Micropubs in Good Beer Guide 2019

The 46th Edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide is out now and as can be expected, a lot of micropubs are featured in the guide. CAMRA remains, rightly or wrongly, the go to for the discerning beer drinker to find a good pint of real ale. Of course we’re working hard to offer an alternative!

We’re not going to get into CAMRA’s image problems, or how they just can’t help themselves by being set in their ways. Instead, we want to recognise and celebrate the impact micropubs are making on the beer drinking community. Gaining recognition from CAMRA, either by being listed in the guide, or indeed getting a regional finalist award for pub of the year, is a big deal. Micropubs are all about the beer, all about good beer and in a lot of cases all about good real ale so it’s right up CAMRA’s alley…in some cases.

Tough competition

CAMRA currently features 35,777 pubs on their online pub guide. The Good Beer Guide 2019 lists 4500 real-ale serving pub recommendations. There’s some stiff competition just to get listed in the guide so getting your name in print is a major achievement. Once you’ve made it in, it’s then a small group of 16 regional finalists that get to compete for the coveted Pub of the year.

It’s no surprise though that micropubs are frequently listed and in fact award winners. Most micropubs by their very definition are all about serving quality beers first and foremost which falls well within CAMRA’s ethos. In some instances it’s probably easier serving a quality pint when you’re a small outfit compared to a big Weatherspoons doing large volumes. When we speak to micropub owners they all know the importance of serving quality beers. They pride themselves on serving good quality ales. Usually the staff that work in micropubs are very well versed in the beers as well. Nonetheless, being named a regional finalist is a huge achievement.

Of the sixteen regional winners, four of them are micropubs. That is a great success rate. It also means there’s a 1 in 4 chance that a micropub will win Pub of the Year. For us as consumers it’s great knowing that there’s so many quality establishments. As a micropub owner recently said to us it’s a “great time to be drinking beer”.

Micropub Regional Finalists

A massive congratulations from us to the following micropubs for their regional finalists awards:

Greater London – Little Green Dragon, Enfield

“Formally a hairdressers’, the Little Green Dragon was the area’s first micropub and voted the local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2018. Beers are dispensed by gravity from the cool room and availability is posted regularly online. Takeaway containers and a varied selection of bottled beers are also on offer, along with up to seven ciders. Sofas, a church pew and bus seats create a cosy, friendly, atmosphere.”

Kent – Lanes, Dover

“This friendly, award-winning micropub near the pedestrian precinct is comfortably furnished and carpeted. Five real ales, mostly from Kentish microbreweries, and over 10 ciders are served on gravity from the temperature-controlled cellar room. Wine, mead and soft drinks are also from Kent producers. Snacks can be bought in from the local deli and a feasting board is available with 48 hours’ notice.”

North East – Golden Smog, Stockton-on-Tees

“This town’s first micropub is named after the environmental conditions that recently prevailed on Teesside. Four real ales and two real ciders are served alongside an impressive range of Belgian beers, all in matching glasses. Third-pint glasses and bespoke tasting tables are also available.”

West Pennines – Little Bare, Morecambe

“A former off-licence, this micropub opened in 2017, retaining the original shop window. It features grey paint, bare floorboards and candles after dark and follows the micropub formula: no food, no music and no machines. There is a second room down a corridor with extra seating and board games, and a microgarden is planned.”

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