Tuesday, March 17, 2009


But life goes on at www.pubjury.com

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Real Pub Jury Website now up!

Check it out and sign up for free to be a pub juror. Rate your favourite pubs and bars:


Monday, January 08, 2007

Book Retailers Update

Borders have finally cracked and are now stocking the book. They had to come to their senses sooner or later.
City Books now have a load in stock, all signed copies!
Sussex Stationers/British Bookshops have in theory ordered 100 copies of the book, but I'm yet to see them with it for sale anywhere. So they may be lost in their warehouse. If you see it, give us a shout!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Buy the Brighton's Best Pubs Book!

Wow! Yesterday the publisher contacted me and told me the book had arrived. I rushed down there and it looks great. I picked up 100 copies which I will be giving to the contibutors, friends and family. Some will be left for sale. If you are interested you can buy it here:


or here:


The book will probably be available in the shops sometime during September (it has to go through various book sales processes, ISBN number, register with Nielsens, into the retailer systems, etc)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Contributing to this Website

Until the full automated website is up and running, you can either comment on any of the posts here, or you can email me via my profile, telling me your favourite pub in a town/county/country not mentioned below and I will add a new post for that location, so other people can then say whether they agree with you or not.

Best Pub in Nottingham

The nominations are.....

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Pitcher & Piano
The Navigation
The Victoria Hotel, Beeston
The Mallard, Worksop

Best Pub in York

The Nominations are:

The Maltings
The Three Legged Mare
The Red Lion
The Gillygate
The Mason's Arms
Golden Fleece
Snickleway Inn
Ackhorne Inn

Best Pub in Birmingham

According to beerintheevening voters is:

The Anchor Inn, Digbeth

Best Pub in Belgium

According to voters on beerintheevening its:

De Garre, Bruges

Best Pub in Newcastle

according to beerintheevening its:

The Crowd Posada.

The food is not, however, recommended.

Best Pub in Yorkshire

The nominations are:

West Riding Refreshment Rooms, Dewsbury
The Birch Hall Inn in Beck Hole
The Golden Fleece, Oakworth
The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

Best Pub in Oxford

According to Beerintheevening voters its:

The Bear

but the Turf Tavern also does very well.....

Best Pub in Central London

According to the scorers on beerintheevening is:

The Sutton Arms, Barbican, London

Its only rated by 40 of the users though....

So it could be:

The Wenlock Arms, Wenlock, N1, London


The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell


The Artillery Arms, Old Street


Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn


The Lamb, Bloomsbury


The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn


The Royal Oak, Borough, SE1


The Harp, Covent Garden


The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell


The Nags Head, Belgravia

In fact its quite suprising that out of the top 17 pubs on beerintheevening, 13 of them are in central London. So either thats where the best pubs in the UK are, or thats where the voters on beerintheeveing think they are.

Best Pub in South London

And maybe the whole of Britain, according to Beerintheevening is:

The Market Porter, SE1.

This traditional pub, close to London Bridge station and on the edge of Borough Market, is massively popular with everyone -- market traders, city types, tourists: you name it, they're all here.

It's easy to see why; open from 6am, the Market Porter is a lively place to meet any time of day and the drinks cater for all tastes. As well as a standard selection of lager, cider and Guinness, there's also a phenomenal selection of constantly changing real ales from a range of microbreweries up and down the country.

Landlord Nick Turner and his staff create a friendly atmosphere and provide great service, despite the bar often being packed to the rafters.

heres some comments from the website:

Best Pub in Norwich

And possibly Britain according to beerintheevening and CAMRA is:

The Fat Cat in Norwich

However it sounds like maybe just a great pub for real ale.....

The Best Pub in Cambridgeshire

According to the CAMRA branch in the area its The Live and Let Live.

With an ever-changing array of seven real ales, with Everard's Tiger and Nethergate Umbel being two of the most regular ones, this popular back-street pub is on the must-do trail for all lovers of real ale.

This is also one of the regular outlets of the local cider, Cassels.

