The Good Beer Guide 2024 tells the story of an industry under pressure
The Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide – the UK’s best-selling beer and pub guide – is celebrating its 51st edition with a striking cover and a foreword supplied by Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. The Guide, which surveys 4,500 of the best pubs across the UK, is the definitive beer drinker’s guide for those seeking the best pints in the nation’s pubs.
Dickinson’s foreword shines a spotlight on the cultural tradition of pubs within the United Kingdom, the importance of protecting the heritage, charm and welcoming nature of pubs and clubs, and not taking them for granted.
The Good Beer Guide helps beer lovers take a barometer of the local beer scene, and this year’s Guide tells the story of an industry under threat, as although the Guide records 82 new breweries, 142 have closed. This net loss of 60 breweries is a worrying reminder that a lack of support from the Government means dire consequences for local businesses, in the wake of a cost-of-business crisis and the constant pressure of energy bills.
This year’s Guide contains 910 newly featured pubs, which is a fantastic prospect for the pub trade which has been struggling to stay afloat in recent years following the pandemic and rising costs. The trade also faces an impending threat from unlawful demolitions, which CAMRA has declared a ‘national scandal’ in the wake of the demolition of the Crooked House in Himley.
Speaking at the launch of The Good Beer Guide 2024 at Signature Brewery, Blackhorse Road, CAMRA National Executive Ben Wilkinson said: “The recent, disgraceful events surrounding the Crooked House pub in the West Midlands captured the nation’s attention, but while that particular scandal made the national news, so many similar cases fly under the radar.
“CAMRA is responding on two fronts. Our Pub Heritage group is leading the way in safeguarding historic pubs, and fighting for them to be given the protection they deserve as part of our cultural heritage. But elsewhere, we’re working to expose the weaknesses in the planning system that affect all pubs. We want to see councils in England get the enforcement powers they need to tackle any illegal conversions or demolitions of pubs – including the power to order them to be rebuilt brick by brick if necessary.”
CAMRA Chairman Nik Antona said: “We’re honoured to have Bruce Dickinson pen the foreword for The Good Beer Guide 2024. As we enter our second half century of producing the Guide, there is no one better to introduce this year’s edition, and highlight what makes these institutions so worth visiting.
“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 and breweries open and thriving. I’d encourage everyone to use this year’s Guide to visit the very best pubs and breweries across the UK and support them for generations to come.”
To order The Good Beer Guide 2024, visit https://shop1.camra.org.uk/product/the-good-beer-guide-2024/