Beer Scoring


Submitting beer scores is your chance to recognise and support the best real ale pubs in the Branch area. It is a quick and easy way in which members can contribute to CAMRA, and involves little more than simply enjoying a pint (please note that only CAMRA members are eligible to participate in beer scoring).

All scores are used at our Branch meeting every November to compile a “hit list” of around double the number of pubs that we can enter in to the next edition of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Only the pubs on this list will be included in voting for Good Beer Guide entries at the following February Branch meeting.

The Good Beer Guide is one of CAMRA’s bestselling publications and an invaluable guide to finding the best real ale pubs both locally and more importantly when travelling. It is vital that we enter the best pubs in our Branch area and your beer scores are essential to the first stage of the selection process. The more members that contribute then the more accurate the end result, so please don't just leave it to others.

The beer scoring system rates beer on a 0 to 5 scale. This is explained on the scoring sheets, on the WhatPub website and in the following YouTube clip:



One thing we do slightly differently in our branch is that if you are served a poor pint at the end of a barrel and it is changed without drama and the beer taken off sale then we score a “*“ on the paper and Excel sheets. On WhatPub the score should be entered as 0.5 but explain in the comment’s column what happened.

There are five possible ways for you to submit your scores (in order of preference) to our Pubs Officer, Jon Addinall:

1. Submit online to CAMRA’s National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) via the WhatPub website.
  • You will have to log in with your CAMRA membership number and password.
  • Find the pub and enter scores in the box on the right hand side.
  • You can also review and edit your scores at data.beerscoring.org.uk
  • The following YouTube clip shows how to do this in detail:


2. Complete and email this Excel spreadsheet to pub_info@edinburghcamra.org.uk (please read the “Read Me” tab)

3. Enter your scores into, and email this Microsoft Word document to pub_info@edinburghcamra.org.uk (If you don’t have Excel)

4. Print, complete and post this Microsoft Word document to the postal address listed at top of document or bring along to the next meeting (Ideal for non smartphone owners to fill it in at the pub)

5. Send your scoring information in a plain text email to pub_info@edinburghcamra.org.uk

The deadline for submitting scores to be used on this year's hit list is one week before the November meeting if using WhatPub/NBSS, or as stated on the paper and Excel sheets.

Scores for pubs outwith our branch area should only be entered using WhatPub/NBSS so they can be seen by the local branch.

Please remember that pubs in the City of Edinburgh are only eligible for inclusion if they had been visited on (and have scores from) at least 3 separate days. To encourage members to try some “different” pubs the Branch maintains a list of pubs that may not have been regularly visited but where a member has enjoyed a good pint. If you have visited a pub which you think should be on it please email pub_info@edinburghcamra.org.uk with your suggestions.

The top-scoring pubs will be listed every month on the Top 20 Beer Scores page.

Important Notes

1. Note that on WhatPub/NBSS, a score of 0 now means NO REAL ALE. You must add something like “it just ran out” in the comments to explain. It should really only be used when the pub has no real ale at all. On the Word or Excel sheets we will still use 0 for an undrinkable pint. Please put “No Real Ale” in the comments column to indicate if a pub has no real ale, or a 1 in the 0* column if the beer was changed without drama and taken off sale.

2. Duplicate scores (same scorer, date, pub, beer). These are occurring quite frequently and may be due to errors or be given for the reasons below. Next year I will be deleting all identical duplicate scores (same date, pub, beer) unless there is an explanation.
  • Scoring for others - if you enter scores for someone else put their name and/or membership number in the comments column.
  • Different beers - enter the beer name. Just put “beer 1”, “beer 2” etc. if you can’t remember.
3. Scoring:
  • Some people tend to score high, some tend to score low. Please read the definitions.
  • Don’t just give everything 3!
  • Do not mark down a beer because it is not your preferred style. However do mark down uninteresting bland beers. Don’t give it a high score while thinking “it is not a good beer but this is as good as it gets”. The thinking should be - I have just walked in to a pub listed in the GBG expecting some interesting beers, not just a line-up of un-interesting big brands.
  • Over use of 5 (and 4.5) - The idea of 5 is that it is reserved for exceptional beer quality and should only be used a few times a year. Most good beer will get a 3 or 4.