Anyone still buying the CAMRA Good Beer Guide?

Asking for a friend.

My last one says 2017 on it (so it’s got pub information from 2015/16 in it).


I still buy one each year. It lives in the caravan for when we travel to untried parts. Still fairly useful.

I have up to maybe 2018/19 … went every other year from 2010 or so

2 reasons … internet era meaning more up to date information

Some of the better bars don’t make it due to regional quotas and being all keg

Kind of a redundant thing for me … may pick one up for posterity in a year or two but not the go to it was in say mid 90’s - late 00’s period


I picked up a 2019 edition in a charity shop. Does come in handy for historic pubs, hidden gems, country gastropubs etc many of which don’t appear on RateBeer and less so on Untappd.

Usually ill look on RB first, Untappd second, and GBG third.

A good example is an excellent cider pub in Somerset in the guide, but not on RB or searchable on UT but was one of our favourite places on that trip.

If I see a 2021 edition somewhere I’ll probably pick it up


I haven’t in a very long time, but I keep considering doing so. I’ve drifted apart from CAMRA in a lot of ways but I keep getting pulled in a bit… theeicester branch did fantastic days out and a cracking festival back before Covid.

I do use WhatPub a lot. It ain’t perfect but it has an advantage to Ratebeer as pretty much every UK venue is in there.


not since 2000… partly cos I don’t travel to random places in the UK much these days, partly because of the growth of online info, and over the last decade or so the growth of craft has meant my criteria and the GBG’s have steadily diverged


Yearly. But only because my Dad always wants one for Christmas.


Funny, I was looking at the 2021 edition in Waterstones yesterday… thinking I’m sure the 2022 edition will be out now. And It is.
In recent years since I’ve spent more & more time on RB, my research has gone 50/50.
Originally I was buying every other year, but slipped to every 3rd year some years ago. I’m due a new copy now 2022 is out. I’ve always kept beer notes next to the pub’s I’ve visited & transfer every time I get a new copy, quite a task, so probably the reason I slipped to every 3rd year not because I’m tight ha ha.

1 Like

Never come across WhatPub, looks interesting with heaps of pubs in Jersey

1 Like

The trouble with Whatpub is that it dismisses some great bars as ‘No cask available’.

“This bar has 30 lines of US TIPAs and Impy Stouts but no Greene King IPA. Shithole.”


TBF, the official guidance for CAMRA branches is that “Real Ale Available” should be ticked even if it is only because it sells some bottled conditioned beers. Locally, this means that just about every craft beer bar has “Real Ale Available”. Getting the branches to follow this guidance is a completely different matter, of course …

1 Like

Depends on the branch. Some will say something along the lines of, ‘Wonderful modern craft beer pub that does not sell real ale but offer many interesting beers in keg, can and bottle’ while others will be considerably more disparaging or say nothing at all. Likewise some branches are more up-to-date than others. It’s not bad if you want to know what pubs are around. If you want to know what a pub is actually like it isn’t all that great.

1 Like

I use it a lot. If a bar is dismissed I quickly look it up to confirm it is a craft place :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

Not sure I have ever bought one, at least not new. May have picked one up at a charity shop. And I did get a copy of my birth year GBG (for free!) at the Pigs Ear beer festival last week.

1 Like

I think the 40th anniversary edition was the last I bought but still subscribe to the app, handy way to quickly search for places that do food (and kid friendly) that also have decent beer so use it a few times a year for that and sometimes if I’m away with work, again less useful these past 2 years!

I’ve bought 3 copies of the GBG in the last 31 years. I don’t really see much point in buying them these days as the info gets out of date. The books are quite bulky and as others have stated they are not really geared to someone like myself who drinks a lot of craft keg beer rather than cask these days. I hardly ever looked at the editions that I have, they just sat on the bookshelf. There will always be the old CAMRA types who probably have every single copy going back to the 70’s. The internet has everything you need.

Apparantly the 2022 edition has sold out. I haven’t bought one since 2018 …

1 Like

They must not be doing very large print runs these days, surely?

I understand that CAMRA HQ reduced the print run this year - but by how much is “confidential” …

Due to COVID-19 there was very little change to the pubs in the guide, most branches put forward the same places just changing the ones that had closed with a few reserves. So they took the view that sales would be well down, so reduced the print run. Branches are having to get their candidates in for the end of March this year, so we could possibly be in a similar position.