Latest guide to best real-ale pubs launched

Words and photo by Dave Barry 

The new edition of the country’s most authoritative guide to the best real-ale pubs has six in Scarborough, two in Filey and one in Brompton.

The 46th annual Good Beer Guide, published by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), lists Britain’s 4,500 pubs and nearly 2,000 breweries.

They are the best in the country, according to Camra’s 192,000 members, who monitor pubs selling real ale in their branch’s area.

The Scarborough branch was allowed 15 entries, consisting of old favourites, new entries and some making a return.

Inevitable inclusions are the branch’s two pubs of the year, the North Riding in Scarborough and the Sun Inn in Pickering, together with its rural cider pub of the year, the Old Post Office Tavern at Brompton.

Cellars in Scarborough is back in the book; it was listed for 17 consecutive years but didn’t make it into the last two.

Another returner is the Bay Horse in Pickering, for the first time since 2004.

Two venues make their debut: Scarborough Council Employees Welfare Club, aka the Corporation Club, on Dean Road, and Brass Castle Brewery Tap in Malton. Members believe it is the first time a club has gained entry to the Good Beer Guide in the area covered by the branch.

The local breweries featured are Scarborough Brewery, North Riding in Scarborough, North Riding in East Ayton, Wold Top near Hunmanby, Great British Breworks in Pickering and Bad Seed and Brass Castle in Malton.

Branch chairman Gillian Harper said: “With nearly 250 pubs and clubs in our area, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to gain one of the highly prized 15 places allocated to the branch. We are lucky to be represented by pubs from across the geographical limits of our branch extending from Scarborough and Filey to Malton and Pickering. Those who have retained their places, plus the new and returning pubs, demonstrate that serving quality real ale all year round is appreciated by our members and demonstrates that maintaining high standards will be rewarded”.

The Good Beer Guide was launched locally at the Corporation Club in the presence of branch members, club members, licensees and brewery representatives.

Founded in 1974 by Richard Thompson, the branch introduced the annual awards to recognise real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub.

The other Scarborough pubs in the guide are Scholars, the Valley and the Tap and Spile. The two Filey pubs are the Cobbler's Arms and Star.

* The guide costs £13 at branch meetings until November or £15.99 at bookshops and online.

* Earlier this year, the branch was hoping to stage its third annual beer festival at the Old Parcel Office next to the railway station in Scarborough from 11-13 October. However, it is no longer going ahead as the venue is being used by artists.