Good Beer Guide selection - How does it work?

The Good Beer Guide (GBG) is published annually each September but there is little or no explanation of how the pubs are selected. I hope the following explanation of what happens year by year helps to make this clear:

In our West Dorset area, the selection is managed by an elected committee of local CAMRA members and is governed by a set of principles, these are:

A. Beer Quality is the over-riding consideration.
B. Consistency over the whole year must be taken into account.
C. A good geographical spread is desirable in a national guide.
D. Smaller, hard-to-find gems are of greater interest to guide users.

The process we follow is simple, and any branch member may attend selection meetings and vote:

1. Pubs can be nominated each year by local members.
2. Pubs from the previous years guide are added to the list of candidates.
3. Members may only speak for pubs they have visited within the year.
4. Beer quality information from the National Beer Scoring System is taken into account.
5. Where there are still pubs in contention, a vote is used to rank pubs in each area (i.e. town or country district). Pubs with the highest scores are chosen first to fill available "slots".

So for a pub to get into the GBG it must have demonstrated the greatest level of consistency and availability of real ale in its local area.

A consequence of following this process is that a pub may perform at the same level in a following year, but may not make it into the guide because other pubs in the local area are judged to have been more consistent over the year.

I hope that makes things clear ...

Dave Harris, Chairman, West Dorset CAMRA