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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The key to beery nirvana, 14 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Camra's Good Beer Guide 2014 (Paperback)
As always, the latest version of this Guide is thorough, meticulously researched, and a mine of information and facts for the beer and pub fanatic. It is the best way of locating a decent pub serving high quality ale in strange environs - and may even lead you to some excellent local gems previously unknown. The strength of this Guide is that it is researched by CAMRA's members (no doubt extremely thoroughly!), and that, in contrast to other guides, such as the Good Pub Guide, no payment is made for an entry. Whilst the 'GPG 2014' has been given a good slagging off by some, I am sure that it has its uses if you are after a pleasant environment in which to consume a glass or two of Sancerre with some 'gastro' type food. The key difference from the 'GPG' or USP of the the 'GBG 2014' is that pubs are in there primarily because of the QUALITY OF THE ALE served. This means that some of the hostelries featured may not be of the type looked for by the posy middle-classes.

The entries are organised on a county basis, and larger cities are split down into constituent areas or zones within these sections. Each pub entry has info about beers served, facilities and services, opening hours, and a description of the character that is, I have found, unerringly accurate and apposite. There is an exhaustive section covering breweries, which have exploded in number and in the bewildering variety of ales on offer. The same can not be said for pubs, which are closing at a frightening rate. This is partly down to supermarkets flogging ridiculously cheap booze, and partly down to rapacious asset-stripping allied to onerous tenancy conditions by some pub owning companies. The authors of the GPG rightly were criticised for their rather unhelpful comments about British pubs, seeming to applaud some sort of neo-Darwinian shake-out, and showing a complete lack of understanding of many of the real problems faced by honest and hard-working publicans. CAMRA and the editors of the GBG are very much in favour of giving greater protection in planning legislation to British pubs, and want to support pubs, even those deemed 'unviable' by pub companies. There have been cases of such pubs being saved and run successfully as community enterprises.

Buy this Guide if you appreciate the enormous variety and quality of British ale and love the British pub in all its guises, and especially if you need a way of finding this in unfamiliar parts of the country. Support British pubs!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Sep 2013 11:48:50 BDT
Dorset-Rider says:
A very good, fair and just review. I too get the guide most years. There's no point me writing anything further - as you've said it all here most succintly. Cheers - and bottoms up comrade beer drinker!

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2013 20:27:47 BDT
You're not Roger Protz, are you?! Thanks for the comment - I shall raise a glass of McMullens to you (or whatever ale is to hand) the next time I visit a local hostelry. Enjoy your Palmers, Badger or whichever Dorset ale you prefer.
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