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September 2021

Beer scoring and how not to do it?

Picture this – you go into a pub, let’s say in the afternoon, and choose one of the cask ales on offer. A few tastes tell you that it is not quite as it should be. Now your first reaction may be to score it low but before you do, it is worth thinking about what you are doing.

Even if the landlord (or staff) checked the beer first thing, we all know just how quickly cask ale can turn from good to poor, particularly if the cask is running low. Not all bar staff have the expertise to judge beer condition; it would be great if that were the case but we all know that it isn’t.

I would suggest the following before making a snap judgement:

Whatever you do, please be polite as you are representing CAMRA and it is always better to be helpful rather than confrontational.

Finally, I’m sure you know this but remember that you are judging the quality of the beer as served (and by inference, the pub and its ability to serve good ale) and not whether you like it or not. Your favourite beer served poorly shouldn’t get a high score and similarly, a perfectly served beer in excellent condition shouldn’t get a low score just because you don’t like it. I know it’s tempting and sometimes very difficult to make that judgement but do try.

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