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Press Release


Quality control is a key threat facing today’s pubs, according to the Good Beer Guide

For more information contact 
press@camra.org.uk or call 01727 337 863

Quality control is one of the biggest threat facing today’s pubs, according to the Good Beer Guide 2020, CAMRA’s premier publication featuring the very best pubs to find a great pint in the UK.

In a foreword to this year’s Guide, CAMRA National Director Ben Wilkinson suggests that just one poor pub experience can turn a customer off forever, highlighting how important a quality pint is when it comes to a living product, such as cask-conditioned real ale.

Ensuring quality control for beer served in pubs has been a cornerstone of CAMRA campaigning for decades and has led to the foundation of Cask Marque, a not-for-profit organisation that accredits 10,000 pubs nationwide.

In addition, many beer-lovers rely on ‘beer bibles’ such as the Good Beer Guide to help guide them to the best venues.

According to this year’s Cask Report, to be released on 26 September 2019, perceived poor quality of beer is the main reason drinkers avoid it, with 70% of ale drinks saying they have been served off or stale beer. In addition, a Marston’s Beer Report found that for every 100 pints of cask ale served, 10 of those pints are disappointing, and, rather than complain about the beer directly, four in 10 drinkers will avoid that pub in the future – and probably tell their friends to do the same.

Writing in the Good Beer Guide, Ben Wilkinson explains: 

“Perhaps we just have to accept the hard truth that the biggest threat to the pub is the pub itself. Or rather, the perception of the pub. We know how one bad pint of cask ale can put someone off for life, but perhaps we’re less ready to consider the equivalent risk with pubs. You go in one where the welcome is unfriendly, the beer is stale, the tables are sticky and an insufferable bore persists in engaging you in conversation, and maybe staying at home with the TV wins out for evermore.” 

Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Chief Executive adds:

“It is certainly true that one bad experience in a pub can put a consumer off for life – which is incredibly concerning, as more and more pubs close their doors every week. Conversely, pubs that serve top-quality real ale can draw a loyal following of cask-lovers, which is why it is key that educating landlords and licensees about storage and dispense is absolutely key.

“We all have a role to play in supporting the nation’s pubs – from the publican serving behind the bar to the customer choosing where to spend their income. We hope that the Good Beer Guide, which is independently compiled by thousands of volunteers across the country, helps discerning beer lovers seek out their next great cask pint.”

Discover all of the pubs listed, and more, with CAMRA’s new Good Beer Guide app, available on both iOS and Android device or visit the CAMRA shop for your copy: shop.camra.org.uk


To find out more or to join the campaign, visit camra.org.uk/join/10-great-reasons-to-join-camra/

About the Good Beer Guide

CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide is the original independent guide to good beer and good pubs. Now in its 47th edition, the fully revised and updated Guide recommends pubs in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and offshore islands that serve the best real ale. From country inns through micropubs and taprooms – if you love pubs, don’t leave home without the Good Beer Guide.

The Guide is researched by independent volunteers across the UK with every pub featured visited at least once for assessment. It is the UK’s best-selling beer and pub guide, based on combined trade and direct sales.

The Good Beer Guide 2020 is published on Thursday, 12 September 2019 and is available to order at shop.camra.org.uk

Alternatively, discover all of the pubs listed, and more, with CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide app, available on both iOS and Android devices at https://gbgapp.camra.org.uk


CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 191,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community

CAMRA Press Office:


01727 337863