With the popularity of beer scoring apps such as Ratebeer and Untappd on the rise, you may or may not be aware that CAMRA has its own scoring system specifically for real ales that members can access through the WhatPub website at www.whatpub.com/beerscoring.
CAMRA developed the National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) to give ale drinkers an easy-to-use, consistent scoring scheme. The NBSS scores are as follows:
0: No cask ale available.
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 the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again.
4: Very Good – Excellent beer in excellent condition.
5: Perfect – Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.
Between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017, 222 of the 329 pubs in the Sheffield & District region serving cask ales were scored at least once, so there is evidence that the system is being used. However, out of the 2,036 scores input into the system in the past year, only 123 (just over 6%) of these were from Sheffield & District CAMRA members, with the vast majority coming from visitors from other branches (particularly Rotherham, Nottingham and Stockport).
We are encouraging our branch members to make more use of the beer scoring system. The main reason for this is that we are hoping to start using these scores to help us select our Good Beer Guide nominees and to draw up our shortlist for the Pub of the Year award. So, if you think your favourite local deserves more recognition, get scoring and it could be in with a chance!