Berkshire South-East

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale


Pub of the Year

Each year the members of Berkshire South-East branch select their Pub of the Year (POTY). The process begins early in the year at a branch Open Meeting. Contenders are identified based primarily upon Beer Scoring from all CAMRA members during the preceding 12 months, with any other relevant factors discussed. A vote is then taken to draw up a short list of about six pubs.

Members are invited to visit each of the short-listed pubs to record their views, based on pre-determined criteria. Obviously, the more members who give their verdicts, the better the competition.

CAMRA tankard logo with Berkshire South-East written around it

The judging of short-listed pubs is based on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of Beer/Cider/Perry
  2. Style, Décor, Furnishings & Cleanliness
  3. Service, Welcome & Offering
  4. Community Focus & Atmosphere
  5. Alignment with CAMRA Principle
  6. Overall Impression

It is not necessary to attend any meeting to take part in the judging – all branch members are welcome to take part. Simply request a form from the Branch Good Beer Guide Coordinator once the shortlist has been determined and return the completed form to them by the specified deadline.

The branch POTY is normally announced by 30th April. It then goes forward into the Regional competition against the best pubs from the other branches in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (which is deemed to include a small part of Hertfordshire). Judges from each branch visit each of the Regional entries and the winner is normally announced around 31st July.

Each regional winner goes forward into the national competition to find Britain’s Best Pub. The overall winner is announced during National Pubs Week the following February.

The 2023 Branch Pub of the Year award was won by the Newtown Pippin, Harmans Water: Newtown Pippin Wins 2023 Branch Pub of the Year Award

Club of the Year

Each year the Berkshire South-East branch of CAMRA awards a Club of the Year at an Open Meeting early in the year.

The criteria used is as follows:-

  1. The club must open for the majority of permitted hours and not be restricted to merely limited opening hours.
  2. The club must allow access to members of the public (or at least to CAMRA members by special arrangements) and not restrict membership.
  3. The club must sell and support real ale, not merely selling it on limited periods.
  4. The club should satisfy criteria for minimum Beer Scoring and a minimum number of beer scorers during the preceding 12 months.
  5. The club should, where possible, be involved in community activities.

Voting takes place at an Open Meeting by a show of hands where a proposer and seconder put forward any nominations.

The 2020 Branch Club of the Year award was won by the Binfield Club, Binfield.

Cider Pub of the Year

We also hold an annual contest to find the branch pub serving the best cider and perry. This contest runs in a similar manner to Pub of the Year, but as only a handfull of our pubs sell real cider / perry throughout the year, they are all automatically short-listed,

The 2021 winner was Wheelwright's Arms, Wokingham: Cider Pub Award Goes to Wheelwright's Arms

Community Pub of the Year

Periodically we hold a contest to find the branch pub doing the most to serve its surrounding community.

In this contest, an entrant does not even need to serve real ale. We are looking for a pub that is truly at the heart of its community.

On the the last running it 2019, the Branch Community Pub of the Year award was won by the Ship Inn, Wokingham. Other finalists were the Hope & Anchor, Wokingham and the White Horse, Wokingham Without.

Occasional Awards

Occasionally the branch presents awards for other reasons.

In 2022 we made an award for the Most Improved Pub in our area (Newtown Pippin Wins Most Improved Pub Award) and a Special Award to our Treasurer and Beer Festival Organiser (Special Award for Mike Smith)

In 2023 we made an award for 10 Consecutive Years in the Good Beer Guide (Old Manor Presented for 10 Consecutive Years in Good Beer Guide), and another to Nick & Annie Tilt at the Duke of Edinburgh Woodside for 25 years running the pub.