Edinburgh & South-East Scotland

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Beer Scoring

Submitting beer scores is your chance to recognise and support the best real ale pubs in the Branch area. It is a quick and easy way in which members can contribute to CAMRA, and involves little more than simply enjoying a pint (please note that only CAMRA members are eligible to participate in beer scoring).

All scores are used at our Branch meeting every November to compile a “hit list” of around double the number of pubs that we can enter in to the next edition of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Only the pubs on this list will be included in voting for Good Beer Guide entries at the following February Branch meeting. They will also be used to select pubs for the annual branch Real Ale Quality Award.

The Good Beer Guide is one of CAMRA’s bestselling publications and an invaluable guide to finding the best real ale pubs both locally and more importantly when travelling. It is vital that we enter the best pubs in our Branch area and your beer scores are essential to the first stage of the selection process. The more members that contribute then the more accurate the end result, so please don't just leave it to others. Further information on this branch's Good Beer Guide selection process can be found on the GBG Selection Process page.

The beer scoring system rates beer on a 0 to 5 scale. This is explained on the scoring sheets, on the WhatPub website and in the following YouTube clip:

Please read the important notes below.

There are five possible ways for you to submit your scores (in order of preference) to our Pubs Officer, Jon Addinall:

  1. Submit online to CAMRA’s National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) via the WhatPub website.
    • You will have to log in with your CAMRA membership number and password.
    • Find the pub and enter scores in the box on the right hand side.
    • You can also review and edit your scores at the CAMRA Beer Scoring System
    • The following YouTube clip shows how to do this in detail:
  2. Complete and email this Beer Scoring Excel spreadsheet to ku.gro.armac.hgrubnide@ofni_bup (please read the “Read Me” tab)
  3. Enter your scores into, and email this Beer Scoring Word document (typed) to ku.gro.armac.hgrubnide@ofni_bup (If you don’t have Excel)
  4. Print, complete and post this Beer Scoring Word document (hand-written) to the postal address listed at top of document or bring along to the next meeting (Ideal for non smartphone owners to fill it in at the pub)
  5. Send your scoring information in a plain text email to ku.gro.armac.hgrubnide@ofni_bup

The deadline for submitting scores to be used on this year's hit list is one week before the November meeting if using WhatPub/NBSS, or as stated on the paper and Excel sheets.

Scores for pubs outwith our branch area should only be entered using WhatPub/NBSS so they can be seen by the relevant branch.

The top-scoring pubs will be listed every month on the Top Beer Scores page.

Important Notes

  1. Scores should only be given for REAL ALES and REAL CIDERS.
  2. Note that on NBSS a score of ZERO means NO REAL ALE. You MUST add something like "it just ran out" in the comments to explain. It should only be used when the pub has no Real Ale on sale, not to indicate that one has run out. On the Word or Excel sheets please put "No Real Ale" in the comments column to indicate if a pub has no Real Ale, or a * (Word) or 1 in the 0* column (Excel) if the Real Ale was changed without drama and taken off sale.
  3. If you are served an undrinkable pint at the end of a cask and it is changed without drama and taken off sale then (if using NBSS) don’t score it. All beer must run out sometime! If using Excel or typed word document put a 1 in the 0* column. If using the handwritten document put a * as the score. Add a few comments to explain what happened.
  4. If you are served an undrinkable pint and the staff refuse or are very reluctant to change it, or if they do but leave it on sale, then it scores a 0.5. Please put in a comment to say what happened.
  5. Duplicate Scores (same scorer, date, pub, Real Ale). These are occurring quite frequently and may be due to system errors or be given for the following good reasons:
    • Scoring for Others: if you enter scores for someone else put their name and/or membership number in the comments column.
    • Different Real Ales: enter the Real Ale name. Just put Real Ale 1, Real Ale 2 etc. if you can’t remember.
    All identical duplicate scores (same date; pub; Real Ale name / no Real Ale name) will be disregarded unless there is an explanation.
  6. Scores - some people tend to score high, some tend to score low. Please read the definitions.
  7. Scores - be critical and give praise where due - don't just give everything 3!
  8. Scores - Do not mark down a Real Ale because it is not your preferred style. However do mark down poorly made Real Ales. Don’t give it a high score while thinking "it is not a good Real Ale but this is as good as it gets". The thinking should be - I have just walked in to a GBG listed pub expecting some interesting, quality Real Ales, not just a line-up of un-interesting big brands or the mediocre products of a poorly run microbrewery. It’s the pubs choice what Real Ales they sell!
  9. Scores - Over use of 5 (and 4.5) - The idea of 5 is that it is reserved for exceptional Real Ale quality and should only be used a few times a year. Most good Real Ale will 3 or 4.
  10. Edinburgh Pubs - These require at least 3 visits (on separate days) to be eligible for inclusion on the hit list. So if you find good Real Ale in a pub that is not one of the usual suspects then please visit it a few times and tell ku.gro.armac.hgrubnide@ofni_bup about it so other branch members can be encouraged to visit.