Monday, September 20, 2010

Beer Guide Shock

When I read the latest 'Good Beer Guide' I managed to miss something fairly obvious. This year, for the first time in many, we are without The Sair at Linthwaite. The former CAMRA pub of the year has amazingly dropped out of the guide.

I am not privy to the local campaign committees thinking on this matter, but in my opinion, for what its worth, this is a poor decision. I have known previous years where the beer at the pub has not been up to scratch and other times when brewing has even been suspended in favour of bought in beer, but in the recent past the beer has been back to its usual standard, according to my sources, and the pub has not changed in any significant way. Maybe it has fallen behind some others in the area and the committee thought other pubs more worthy of inclusion, but it is a sad day when an iconic beer house, for that's what The Sair is, is dropped.

It is also worthy of note that the local committee have not chosen any clubs to represent the town or it's surrounding villages. I mentioned before that Marsh Liberal has been dropped, but the clubs at Armitage Bridge and Hall Bower, who may have been considered suitable replacements, are also not included. All three show a commitment to real ale and host successful beer festivals, so again I find the thinking a little strange. I know there are only so many spaces in the guide for the area, so sometimes pubs and clubs who we think justify inclusion get left out, but I feel the attitude of the clubs to real ale in these parts should at least gain some sort of recognition. Obviously not this year.


Tyson said...

Why not drop the branch a line and enquire as to the reasons for these exclusions?

Jibber said...

I'm beginning to wonder whether it's worth investing in the GBG these days. It's too bulky to carry around, and gives only a mere snapshot of some of the pubs in an area.

I find it far better to go to the website of a local CAMRA branch, if you're planning a visit. They very often have complete lists of pubs and back numbers of their local mags, and you can normally glean enough information to work out which pubs merit a visit. A quick trip to a beer site such as 'Beer in the Evening' can also be useful.

Print out a map of the town you're visiting, put a red blob where the pubs are, and the job's a good'un.

Oh yes - you're right about the Sair. It's just the sort of pub that CAMRA should be bending over backwards to promote.

Sapphire Blue said...

Buying the GBG has just become a habit. Badly out of date before printing and "political" decisions as to which pubs/clubs are in or out.
I wouldn't be without it though

Anonymous said...

If you are a regular drinker in the area and a CAMRA member then why not go to the branch meetings or beer guide voting meetings and express your views, In my experience these things are decided by half a dozen enthusiastic volunteers and are not indicative of the vast majority of beer drinkers.Also you may find that it is listed in the GBG but under the breweries section instead of pubs so as to free up another inclusion into the guide for another one of the fabulous pubs they are lucky enough to have in the town and surrounding area. As regards to the lack of clubs this may be based upon the fact that a lot of drinkers/CAMRA voters feel uncomfortable as a guest/non member in clubs or possibly the clubs are not deemed as good as the other 15 entries Huddersfield CAMRA have available in the GBG.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that both clubs mentioned are most welcoming and hold great beer festivals which attract people from all over the country not just the Huddersfield area, time and time again so surely they are doing something right!

Anonymous said...

Talking of local clubs serving well kept real ale, what about the Lindley Liberal Club and Marsden Liberal Club, Lindley Lib in particular has a great range of beers on. Both of them do a wonderful job in promoting real ale. Tara