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Press Release


Wessex’s beer scene booming, according to the Good Beer Guide

  The Firkin Shed in Bournemouth has been named one of the best pubs in the UK

The local brewing and pub scenes across Wessex and the Channel Islands are booming, according to the Good Beer Guide 2020, CAMRA’s premier publication featuring the very best pubs to find a great pint in the UK.

It reports that across Wessex and the Channel Islands there are six new breweries:

  1. Copper Street Brewery, Dorchester, Dorset
  2. Knight Life Brewing Ltd, Bounemouth, Dorset
  3. Brewhouse & Kitchen Ltd, Portsmouth, Hampshire
  4. Penton Park Brewery, Penton Mewsey, Hampshire
  5. Isle of Sark Brewing Co, La Seigneurie, Sark
  6. Blonde Brothers Brewery, Wylye

In addition, the Firkin Shed in Bournemouth has been named one of the best pubs in the UK, making its way to the next stage of the competition in the nationwide search for CAMRA’s Pub of the Year.

A former winner of CAMRA’s National Cider Pub Award, the Shed is a quirky, friendly, family-run micropub. Tables and benches hug the walls, which are decorated with flags, musical instruments, puppets and skulls. A shed is used as the bar with ten constantly changing ales, and fourteen plus ciders sourced from around the country. Beers are served straight from the cellar viewable through the window in the corridor. There is occasional live music and quality bar snacks are available.

It will now compete in the next round of the competition, hoping to be named one of four finalists – and stay in with a chance of becoming the overall winner, to be revealed in February 2020.

The Good Beer Guide, which reviews over 4,500 pubs across the UK, is the definitive beer drinkers’ guide to the very best pints in a variety of styles of pubs to suit individual tastes. Compiled by thousands of independent volunteers, it helps identify significant trends and themes locally and nationally.

Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Chief Executive said: “For nearly five decades, the Good Beer Guide has been a comprehensive guide to the UK’s breweries, their ales, and the best outlets to find them in across the country.

“What makes the Guide unique is that all the entries are compiled and vetted by a huge volunteer team, based around the country. We work hard to ensure that all areas of the country are covered and, unlike with some competitor titles, inclusion in this book is dependent only on merit, not on payment.

“The Good Beer Guide has always had an important role in acting as a barometer of the beer and pub industry. We believe information gleaned from the Guide is absolutely vital in the drive to save our pubs from closure and campaign for policies that better support pubs, local brewers and their customers.”

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 

More images are available here

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

Wessex and CI
Wessex and CI 2020 Pubs New Pub Entries 2020 Breweries New Breweries
Channel Isles 23 4 4 1
Dorset 66 23 26 2
Hampshire 119 30 40 2
Isle of Wight 22 5 3 0
Wiltshire 62 14 25 1
Total: 292 76 98 6


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

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