There's a good choice of food available in every session.

The pub is also famous for its mini beer festivals, held several times a year.

Best Pub in North London

Mabel's Tavern, a Shepherd Neame managed house, in Mabledon Place, Bloomsbury, has been voted Pub of the Year by members of the North London Branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale).

Mabel's was chosen from more than 800 public houses in the area for its long-term commitment to real ale and for its friendly welcome.

"Mabel's has consistently sold good real ale over a number of years to appreciative customers from all sorts of backgrounds and this is why the pub has appeared in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide for many years."

Nigel Bunting, Shepherd Neame's retail director said: "The care and attention of manager Tom Milne and all the team at Mabel's is second to none. We are delighted that the quality of their work has been recognised by discerning lovers of real ale."

Mabel's Tavern was awarded Shepherd Neame's Cellar of the Year Award in 2005 in the company's annual Pub Awards

The pub is named after a former landlady called Mabel Macinelly, who died in 1972, and is said to haunt the pub. Staff claim to have heard her calling out and the noise of the dumb waiter operating, even though the apparatus was removed many years ago!

Beautiful Beer Platinum Award

Swettenham Arms - Swettenham, Cheshire

According to the Morning Advertiser, a Cheshire pub has become the first freehold to pick up the Beautiful Beer Platinum award.

Only four pubs in the country hold the prestigious platinum title and Frances Cunningham, licensee at the Swettenham Arms, in Swettenham, is thrilled. “I knew it was going to be a lot of work but I wouldn’t have minded even if we failed because it was a great exercise and all of my staff know a lot more about beer and how to keep it.”

White Horse - Parson's Green (West London)

Mark Dorber's White Horse in Parson's Green has become the first pub in the country to receive the highest accolade from the British Beer & Pub Association's new award scheme.

The association is hoping its Beautiful Beer Awards will become the "Michelin for pubs". It assesses quality of all beer - not just cask ale - as well as the overall "beer experience" for customers.

To receive the Beautiful Beer Gold Award, pubs must serve consistently excellent beer, but the White Horse in west London has surpassed that with its commitment to matching beer with food and has received the Platinum Award.

Mark's passion for beer shines through and is passed on to customers - the White Horse menu recommends a different beer to accompany each of its main courses. Pubs wanting to apply for a Beautiful Beer Award have to return an application form, available from www.beautifulbeer.com, along with an entry fee. From this summer, drinkers will be able to visit the website to recommend pubs for an award, or complain if they have been served a below-standard beer in an award-holding outlet.

Best Pub in Edinburgh

According to the http://www.edinburgh.pubs.freeuk.com/index.html website, these are the best pubs in Edinburgh.....

The Bow Bar
80, West Bow,Victoria St
EH1 2HH 0131 226 7667
A successfully revamped old style Edinburgh pub renowned for great variety of real ale and guest beers and a good selection of malts. Friendly local pub with no frills or themes. Sometimes frequented by City councillors and the occasional community education worker but still a great place. Only a 10 pace stagger from a brilliant cheese shop and a historically significant brush shop.


The Royal McGregorThe Royal McGregor - website
154, High St
EH1 1QS 0131 225 7064
Great location on the Royal Mile. Re-opened after tasteful redesign in April 2001. Good chat and wide spectrum of locals and visitors, young and trendy and the rest of us. Excellent value steaks and generally good food from own kitchen. Keg and cask ales plus Bruichladdich. Fewer advocates come in than used to but still attracts local trade union hacks and politicians as well as sensible people.

Top of Page

Bert's Bar
29-31, William St
EH3 7NG 0131 225 5748

A fine place with a range of real ales and guest beers, good food and traditional architecture. Bar area and two smaller rooms with old newspaper front pages and rugby shirts framed on the wall. TV for sporting events.


The Castle Bar
6 Johnston Terrace
Good bit of work gone into this traditional pub with friendly service and well kept beer. Nestles directly under the castle opposite The Hub. Refurbished in recent years and has outside tables at the back on Victoria Terrace offering a smashing view over the rooftops and down to the Grassmarket.

