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    Tuesday, 3 February 2009

    Good Beer Guide - Play Your Part


    There are over 1000 members of our CAMRA branch. Sadly there are probably less than 30 who are what would be described as 'active'. That is they attend branch meetings and take part in surveying and campaigning.

    A huge factor in this is that geographically we are a bit area, being most of the county of Northamptonshire. Meetings are spread out as much as feasible over the county, but that brings the added compliaction of driving which doesn't mix well with the consumption of ale.

    It is probably impossible for the small number of active members to visit every pub in the county to ascertain their worthiness for the Good Beer Guide; it's probable that between us we know of all the good pubs but it's not certain that we would know if pub A in tiny village B has become the real ale haven we'd all love to have on our doorstep.

    For that reason I am actively trying to promote the CAMRA National Beer Scoring Scheme, which can be found here. Scores are awarded for each pub visit with those scores ranging from nought to five with half marks allowed. Nought means the beer is undrinkable whilst five means the beer was perfect. Sure it's not a perfect system. Better beers are likely to acheive better scores than boring mass marketed beers even if they are served in the same condition because the beer experience is better, but at least it gives branches an idea of how pubs are doing throughout the year if the site is used regularly.

    In my opinion CAMRA don't promote this website enough or explain how useful it can be at Good Beer Guide selection time.

    Please consider logging a score each time you are down the pub. It really only takes seconds. And please try especially hard if you are in Northants, we'd really appreciate it.

    5 comments:

    Boak said...

    I didn't know it existed.

    I don't know if I will be using it though - I do find it hard to give a numerical rating to a pub, as experience can vary so much and I know I would end up giving better marks to pubs I like even if the beer was only so-so.

    Tyson said...

    Yes it's a great system that should be used more. It's the only way to have national consistency for the GBG and lets people from all over rate your local pubs.

    Artist formerly known as Wurst said...

    Someone needs to just create another organization. Give these CAMRA slobs some competition. If I lived over there, I'd be just the guy.

    haddonsman said...

    It's absolute bollocks. Sorry, Mark, I know you're trying hard in Northants to make a difference but NBSS is fatally flawed. Score per beer or per pub? With a mix, how do you then complie? How are the scores weighted? Can a CAMRA bod put hand on heart and tell me that the scores then make a real difference to who's in or out this year?

    And how many of the c.970 Northants non-active members will be shagged to fill out a card and submit the results?

    I'd rather CAMRA ditched the pretense and just carried on awarding GBG entries to their members / member's mates / whoever's turn it is this year.

    Tyson said...

    The NBSS is a breath of fresh air in the murky world of GBG selection. People have been put off the whold process by the lack of transparency, which is what the scheme addresses.

    Consider the scenario that you are working away and visit your local frequently over that period. Previously you would have no input into the GBG, even if the pub was the best in the country. The NBSS puts an end to one man and his dog picking pubs at random.

    Scoring by beer or pub visit is only logical. If I stay in one pub for the evening, say, I'm not going to be messing about scoring 5 beers-I'm going to judge the beers overall. What CAMRA should do is make it compulsory so that all entries are chosen by the same system, instead of the mixed bag you have now.