Information for publicans

CAMRA is primarily a consumer group promoting real ale and cider, but as cask ale is really only available in pubs and clubs, we also do what we can to support them. If you’re a publican, or work in a pub, or are just interested in what we do, hopefully you’ll be able to find the answers to your questions on this page! If not, please contact our Pub Campaigns Officer via our Contacts page.

What does CAMRA do to support pubs?
At Branch level, we organise socials which involve visiting pubs, supporting them in the most direct way possible, with our hard-earned cash! We also maintain WhatPub, CAMRA’s national pub guide, which holds details of over 400 pubs in the Branch area, and is the most popular pub guide in the country – check the details of your pub now, and if they’re not up to date, or you have a better photo (landscape, 4×3), then either use the feedback links, or email us on
We try to prevent pubs from being changed to other uses, by monitoring planning applications, and opposing them where appropriate.
We also organise the Branch Pub of the Year competitions, to highlight the best pub in the branch area, and select the best 57 pubs for entry into the Good Beer Guide each year.

Pubs are welcome to promote themselves and their events using our Facebook group, or by adding events to the national Summer of Pub campaign (in summer!), or to the national Events page.

At a national level we lobby Parliament, ministers and other bodies on any subject we believe affects pubs and/or breweries. In particular we lobby for reductions in beer duty, reform of business rates, and through the pandemic support for affected businesses. We also promote changes to planning legislation to protect pubs, with ACVs being a major recent success, and continue to campaign against the exploitation of the tie by pubcos.
We also produce regular podcasts under the Pubs. Pints. People. banner, and offer online and hands-on training about beer and cider with our Learn & Discover website and stands at beer festivals.

Why does CAMRA offer and promote discount schemes?
National CAMRA policy is that members should not ask for a discount, unless they know the pub offers one. However, we know that some pubs wish to offer a discount because they believe it will be good for their business, and we’re happy to promote those offers. A fuller explanation of our policy, and the schemes available to publicans can be found on our Discounts page.

Why is CAMRA fixated on cask beer?
We’re not, although it is a big part our campaigning, as it’s uniquely found in pubs. We recently (2021) changed our definition of real ale to a definition of live beer, which can be served on handpump or gravity from a cask, but also from bottles, cans or kegs, including kegs which use gas pressure to push the beer to the bar!
We need pubs to stay open, as the only outlet for cask beer, so if selling ‘craft’ beer (however you define it!), or Guinness, or even Foster’s keeps your pub open, then we’re all for it!

How do I become a ‘CAMRA pub’?
You can’t – there’s no such thing! We try to support all pubs equally, although of course our members will prefer to visit pubs which offer a good range of real ales. All pubs and clubs in our branch area are listed on WhatPub – if yours isn’t for some reason, please let us know.

How do I get in the Good Beer Guide?
There are over 400 pubs in the Branch area, and we have 57 spaces in the Good Beer Guide – so only about one in seven pubs can be featured. To be selected, you’ll need to be nominated – any Branch member can nominate up to five pubs, so either join CAMRA and nominate your pub, or get a regular to do it. Nominations are usually open from September to December. You’ll also need to serve at least one draught real ale at all times. If more than 57 pubs are nominated, GBG entries are selected based on members’ scores, so the first thing you’ll need to do is attract CAMRA members to your pub. This doesn’t mean you have to offer a discount, but clearly, our members will only score pubs they visit regularly. And of course, the beer should be in the best condition you can provide it.

Why has my pub been dropped from the Good Beer Guide?
The 57 pubs in the GBG each year are selected form scratch – we don’t just carry over the old list and drop some and add others. Selection is based purely on the scores given by ordinary Branch members – there’s no smoke-filled rooms of committee members arguing over their personal preferences! All pubs have an equal opportunity to be in the Guide – previous history is not taken into account as we want the entries to be the best based on current beer quality.
That does not mean that if your pub isn’t in the Guide this year that we think your beer is badly kept, or there’s anything wrong with your pub or the way it’s managed, it’s just that the pub industry in Norwich and Norfolk is highly competitive, and we only have a limited number of ‘slots’!

Do you prioritise pubs which have a bigger range of real ales in the GBG?
Not directly, no – members’ scores are supposed to reflect their perception of the quality of the beer available, not the range. However, it would be naïve to believe that range doesn’t have some influence on scoring.

What range of beers do CAMRA members want in a pub?
CAMRA members are all different, and will probably only be a small percentage of your customers, so the first priority should be what your customers want, not what CAMRA members want – although there’s no reason those should be very similar!
That said, we believe that most people would prefer a smaller range of beers kept well to a wide range of beers which are not turning over quickly enough. So if each handpump isn’t selling at least two firkins a week, you might want to reduce the range (and conversely, if each handpump is selling two or more firkins a week, you might want to increase the range!).
Generalising again, CAMRA members will tend to favour pubs where most or all the beers change regularly, although many would like at least one permanent beer. And local and smaller, independent breweries will tend to be favoured over large regional or national breweries.

How do I get copies of / advertise in the CAMRA magazine?
The Norfolk branches of CAMRA publish Norfolk Nips roughly quarterly, and our volunteers distribute it to pubs. For more details, see our Branch Magazine page.

Is there a list of CAMRA-approved breweries I can contact?
No and yes! CAMRA don’t approve breweries in any way, but we do maintain a database of all breweries in the UK, which is accessible to members here.

Is there a list of CAMRA-approved cider makers I can contact?
Yes – approved makers have confirmed that they follow CAMRA guidelines when making real cider, primarily that they don’t use concentrated juice. The list, and a map, can be found on our Cider Producers page.