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CAMRA's Great British Pubs

by Adrian Tierney-Jones

It seems obvious that CAMRA should produce a book that celebrates pubs so it's remarkable that it has taken until now for the consumer group to publish one.

Great British PubsOf course, CAMRA's flagship publication, the Good Beer Guide, is itself a pub guide, but it’s a pub guide that is entirely beer led.

In Adrian Tierney-Jones's book, the boot is on the other foot, with other pub attributes taking prime position, albeit over a safety net of decent cask beer being served at the very least.

What is also good about this book is the way in which it is arranged, dividing up pubs according to their specialities.

Hence you have sections headed 'The Best Pub Games', 'The Best Heritage Pubs', 'The Best Pub Gardens', 'The Best Food Pubs', 'The Best Family Pubs', 'The Best Railway Pubs', and so on.

It's not the first book to take this approach – Roger Protz's 500 Best Pubs broke that particular mould more than a decade ago – but it's still a refreshing change from guides that only list pubs geographically or alphabetically.

(Note: if you fear getting confused, indexes by pub name and by county help you pull everything together.)

More than 200 pubs are featured in all, each given a generous write-up and at least one colour photograph. Author Tierney-Jones is a born pub loiterer, so he knows what to look for in a good boozer. As a regular columnist for The Daily Telegraph, he also knows how to convey his pub experiences in evocative words.

The result is an attractive, informative, very readable take on the best pubs in the land – all of which, I should mention, have been chosen on their merits and not on their decision to pay an entry/admin fee.

First edition (2011)

296-page paperback (CAMRA Books)


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