Serves food throughout the day. Was a haunt of fiddlers, guitarists and singers but live music has fallen foul of residents' complaints we are told. Nevertheless, the pub is a spacious and welcome respite from some of the Royal Mile pseudiness (August 2003).

Top of Page

Cafe Royal
19, West Register St
EH2 2AA 0131 556 1884
A must. Central island bar, famous Doulton tiled walls, good variety of real ales and beers and of clientele. Dating from 1862 it is an Edinburgh institution that almost went the way of the hideous St James centre when Woolworths wanted it in the 60's. Circle Bar, a famous screen and the Oyster Bar upstairs.


The Traverse Theatre Bar (downstairs)
Off Lothian Road
A minimalist foyer for the theatre with trendy designed taps and a fair selection of designer bevvy. Can be arty but friendly for all that with a mix of festivalites, luvvies and punters. You can argue for ages as to whether the photograph exhibitions are crap or not. Avoid the cocktail bar upstairs unless you are serious about posing.


Jinglin Geordie's
22, Fleshmarket Close
EH1 1QA 0131 225 2803
A pub with principles. Closed last Hogmanay because locals couldn't get into it due to the limits on passes for the city centre celebrations. Used to be famous as the watering hole for local Labour politicians (near the City Chambers) and for journalists (it's just across the lane from the old Scotsman/ Evening News building). More recently you are more likely to see socialist ex-politicians and journalists who have the energy to get up from the new Scotsman building at Holyrood. Still it's cosy, friendly and welcoming.


The Cumberland Bar
1-3, Cumberland St
EH3 6RT 0131 558 3134
Excellent variety of beers and I once had the most perfect 20 year old cask strength Bruichladdich there. Good food, good atmosphere and well looked after beer.


Sandy Bells (The Forrest Bar)
25, Forrest Rd
EH1 2QH 0131 225 2751
A legend in its own opening time. Good beers, fair whisky selection and the traditional home of good folk musicians offering impromptu sessions. Not yer 'hee drum ho' but the good stuff.

Best Pub in Brighton

As the forthcoming book will show, seven jurors have been hard at work in Brighton. The top three pubs in reverse order are as follows:

3. The Hop Poles

Relaxed, modern pub with good beer, great food, music, garden, jars of sweets, friendly barstaff, modern art (hub-cap octopus on the roof and crocodile on the outside wall) and chilled music. Why aren't all modern pubs like this? Can often be just too full.

2. Open House

This is a fairly new Zel-run pub/bar (only a couple years old). It has very arty decor and customers, in keeping with the thespian ambience of this part of Brighton. It features good service, food, varied entertainment and a very large courtyard-come-beer garden, which is fantastic in the summer.

1. Basketmakers,

This is the long-standing highest scoring pub of the Brighton pub jurors and that is backed up by the fact that it is usually packed to the gunnels. It is friendly, with good food, beer and weird wines. No machines. The décor is interesting and previous drinkers have left messages in the antique tobacco tin collection on the walls.

Be a Pub Juror!

So you fancy becoming a pub juror? Well it’s tougher than you’d expect. Many wannabe jurors have fallen at the first hurdle of actually submitting scores – a rather crucial exercise! If you do get into the scoring habit then ideally you should score quite a few pubs - not just one. This is to ensure that the overall scores are not distorted by the addition of just someone’s favourite drinking holes and that the juror has a wide range of pubs to assess their scores against. On top of all this, think of the commitment that is required with 300 pubs to share your time between, (and thats if you are just scoring the whole of Brighton) – that’s over a pub every night for a year, with weekends off. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!

On this blog though, anyone can contribute, and are welcome to just tell us about your favourite pub. Of course, this is the initial stance. Once the full automated website is up it will absorb all the ratings that people could submit and absorb them into the collective. Of course there would have to be checks on the scores submitted to prevent anyone playing the system to promote their pub or reduce the scores of another one.....

