The new Good Beer Guide, from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), is published today, and the 2023 edition marks the 50th anniversary of the publication.
The guide, which surveys 4,500 of the best pubs across the UK, is compiled by thousands of independent volunteers. It helps identify significant trends and themes across the pub sector.
The 50th anniversary edition features a new cover design by Neil Gower, a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales (as the King was at the time of writing), and an introduction to each region by Laura Hadland, the award-winning author of 50 Years of CAMRA. It brings together pub and brewery information for the first time, making it easier to find local brews.
The first edition in 1974 was just 96 pages in length and listed around 1,500 pubs, with a brewery section covering just 105 brewing companies. Today, the Good Beer Guide features 1,864 breweries across the nation.
Just five pubs across the UK have made it into each edition of the guide, known as the ‘famous five’. They are: the Star Tavern and the Buckingham Arms in London; the Roscoe Head in Liverpool; the Square and Compass in Dorset; and the Queen’s Head in Newton, Cambridgeshire.
The guide is based entirely on personal recommendations made by local CAMRA members, which are rigorously reviewed by branches and editors.
Recommendations consider beer quality as well as the history and architecture of a pub, and various aspects such as food, gardens, family and disabled facilities, and special events. CAMRA does not take any fees for listings.
CAMRA’s chair, Nik Antona, said: “It is a huge achievement that we’re able to celebrate 50 years of publishing the Good Beer Guide, and a real testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, who undertake the assessments.
“What makes the guide unique is that all the entries are compiled and vetted by a huge volunteer team based around the country. We work hard to ensure that all areas of the country are covered and, unlike some competitor titles, inclusion in this book is dependent on merit, not on payment.
“The last few years have been an incredibly difficult time for the industry, and we need more support than ever before to keep our nation’s pubs open and thriving. I’d encourage everyone to use this year’s guide to visit the very best pubs across the UK and support them for generations to come.”
• To ourchase a copy of the new guide, click here.