Chris Maclean: we're in the book!

By Chris Maclean

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Good beer guide Public house Campaign for real ale

More good news came last night with the visit of the CAMRA reps completing our entry for the 2008 Good Beer Guide. This accolade is very important to...

More good news came last night with the visit of the CAMRA reps completing our entry for the 2008 Good Beer Guide​. This accolade is very important to me and reinforces the core belief I have in this business - that my beer is good.

There are many different guides to help people find pubs with different characteristics. Dog friendly pubs, quiet pubs, pubs on walks, pubs with food. Generally they fall into two categories. The consumer-led guides that attempt to evaluate pubs on a set of criteria using an army of volunteers dedicated to that task and those which you pay to be included in. These are becoming fewer because the ability to pay is no indication of whether the pub was any good or not.

So usually a group of well-meaning people pick up the challenge of identifying pubs and matching them to the specifications.

Two problems emerge here. The first is that the volunteers tend to be a small friendly bunch and, like all small groups, can be swayed by small matters. A friend of mine, whose beer is excellent, has not been in the Good Beer Guide​ since he upset all the members of the local branch.

The second problem can be that, for those attracted to this activity, there is a tendency for like-minded people, mostly middle-class, articulate and educated, to dispense a kind of largesse over their area. Pubs can get included, not because their beer is great but because the members feel these pubs need their endorsement.

So one has to be wary of reading too much into some of these guides.

However, in my case it is very clear. We are going to be included in the Good Beer Guide​ because a group of rationally-minded and totally objective judges have concluded my beer is sensational. But those woolly-minded, tanktop wearing Guardian​ readers who randomly pick pubs to go into the Good Pub Guide​ wouldn't recognise a good pub if it bit them. And my view is not at all affected by the fact that we will be included in the former but not in the latter.


Related topics Legislation

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