CAMRA - Campaign for Real Ale, Berkshire South-East Branch

Pub Monitoring

CAMRA is passionate about traditional British beer. But the only place to truly enjoy a pint of excellent ale is in a pub (apart, of course, from a CAMRA beer festival).

There are around 100 pubs in the SE Berkshire branch area. We alongside other CAMRA branches nationally keep records of these pubs, which can now be accessed through the WhatPub website:
WhatPub logo
Please advise us of any corrections needed to entries on WhatPub. We would also particularly like to know about changes of ownership, new landlords, new interesting beers in a pub, or where traditional ale is now on sale or has been taken out.

Anyone can provide such updates by using the “Update” facility on the relevant pub's WhatPub page or by emailing the Branch Pub Database Co-ordinator, John Winkley on .

Pub Protection

For a thousand years the pub has been an essential part of the British way of life: the very centre of the community. In recent years, the traditional British pub has come under threat like never before. Most pubs are no longer owned by breweries but large pub owning companies (PubCos), which often use them as a financial asset to be bought, sold or closed as the market dictates, frequently simply for short-term profit.

We believe that an institution that has served this country so well for so long, and still gives so much pleasure to millions of people deserves more respect. If there is a threat of closure to a pub then our Branch Pub Protection Officer, Bruce Singleton would like to hear about it.


Beer Quality

The Berkshire S-E branch of CAMRA carries out a number of important, but enjoyable, tasks during the year. One of the most important jobs is the selection of entries for Britain’s best-selling pub guide, the Good Beer Guide.

Many things go into making a good pub but we believe the most important of all is for a pub to regularly serve traditional cask ales in top condition. Unlike other beers, real ale is a living, breathing, pure commodity with natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives. It needs to be stored and served in such a way so it is in prime condition when it reaches the glass. This is second nature to all good publicans.

In order to identify our best pubs (or at least, the ones who consistently serve the best beer) we run a monitoring system. The more people who take part the better.

All we ask is for YOUR view on the beer quality once you have visited a pub in our area.
How to score:
CAMRA - National Beer Scoring Scheme (NBSS)
0.No Real AleNo cask-conditioned ale available.
1.PoorBeer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.
2.AverageCompetently kept, drinkable pint but doesn't inspire in any way, not worth moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing.
3.GoodGood beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again.
4.Very GoodExcellent beer in excellent condition.
5.PerfectProbably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.
** WE NOW ACCEPT HALF MARKS ** - so you can make your beer score more explicit.

Important notes:
Score the way the pub has looked after the beer not how well it has been brewed. A basic bitter could score ‘5’ and the reigning Champion Beer of Britain could score ‘1’ if the former was in tip-top con­dition and the latter had gone off.

Use the top score of 5 only if you have never had the beer in better condition.

Do not score if, when you return it, it is taken back with good grace and the pump-clip turned round or the beer taken off sale.

How to submit scores:
The best way to submit your beer score is through the WhatPub website:
WhatPub logo

However, if you prefer you can submit the details to the Branch NBSS Co-ordinator, Lee Allsopp

For either method the following information is required:
Details to include when submitting Beer Scores

About You:- Your Name, Your CAMRA Membership No. & Your Branch (if not Berks S-E)

About Your Pub Visit:- Date of Visit, Name of Pub & Town / Village

About the Beer:- Beer Name & Your Score (for each beer you had)

Thank you for your help.

Good Beer Guide

Good Beer Guide cover The Good Beer Guide is a book produced by CAMRA annually listing the pubs across the country that it considers to serve the best ale. Each year the members of Berkshire S-E branch select which pubs in our area are worthy of listing in the guide.

The process is based upon the correlated results of the beer scores collected during the preceeding year. At a specially convened Branch Meeting, members review and discuss the 20 pubs with the highest average beer scores. There is then a secret ballot, with the pubs receiving the most votes going forward into the following year's Good Beer Guide.

Branch members then produce a write-up for each elected pub describing it and listing its particulars, which is ultimately published in the Good Beer Guide.

Pub of the Year

Each year the members of Berkshire S-E branch select their Pub of the Year (POTY). The process begins early in the year and all members are encouraged to make a nomination.
At a specially convened Branch Meeting, the merits of each are discussed and a vote taken to draw up a short list of about six pubs.
Members are invited to visit each of the short-listed pubs to record their views, based on pre-determined criteria. This can either be as part of a formal branch function or simply by individuals making a visit at a time of their choosing.

Obviously, the more members who give their verdicts, the better the competition.
The judging of short-listed pubs is based on the following criteria:
  1. Quality of Beer/Cider/Perry
  2. Style, Décor, Furnishings & Cleanliness
  3. Service, Welcome & Offering
  4. Community Focus & Atmosphere
  5. Alignment with CAMRA Principle
  6. Overall Impression
It is not necessary to attend any meeting to take part in the judging – all branch members are welcome to take part.
Simply request a form from Branch GBG Co-ordinator Terry Burrows once the shortlist has been determined and return the completed form to him by the specified deadline.

The branch POTY is announced by 30th April. It then goes forward into the Regional competition against the best pubs from the other branches in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and a part of Herts. Judges from each branch visit each of the Regional entries and the winner announced after 31st July.

Each regional winner goes forward into the national competition to find Britain’s Best Pub. The winner is announced during National Pubs Week in February.
Pub of the Year

The selection of the 2020 Branch Pub of the Year award goes to:

Ship Inn, Wokingham.

Ship Inn

Trading Standards

At CAMRA we love pubs and have great admiration for the people who run them. However, occasionally you may come across a licensee who doesn’t play fair; maybe regularly serving short measure or refusing to display a price list, as required.
In these circumstances, a quiet word with a local Trading Standards Officer may not go amiss.

To locate a Trading Standards Office anywhere in the country, visit:
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate and up to date, no responsibility for errors and omissions can be accepted.