Good Beer Guide

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GBG 2006

The Good Beer Guide is a book published annually by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) listing what it considers to be the best cask ale outlets (pubs, clubs, and off licences) in the United Kingdom.

Details[edit]

First Edition in 1974

The book is published from CAMRA's headquarters at St Albans and is currently edited by Roger Protz, but the contents are assembled by CAMRA's 200-plus local branches. The local branches consist of members who have an interest in keeping up to date with what is going on regarding the availability of real ale (cask conditioned beer) in their own branch area. Each branch is allocated a number of entries which may be included in the guide. As each branch is given autonomy to decide which pubs (and other outlets) to enter and which to leave out, there is considerable variation from area to area, depending on the involvement and interests of the local members. While most CAMRA members regard the book to be so trustworthy as to earn the nickname "The Bible of Beer", other readers have found it to be inconsistent[citation needed].

The pub descriptions themselves have grown from a single line to sometimes quite lengthy little essays that include history and legend. This is a major factor in the doubling of thickness of the Good Beer Guide over the last twenty years.

Although it concentrates on pubs, the guide also includes a list of cask ale breweries in the United Kingdom, with lists and tasting notes on their beers.

History[edit]

The guide was first published in 1972, and was just 18 pages long.[1] Rather than a professional published volume, it was a collection of sheets of paper stapled together and posted out to CAMRA members.[2]

The first printed edition was published in 1974, and contained the comment on Watney's brewery: "Avoid like the plague", which generated a lot of media attention and caused the publisher, Waddington, to recall the first print run and revise the description to "Avoid at all costs".[3]

Editions[edit]

The guide is published each year, occasionally with multiple bindings:

Year Sponsored By Edited By Pages Binding ISBN
1972 18 Unbound
1974 John Hanscomb 96 Paperback
1975 Michael Hardman 176 Paperback
1976 Michael Hardman 224 Paperback 0-09-912290-1
1977 Michael Hardman 256 Paperback 0-09-914510-3
Hardback
1978 Roger Protz 256 Paperback 0-09-916980-0
1979 Roger Protz 236 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-09-019630-1
1980 Roger Protz 236 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-09-922160-8
1981 Roger Protz 236 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-09-925260-0
1982 Roger Protz 236 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-9503340-7-3
1983 Roger Protz 236 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-950-3340-8-1
1984 Neil Hanson 280 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-950-3340-9-X
1985 Neil Hanson 280 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-9509587-0-9
1986 Neil Hanson 280 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-9509587-1-7
1987 Neil Hanson 280 + 36 Maps Paperback 0-9509584-3-3
1988 Neil Hanson 352 Paperback 1-85249-000-4
1989 Andrea Gillies 384 Paperback 1-85249-001-2
1990 British Coal Andrea Gillies 480 Paperback 1-85249-002-2
1991 British Coal Jeff Evans 504 Paperback 1-85249-003-9
1992 British Coal Jeff Evans 480 Paperback 1-85249-004-7
1993 Jeff Evans 508 Paperback 1-85249-005-5
Leather Bound 1-85249-005-5
1994 Jeff Evans 512 Paperback 1-85249-006-3
1995 Jeff Evans 528 Paperback 1-85249-007-1
1996 Jeff Evans 544 Paperback 1-85249-008-X
1997 Jeff Evans 544 Paperback 1-85249-009-8
1998 Homefire Smokeless coal Jeff Evans 560 Paperback 1-85249-131-0
1999 Homefire Smokeless coal Jonathan Preeze 576 Paperback 1-85249-149-3
2000 Homefire Smokeless coal Roger Protz 578 Paperback 1-85249-159-0
2001 Cask Marque Roger Protz 578 Paperback 1-85249-163-9
2002 Cask Marque Roger Protz 804 Paperback 1-85249-178-7
2003 Cask Marque Roger Protz 830 Paperback 1-85249-176-0
2004 Cask Marque and Beer Seller Roger Protz 830 Paperback 1-85249-186-8
2005 Beer Seller Roger Protz 848 Paperback 1-85249-196-5
2006 Waverley TBS Roger Protz 864 Paperback 1-85249-211-2
2007 Roger Protz 880 Paperback 1-85249-244-4
2008 Cask Marque Roger Protz 880 Paperback 978-1-85249-231-1
Hardback 978-1-85249-251-9
2009 Cask Marque Roger Protz 896 Paperback 978-1-85249-249-6
2010 Cask Marque Roger Protz 888 Paperback 978-1-85249-266-3
2011 Cask Marque Roger Protz 888 Paperback 978-1-85249-272-4
2012 Cask Marque / Society of Independent Brewers Roger Protz 908 Paperback 978-1-85249-286-1
Kindle -
2013 Cask Marque / Society of Independent Brewers Roger Protz 944 Paperback 978-1-85249-290-8
2014 Society of Independent Brewers / It's Better Down The Pub Roger Protz 944 Paperback 978-1-85249-312-7

Other publications[edit]

CAMRA also publishes the Good Cider Guide and the Good Bottled Beer Guide.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West Cumbria CAMRA". Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Queralt, Richard (October–November 2007). "CAMRA good beer guide". The Oxford Drinker. p. 16. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "CAMRA 2012: A Strategic Campaigning Framework Milestones in CAMRA’s History" (pdf). Retrieved 1 November 2011. 

External links[edit]