tap room these days, tend to attract more visits from active members and therefore feedback/NBSS scores.

        A fair number of Thanet micros lasted a year or two in the GBG before being ousted by near identical newer micros, and I sense they weren’t happy about it!


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