Each year, over 200 CAMRA branches select their Pub of the Year (PotY) and the North West Wiltshire (NW Wilts) Branch of CAMRA is no exception. These then go through to the regional competition to select the 16 top pubs, which are then whittled
down to four finalists – one of which will become the ultimate National winner. There are four stages to the competition:
- Branch Pub of the Year
- Regional Pub of the Year (some regions also hold intermediate rounds)
- Super-regional Judging (to award finalists for the National Pub of the Year)
- Final Judging (to award a National Pub of the Year)
The competition is organised and co-ordinated by the Regional Director (RD) representative on Pub Campaigns Committee (PCC) from branch to super-regional rounds. The results of the super-regional rounds are then passed on to the Chair of PCC, who arranges the judging of the final four pubs in the competition.
CAMRA expects Branches to select their Pub of the Year based on a selection method that suits the branch’s area and circumstances. We are advised to have processes and procedures in place that are impartial, transparent, and well documented in order to withstand any challenges to their result. This Guide meets that remit.
The PotY Coordinator is the Branch Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman and Pubs Officer. The Branch uses their GBG voting system to determine a shortlist for PotY. All Branch Members are invited to vote for up to 12 NW Wilts and 1 S. Glos. establishments during the annual Good Beer Guide (GBG) selection process, (see separate GBG guide for more detail). In the guidance given to voters, it is always emphasised that the main factor must be the quality of the real ales being served, and not the number available or the surroundings.
Once the GBG votes have been counted, the top 6 scoring pubs (more if there are pubs tied for 6 th place) are selected as the Branch’s shortlist. Their assessment is done using the current CAMRA PotY judging forms, criteria and score weighting against the same National guidelines. The current criteria are:
- Quality of the beer/cider/perry style
- Décor & furnishing
- Cleanliness & service
- Welcoming and atmospheric
- Offering a community focus and an atmosphere that aligns with CAMRA’s principles
- Overall positive impression
Once the scores have been collated, the PotY Committee of Branch Chairman, Secretary and Pubs Officer will validate the result. Some local rules apply:
- The Branch does not allow any pub to win for more than 2 years consecutively.
Should a pub that has won for the 2 previous consecutive years have the highest score, it shall instead be awarded a Highly Commended certificate and the 2nd placed pub declared as the winner.
- Should the pub with the highest number of popular votes in the GBG voting not win the PotY, it can be considered for a Highly Commended certificate.
- In the event of a tie, the Chairman will have the deciding vote.
These results are notified to the Regional Director before being promulgated. A date for the formal presentation of their PotY Certificate is arranged at a mutually convenient date, often coinciding with a Branch social event.
November - January:
- Members Vote for GBG Entries.
- Votes are counted and checked for validity against Membership records by Chairman, Secretary and Pubs Officer.
- Top 6 pubs are selected as shortlist for Branch PotY.
- Pubs are surveyed in accordance with CAMRA PotY guidelines by volunteers drawn from the Committee and other Branch Members.
- Surveys completed.
- Branch PotY Committee meets to ratify the result.
- Result passed to Regional Director in accordance with their timetable.
- Branch PotY goes forward to Regional Stage of the National Competition.
- Result Announced publicly and Presentation of Certificate to winner is arranged.
(Version 1.0, updated November 2019)