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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 28 September 2004
Oz Clarke is not the only one who considers this to be an essential part of packing for a trip around Britain.
This year's edition is much improved with two colours on the guide pages making it easier to read. The coloured maps are good as well giving everything a cleaner look.
The fantastic section that lists all Britain's breweries is so helpful. Quite often I find I can visit a local brewery as well as a few pubs in an area. Well worth looking to find out.
I think what really makes this book for me is that I know that the pubs have been selected by the local drinkers - not the editor. It always worries me when you see a guidebook to hundreds of pubs or hotels or B&Bs and only one person decided which to include - how on earth can one person visit all those places in a reasonable timescale to make the book valid?
If you only buy one guide to pubs this year make sure it's this one!
7 people found this helpful
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on 7 March 2000
Clearly the most up to date and comprehensive guide to good pubs serving great beer in Britain. My internet pub guide could never match the range and diversity of the pubs listed in this guide. There are some 5000 pubs listed, about 8 per cent of the pubs in the country. They've all been checked out by members of CAMRA within the past 12 months. It's help me find some classic pubs around the country. It's a sad fact that the great pubs of Britain are gradually disappearing as they are taken over by large companies, closed and converted into residences, but this book proves that there are still many hundreds left. Get out there and enjoy them! Ant Veal.
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on 30 October 2006
I can't believe I'm the first person to review this book, surely other people must find it as indispensible as I do?

What can I say? It's great/fab/useful/unbiassed/independent...

If you like real ale and you don't buy a copy of this book every year you are either going to miss out on a fantastic pub you don't know about or you're going to trek miles to visit a pub that's closed or been refurbished as a "family-friendly bar and eaterie". Pubs do change that quickly and that's why you have to admire an organisation that manages to use its membership to resurvey the entire country and publish a guide every year.

Add to that attention to detail the talents of renown author/writer Roger Protz as editor and these books continue to shine above the rest.

Buy a copy now, you won't be disappointed.
17 people found this helpful
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on 5 January 2005
The latest (2005) edition of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide offers an improved layout and is an indispensible guide to the Uk's Best Pubs. Don't leave home without it! Apart from listing the UK's best pubs the Brewery and Beer Index at the back is also extremely useful. The Good Beer Guides strength is that is compiled by CAMRA members at grassroot level - the people who actually drink in the pubs, you may not agree with some of the selections (or some of the omissions)but after 30 years the Good Beer Guide is still the beer drinkers bible!
4 people found this helpful
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on 1 December 2002
Beer! The preserve of bearded men with pot bellies, served with lots of unidentifiable floating bits, in a smoky pub? How wrong the stereotype is. In our cool Northern European climate beer is our traditional drink. As varied and as interesting as wine; sometimes light and smooth, often amber and bitter, but also sweet potent and powerful, those who dismiss it haven't ever really tried it. Here is a book that will guide you to an understanding and appreciation of beer. Wherever you are; waiting for a train, on the way to a theatre, on holiday, or planning a night out, this book will make a pub serving good beer easy to find.
Celebrating its thirtieth edition, the Good Beer Guide remains the ultimate reference work for those who are interested in that difficult combination - good beer and a good pub. This is not a run of the mill pub guide with the usual emphasis on inglenooks, beams and extensive food menus. True the reader will find plenty of classic country inns with horse brasses and fireplaces, but also many excellent urban hostelries ranging from basic back street locals to sophisticated brew pubs and specialist ale houses.
The common factor uniting this disparate and eclectic collection is beer. Good Beer Guide listed pubs all serve cask conditioned beer ('Real Ale'), with the choice ranging from a couple of ales to well into double figures. Consistently excellent beer quality is the overriding qualification for entry rather than the building, landlord or services offered, after all there is little point in sitting in a pretty pub with a choice of a dozen ales which are all stale and flat. That said those that receive the accolade of an entry tend to be vibrant and interesting places. In some conversation rules, others host live music, some champion traditional games, others quizzes or beer festivals.
The well organised listings are divided alphabetically into counties, whilst larger cities are divided again into manageable areas. Each features a useful map indicating the location of both pubs and breweries. An extensive and thorough brewery section details every independent brewery in the UK, giving details of their beer range and comprehensive tasting notes. An index for both places and beers makes locating information simple and practical. Most entries receive a full listing giving information about the type of pub, beers stocked, opening times, facilities, meals, proximity to rail services and accommodation where applicable. Some 'Inn Brief' entries have shorter pen portraits. Watch out for these as they are often located on a different page to other entries for the same town and are easy to miss (the only real gripe with this book). The guide's introductory section carries a number of interesting articles from top beer writers, including Roger Protz (editor), Jeff Evans and Michael Jackson (no, the one with the beard, not the one who dangles babies out of windows!).
A great strength of the guide is its reliability as all the recommeded pubs are visited regularly throughout the year. Volunteers from the Campaign for Real Ale (which has about 65000 members) undertake the work, making this a truly independent and authoritative publication. About a third of entries change every year, so don't be tempted to try to get by with last year's copy. An indispensable purchase.
19 people found this helpful
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on 18 September 2004
If you're passionate about real ale and pubs with real atmosphere, and have a sense of adventure to go that extra mile to visit somewhere different, this book should be an immediate buy. The carefully written individual pub descriptions allow you to refine your selection to a place likely to suit your particular needs, whether it be a town centre bustling local, an ancient inn with roaring fire or perhaps a rural gem serving a local brew direct from the cask.
This guide has two primary aims, firstly to showcase the finest real ale outlets in the country and secondly to provide details of all brewers and their beers with detailed tasting notes where available. The pub reviews are carefully compiled by groups of local enthusiasts around the country ensuring that only the best are included and these lists are reviewed and revised annually.
Clearly the best, most up to date and thorough guide to good pubs serving real ale.
7 people found this helpful
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on 6 August 2007
By far the best guide to Britain's pubs for the simple reason that all surveying is undertaken by volunteers - there is no charge for entry unlike some lesser pub guides. Moreover, each pub is visited at many times throughout the year, not just on one pre-arranged visit. Not without flaws but with each passing year a more and more reliable guide. To me it's something of a bible.
4 people found this helpful
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on 28 March 2007
This book is very useful and is a must for fellas who like cricket, red meat and a good old fashioned pint of English beer.
2 people found this helpful
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on 11 October 1999
The annual guide book compiled by volunteer members of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, this is the latest edition of THE guide to Real Ale pubs. This year sees a return to the guide's previous excellent form with a new colour section, lots of hard hitting articles and of course the usual pub and brewery listings. The pub listings include a list of the beers commonly available at that pub and a description.
What makes this book so much better than the usual guide books is that it is the recommendations of local Real Ale drinkers not a journalist or guidebook author. Each pub has been visited by readers who drink the beer rather than by a researcher just doing their job.
Buy the book, visit the pubs, support Real Ale!!
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