On 16th March 2011, the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) will be 40 years old. CAMRA branches across the country will be marking CAMRA's 40 years of campaigning with a series of events throughout the anniversary year.
Trafford & Hulme Branch will begin their celebrations with a gathering for members old & new on the eve of the anniversary - Tuesday 15th March (details below).
Beer (and cider) drinkers from across the country will then be able to join the branch to toast CAMRA's achievements when the branch welcomes the public to a new beer festival at a unique city centre location.
While the concept of sitting in the pub with a notebook giving your beer or cider a points score might seem a little obsessive, in fact beer scoring is a vital tool of CAMRA's support for pubs selling traditional ale, cider and perry.
Branch members visiting pubs is CAMRA's front line and the beer and cider scoring system is the primary way of those members reporting back on the quality of the real ale they are drinking. The scores provided by members are used by the branch to determine which pubs are deserving of entry into the Good Beer Guide, which pubs are improving, which pubs may be in need of more support. Not all members can be actively involved in staffing beer festivals, writing newsletters etc, but all members who drink real ale, cider and perry can help the campaign by submitting scores on the pubs, bars & restaurants they visit.
Why you should score your beer
What is Beer AND CIDER Scoring?
Beer and cider scoring is just what it sounds like - giving a score on the quality real ale, cider or perry that you drink. Scores are recorded against the pub, not against the particular brewery and ale/cider.
Some members like to give a score for every ale or cider that they drink, others prefer to just submit one score for each visit to a pub, rating the overall quality of what they have drunk during that visit. Which method you use is your choice.
CAMRA has developed a national scoring system to help members determine what scores to give a beer / pub. The minimum score is 0.5 rising in increments of 0.5 to the maximum score of 5. A score of 0 is used to indicate that no real ale was available when you visited.
CAMRA's guidelines on scoring are as follows:
No cask-conditioned ale available.
Poor. Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.
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.
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.
Very Good. Excellent beer in excellent condition.
Perfect. Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.
Recording beer scores
The minimum requirement is to record your name, your CAMRA membership number, the date of your visit, the name & location of the pub and your score in the range 0-5. The national scheme does not usually accept scores for cider and perry but in Trafford & Hulme, we accept scores for traditional cider and perry. If you are scoring a cider or perry, please clearly enter "CIDER" in the comments field.
You may optionally record the name of the beer and what you paid for it. The latter information is used to assist CAMRA's annual price survey. If you are recording scores for other CAMRA members, remember to record their name & membership number.
It is up to you how you record your scores while in the pub.Many now enter them directly into Whatpub, but you can use scraps of paper, notebooks, on a smart phone - whatever suits you.
You can download the branch's handy A5 scoring sheets with space for several pubs and/or beers and/or CAMRA members (PDF format):
Trafford & Hulme branch is keen that as many members as possible participate in the beer and cider scoring scheme. Therefore we offer a number of ways of entering your scores.
The preferred method is to enter your scores direct into CAMRA's National Beer Scoring System via the WhatPub.com online guide. You will need to login using your CAMRA membership number & CAMRA website password, search for the pub you are in and enter your scores in the box on the right hand side.
If you have a smart phone, you can enter your scores direct from the pub - the above address will redirect you to a mobile version of the site where you can find pubs near you using your phone\'s location services.
For a detailed guide to using WhatPub.com to enter scores, see this video .
Alternatively you can submit scores for pubs in the branch area direct to the branch\'s Beer Scoring Co-ordinator by e-mailing beerscores (at) thcamra.org.uk
You can send scans of your written score sheets/cards, enter them into a spreadsheet or text document or you can just type them in the body of an e-mail.
And finally, you can send scores by post. To obtain the postal address to send to, please e-mail beerscores (at) thcamra.org.uk