Good Beer Guide 1999
The Good Beer Guide 1999 contains some 5,000 pubs selling top-notch beer, a full
listing of real ale breweries and the beers they brew, together with various
campaigning articles on all issues related to beer and pubs.
Unlike some other guides, the Good Beer Guide is surveyed by consumers, people
who use the pubs regularly. Its key objective is to spread the word about great
British beer and raise awareness of important threats to our pubs such as unfair
licensing law, high beer tax and unsympathetic refurbishment.
Around a third of pub entries are new since the previous year's Guide.
Pubs are checked regularly and if the beer quality falls the offending pub won't get in the Guide.
Facts and Figures
Most pubs in the Good Beer Guide make a refreshing change to town centre circuit
pubs and their only theme is that they are decent British locals. It seems that
key pub operators like Wetherspoons, Bass, Whitbread and Greenalls are to pay
less attention to prime town centre pubs. CAMRA has been warning these companies
for months that the market for theme pubs is at saturation point and many of our
town centres are fast becoming no-go areas for drinkers over 25. There are signs
that they are listening and starting to invest in smaller pubs off the high street.
- 5,000 pubs
- 600 breweries and details of 2,700 real ales
- County maps help you find your way to the best pubs
- 576 pages - biggest ever edition
- Pubs using oversized lined glasses to serve full pints - rip-off-free zones
- List of pubs with interiors of outstanding historical importance
- Pubs with real fires
- Pubs with smoke-free areas
- Sponsored once again by Homefire Smokeless Coal
- Shop price £10.99
- Price to Cambridge & District CAMRA Branch members £7.00.
[See On The Circuit
and Brewery News.]
Many pubs use a `tight sparkler' to serve all beers, giving them a large, tight,
creamy head. For the first time ever the Good Beer Guide lists beers which CAMRA
believes should be served through a `sparkler' and those which should not, based
on what each brewery and its local drinkers say.
Some beers, particularly those from Northern counties, are brewed to be served
in this way. The problem is that the marketing men have decided that we all like
our beer served up like a Mr. Whippy. They are wrong. For beers brewed to be
served with less froth, using a sparkler wrecks the flavour and aroma. In pubs
without lined glasses, the thick head also ensures that short measure is likely,
further ripping off the consumer.
The 1999 Guide features a fully revised list of CAMRA's National Inventory of
Pubs with interiors of outstanding historical importance. This acknowledges the
plight of historic pubs and aims to protect them from the hands of short-sighted
architects and brewery accountants. CAMRA is working with English Heritage to
try to get important pubs listed for their interior features.
CAMRA is campaigning for big brewers to come clean over where `foreign' beer
brands are brewed. The majority of the marketing spend in the industry goes on
just five or six beers and most of these are pale imitations of foreign lagers,
brewed under contract in this country. Using imagery of Danish Kings and French
peasants to sell beers brewed in Northampton and South Wales is insulting to consumers.
The big brewers should be promoting British beer brands and be honest about the
source of popular foreign-owned brands. In spite of British real ale's worldwide
renown, they hardly promote it at all here or abroad.
In September CAMRA launched the Good Bottled Beer Guide
to cater for the burgeoning market for UK and foreign bottled-conditioned beers in supermarkets and off-licences. Price £9.99.
Available in bookshops or from CAMRA.
ALE November 1998 No. 292
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Cambridge & District CAMRA