Good Beer Guide Selection Process

The GBG Selection Process is essentially continuous, with pubs and other outlets being nominated, surveyed, visited, scored, and selected on an annual cycle, between early summer and spring of the following year. Each step is explained in detail below.


  • The branch maintains a Watch List of outlets for potential inclusion in the GBG, this includes the previous years entries into the GBG and outlets nominated by branch members. The date added and area within the branch is also detailed. The Pubs Officer will report on Pubs/outlets in the branch area that are currently scoring high on the online scoring database not currently on the watchlist.
  • Any Halifax & Calderdale Branch member may propose additions to the watch list at any branch meeting or by contacting the branch contact (for those unable to attend the branch meeting who will present the proposal at the next meeting). Such nominations should have a seconder for the proposal. Where there isn’t a seconder at the meeting, if the branch feels it is worthwhile, one person (other than the proposer) is to be nominated to visit the outlet before the next branch meeting and report back to the meeting.
  • Pubs and other outlets in the Branch area may be entered onto and maintained on the watch list, provided they:
    o Regularly sell cask conditioned beer on draught (serve real ale in accordance with CAMRA guidelines)
    o Are not expecting a change of licensee to take place in the 6 months after the selection process. If a change of Licensee or substantial change in the management of the outlet is expected to take place within the 6-month period this may be retained on the watch list providing there is an overwhelming campaigning reason, such as the new licensee has a proven track record of serving consistently high quality cask ales or the new licensee is from a current GBG outlet.
    o Are not currently for sale

As far as possible, all top scoring watch list pubs will be surveyed between December and February. The number surveyed will be approximately 130% of the branch allocation. Pubs will not be surveyed if they are ineligible for GBG entry (see above). This is to ensure that the information regarding the outlet is up to date and ready for inclusion on the CAMRA database by the Pubs Officer.

Visiting of Watch List Outlets
Watch list pubs will be visited informally by members during the year.
Members are encouraged to submit beer scores to the National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) via or the CAMRA GBG app – these will be reviewed by the Pubs Officer, and an analysis of submitted scores will be available to members participating in branch meetings.

The Branch meeting will review any pub with multiple independent scores below the score of 3 and may withdraw the pub(s) from the selection process or requests additional visits to seemingly failing outlets.

Online Scoring
Scoring the beers from a pub is a simple process that can either be undertaken on a mobile phone or later on a PC. You can use the WhatPub website or the CAMRA GBG App if you’re on a smart phone. Either way the database used is the same and results get consolidated for analysis by the Pub Officer. Scoring is easy and the following guidelines are to be used by branch members.

The location and name of the pub (WhatPub mobile can work this out!)
– The date you visited the pub
– A score out of 5
– The name of the beer and Brewery details may also be optionally entered
It needs your name and membership number, but once you have registered these are recorded automatically in WhatPub and you can use the ‘Remember me’ option.

What do the scores mean?

0. No cask ale available.

1. Poor. Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable

2. Average. Competently kept, drinkable pint but doesn’t inspire in any way, not worth
moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing.

3. Good. Good beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You
want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again.

4. Very Good. Excellent beer in excellent condition.

5. Perfect. Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.

What if I can’t decide on a score?
The NBSS allows you to enter half scores, So not sure if it’s a 3 or a 4 – you can put 3.5 if you wish.

How do I score a beer I don’t like?
A beer should only be scored to reflect how it has been kept. In other words, its
condition. However, the ability to distinguish between a beer that is in poor condition, is unpalatable to our tastes, but is meant to taste like that, or has been poorly made is going to be difficult for the untrained taster. In these cases, it is better to score the beer as it honestly tastes to you. After all, even if you don’t like carrot and coriander ale, others may well do and therefore score it higher.

How do I ensure I am scoring appropriately?
It is important to realise that the scale is not linear. Only 0.5 and 1 indicate poor beer. This allows a wider range of scores for beer that is anything from uninspiring to perfection in a glass. Most worthy Good Beer Guide pubs tend to score either a 3 or 4 for their beers. Bland, uninspiring beers score a 2 and a 5 is something given once or twice a year. It is always worth reminding yourself of the descriptions associated with each of the numbers.

How do I edit my scores?
If you spot an error in your scores, to edit your scores go to (You must logon using your membership number as the username and the same password that you use when accessing the members area of the national CAMRA website)

Selection Process
The good beer guide entries for the Halifax and Calderdale are reviewed at a selection meeting open to all members. The aim of the selection meeting is to select sufficient pubs & clubs to meet the current allocation plus five reserve pubs and ? clubs. Those members attending the meeting then vote on the pubs & clubs to be included in the guide and the chairman will attempt to achieve a consensus and take into account views expressed to him by members unable to attend the meeting. The following criteria are used to guide the choice.

  • Only pubs/outlets that have been on the watch list for at least 6 months can be considered. However, those pubs with less than 6 months on the watch list will be carried forward to next year.
  • Pubs with the highest average score to be selected, subject to other
    requirements being met.
  • A reasonable geographical spread should be achieved, with no significant over or under-representation.
  • Where pubs just above and below the ‘cut’ have very similar scores, the meeting will use their collective judgement to decide which pubs are to be included in the GBG.
  • The meeting will determine the minimum number of scores pubs must have for a valid average to be calculated. This will depend on the total number of scorers participating that Pubs with fewer than this minimum may still be included in the selection at the meetings discretion. Current advice from the Pubs officer is that we must have at least 10 scores from at least four different scorers to show the consistency of a good pub.
    – have been scored on NBSS / WhatPub on several separate occasions by
    a number of different scorers during the year to the close of nominations
    (both minimums will be determined at the end of the year, based on the
    total number of NBSS scores)
    – achieved a minimum average score of 3 points.
  • In all cases should it be found that a pub/outlet is currently for sale or has been sold within the last six months it should be removed from the GBG selection list. However, this information must be confirmed by the Pubs officer or delegated person.
  • If a pub has been sold after the selection process has been made and submitted for inclusion in the guide. CAMRA HQ and the Yorkshire regional Director should be contacted by the pubs officer to ascertain whether a replacement pub should be chosen in line with the above requirements.

The reserve pubs and clubs should be ranked in order of preference by the end of the meeting.

Results of the GBG selection process should remain confidential until the official launch of the Good Beer Guide and should not be discussed with licensees. The person issuing the GBG pack should be the first person to inform the licensee of its inclusion into the Good Beer Guide.