CAMRA Country Pubs Dorset
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DriveU To A Country Pub
Article by S. Charlton
One of CAMRA’s many remits is to produce the Good Beer Guide, an annual publication containing details of the pubs selling the best real ale in the country and where to find them, the entries being broken down into the countries of the United Kingdom and subcategorised by the counties within these. The book also contains listings of all the nations breweries along with tasting notes for the range of beers they produce and is an invaluable companion when seeking out a good pint of real ale either in your local area, whilst away on holiday or after that long meeting when away on a business trip! The real ale outlets to be represented in each edition of the guide are chosen by members of the many local branches of CAMRA using various means to rate the pubs, the most important of which is CAMRA’s beer scoring system. This system is the practise of CAMRA members scoring beer they are served according to a defined scale of quality and these scores are used to produce an average rating for each pub, a higher average indicating a better consistency of the real ale being served.
Our branch of CAMRA, East Dorset is allocated space in the guide for twenty eight of the two hundred and fifty plus pubs selling real ale in our branch area which includes one of the so called ‘famous five’ pubs which have appeared in every edition of the guide since its inception over forty years ago, this being The Square & Compass in Worth Matravers – a fine achievement indeed. While we use the scoring system detailed above to determine the pubs to be represented we also stipulate that each pub must have been visited a set number of times in order to be eligible, thus ensuring an element of consistency in the results. For the pubs in towns such as Poole, Bournemouth, Wareham and Wimborne this isn’t a problem as they are visited frequently by branch members and so plenty of scores are accumulated but it can be a problem for many of the pubs in rural villages which are serving great beer but are somewhat trickier to get to so don’t get as many scores.
A number of branch trips are therefore organised during the year to tour these pubs and with limited or no public transport available to their locations, we hire minibuses from DriveU Minibus Hire for these ventures. Chris, the owner offers a friendly service, has developed a good understanding of what our trips are trying to achieve and provides a service which is tailored to our requirements. As our branch area covers the Purbecks and extends as far west as Lulworth Cove and as far north as Child Okeford and Iwerne Courtney, it is not possible to visit every pub in the number of tours we can organise. We therefore target those pubs which are the most difficult to get to or we believe will be serving the best real ale and have a chance of being awarded good scores in the scoring system. DriveU work with us to plan the most efficient routes around these so that we can maximise our time with the minibus and achieve our objectives.