But for the moment, if you are interested, then put your favourite pub on the blog!

The Best Pub

The best pub is a welcoming place, a home from home, with a roaring fire in the winter, a smiling barmaid or friendly barman, various distractions to entertain you, or a calm haven or refuge to escape the rigours of the modern world. It’s full of familiar faces, background laughter, ready with a foaming pint of the finest real ale, a perfectly chilled lager or a wide range of whiskies. There is a garden fringed with flowers in bloom, a room with comfortable sofas, a smooth wooden floor and a long bar to lean against. There is music when you want it and quiet when you don’t, games or newspapers, quizzes or bands. It’s a place to watch your favourite team play, chase the opposite sex or just plain get pissed. The best pub is one thing to one person and another to another. The best pub varies depending on your mood and the day of the week.

British pubs are a unique part of the culture on our islands. They are something that is appealing to visitors and badly missed by Brits abroad. How do you quantify how good a pub is so that someone else knows what to expect?

This book is based on a system that has evolved over the past few years in an attempt to rate pubs to determine just how good they are and which of them is the Best. It isn’t perfect, because rating pubs is a very personal experience and sometimes it is just not possible to say what is so good about a place where you feel happy and at home. But we think we’ve had a good go at it and we hope you will agree.

The System

The aim is to provide a fair, balanced and objective assessment of every pub in the world using a standard system so that bars that appear remarkably different in themselves can be compared on a level playing field.

Pub jurors are the key to the system – the more the merrier! They pay unannounced rating visits to pubs and score the unsuspecting hostelry against six different factors.

At the time of going to press there are seven pub jurors spanning a twenty year age range and including a CAMRA member, a cider drinker, a rocker and one woman! This eclectic mix generates a remarkably balanced scoring system. Six of these are Brighton residents, with one living in a nearby village. Currently the only pubs that are rated are in Brighton, but today Brighton, tomorrow the world......

So what are the factors to rate a pub against? Well…..

1. Atmosphere

This is actually the hardest factor to define. It describes that quality about a place that makes you feel happy there. It might be that it’s kicking or that it’s a good place to go with a group of friends. It could be the other people there, or the lack of them. It’s the feel of a pub rather than anything concrete. Mostly these pubs will be comfortably full with a good crowd of people who are enjoying themselves.

  1. Barstaff

Good barstaff are quick to serve the right person with the right drink for the right price. They will chat to you or leave you alone – as you like. They’ll go out of their way to make your drinking experience a pleasant one.

  1. Beer

This is not just beer, but all drinks. To get a good score a pub will serve a good range of high quality drinks for reasonable prices. Obviously there is a heavy focus on beer here, so expect a pub that just serves expensive bottled lager to fare poorly.

  1. Décor/Garden

This is about how a place looks and how comfortable it is. Sunny, well-tended beer gardens, nice art or well-stocked wooden bookcases are a good way to score well, while worn carpets with plastic chairs will have jurors headed for the door.

  1. Entertainment

Encompassing a wide range of diversions from live music, DJs and quizzes through pool, darts, pinball round to newspapers, boardgames and machines. Some Brighton pubs even have cabaret, cinema or saunas!

  1. Food

Obviously this covers the quality of food that a pub serves, with range and price also important elements of the score.

Jurors rank the factors in order of importance to them. The combination of all the jurors’ rankings is used to create a weighting for each factor. These weightings are used to combine the individual scores to create the overall rating for each pub. At the moment by far the most important ratings are, predictably, Atmosphere and Beer. Food is the least important factor in the overall pub rating.

Each juror scores each pub they visit from 0-4 on each factor. All the jurors’ scores are then averaged to produce a reliable group assessment for each pub.

7. Totty

Well, I said six factors, but actually there are seven. "Totty" though does not contribute to the overall score of the pub, but sits as a separate category on its own. Totty reflects the (seemingly) available level of totty in the pub, both male and female.

Holding Comment

This blog is the first forum for a forthcoming website to determine the best pub in the world

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?