Highlands and Western Isles CAMRA

Campaign for Real Ale

Beer Scoring

Beer-scoring remains very personal and a beer which might be a '4' to one person could be a '3' to someone else so it's important that we receive as many scores from as many people as possible in order to even things out. We always need more scores to make this work better and to give us more confidence in the statistics. So we encourage all members to score their beer whenever they visit a pub. This is even more important for our rural pubs. The area we cover is huge and there will always be deserving pubs that we struggle to get to or overlook, and whose regulars do not submit scores. If you have ever wondered why a pub is not in the guide, then it may well be because you and others have not entered scores - by scoring a pub you can make a difference!

How to score the quality of the beer:

You do not need to be an 'expert' to begin scoring your beer. But it’s not all about your favourite beer - you may try a beer that is not to your normal taste but what you have to consider is the 'quality' of the beer, how well the pub has kept it and served it. We use CAMRA's National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) for judging beer quality in pubs which scores the beer based on the following simple guidelines on a scale of 0 to 5, including 1/2 marks if you can't decide between two of the gradings (e.g. 3.5):

0 = No cask ale available
0.5 = Undrinkable, so poor you have to take it back or can't finish it.
1 = Poor Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.
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 another pub. You may want to stay for another pint.
4 = Very Good Excellent beer in excellent condition. You stay put!
5 = Perfect! Probably the best you are ever likely to find it. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.

For more information on NBSS, watch this short video: Why you should score your beer

How to submit your scores:

In order to submit your scores you need to login to CAMRA's online pub guide www.WhatPub.com either on a computer or by smartphone. Here you will find a list of over 35,800 real ale pubs from all over the UK (not all of which appear in the 'Good Beer Guide').

1. Login. To do this you need your CAMRA membership number and password.

2. You will need the pub name and location, the date of your visit, optionally the name of the beer, and your score. You can then search for your pub by name. Be careful here as there are many pubs in the country which share the same name. My advice is to search by the pub name and the town. The What?ub smart phone web page also gives you the option to search for real ale pubs nearby, very useful if you are in an unfamiliar town.

3. Once you have found your pub a 'Submit Beer Scores' box will appear on the left hand side of the screen (or on the tab bar underneath the pub photo if you are using a smart phone).

4. Simply fill in the date and your score then as you begin typing the brewery name should automatically appear underneath were you are typing. You do not have to enter the name of the beer your are drinking but if you wish to do so once you have entered the brewery name you should be able to click on the arrow in the Beer box and a drop down list of that brewery's beers should appear. In some cases the beer you are drinking may be new or a one off by the Brewery so may not appear on the list, if this is the case you can simply type in the beer name. Select the correct one click 'submit score' and your score will be entered into the database.

It is as simple as that. An added bonus is that What?ub will keep a record of your scores so you can look back to see what beers you have had and how you rated them if you want.

For a short video on the process: How to submit a beer score