Pub of the Year

Our Pub of the Year for 2018 is The Nags Head, Reading, the runner-up being The Fox & Hounds, Caversham.

Our Cider Pub of the Year for 2018 is The Nags Head, the runner-up being The Fox & Hounds, Caversham.

Our Club of the Year for 2018 is the Wargrave & District Snooker Club.

What is it?

Every year, the Reading & Mid-Berkshire CAMRA branch awards its Pub of the Year (PotY) title to the pub voted for by branch members. It's the most prestigious prize we can bestow and the more people voting, the better.

Our winner plays off against the other three Berkshire branches in order to decide who is Berkshire PotY. It can then proceed through a number of larger inter-regional rounds and, if it's judged best in class all the way through, end up as the National Pub of the Year.

How does it work?

First we invite all members to suggest the pub that they think should be the next Pub of the Year. From those and the pubs that are at the highest level of beer quality scores (Any pub that has had over 20 'visits' is eligible and we almost always pick the top pubs in % terms of 'good' scores to go through to PotY (the 'best of the best' if you will). A shortlist of ten pubs will be prepared to go to the next available Branch meeting. From these, the meeting will choose six finalists. The ten on the shortlist will be published at least a week before the meeting. Therefore those who cannot get to the Branch meeting can nominate another member who is going to be their proxy and cast their vote for them. Our branch rules on proxy voting only allow the members present to cast their own and one proxy vote.

The result of the selection of finalists are announced before the end of October and from then on any time you visit one of the finalists, you can rate it according to the national criteria set out for deciding the branch, regional and national pubs of the year. But for your votes to count you must visit all six finalists.

The criteria are laid out below:

  • Quality of ale, cider or perry
  • Atmosphere, style and decor
  • Service/welcome
  • Community focus
  • Sympathy with CAMRA aims
  • Value for money

Can I join in?

Yes! If you're a member of CAMRA or an affiliated organisation (e.g. Reading University Real Ale Society). A form will be circulated to take to the nominated pubs, score, and return (and online form will also be available). We only insist on two things:

  • That all listed pubs are visited
  • That you score fairly and honestly

How and when can I vote?

Voting for the Pub of the Year is now open until 28th February 2018. We like as many people as possible to vote, so we giving you a lot more time in which to complete your surveys and have also tried to make it as simple as possible to vote.

There are two ways to vote:

If you decide to vote via our online form you can submit more than one form per pub as the scores will be condensed after the deadline has passed.

You must be a CAMRA member and need to visit and score every pub for your votes to count, and you are welcome to score any of the pubs more than once – particularly if you ratings are significantly different on different visits. Multiple votes will be compressed to form an average once the voting has closed.

The 2018 Pub of the Year six finalists are:

Bell, Waltham St. Lawrence
Bell & Bottle, Shinfield
Castle Tap, Reading
Fox & Hounds, Caversham
Nags Head, Reading
Retreat, Reading

For more information, please Contact Us.

Cider Pub of the Year

The National Cider Pub of the Year is an award for the pub or club in the UK that best promotes and encourages the sale of quality real cider and perry.

There are 4 stages to the competition:

  • Branch Judging (January to mid-March) (to award a Branch Cider Pub of the Year)
  • Regional Judging (mid-March to mid-May) (to award a Regional Cider Pub of the Year)
  • Super-Regional Judging (mid-May to mid-July) (to award Finalist for the National Cider Pub of the Year)
  • Final Judging (mid-July to mid-September) (to award National Cider Pub of the Year)

The winner is normally announced on 1st October to start our October Cider & Perry Month.

The Reading & Mid Berks branch will be using the criteria recommended by CAMRA nationally, which is only slightly different to criteria for Pub of the Year. This is to score pubs for the following

  • Quality of cider or perry
  • Promotion/knowledge of product
  • Atmosphere, style and decor
  • Service/welcome
  • Community focus
  • Sympathy with CAMRA aims
  • Overall value

Voters must hold a current CAMRA membership.

The 2018 Cider Pub of the Year finalists are:

Alehouse, Reading
Bell, Waltham St. Lawrence
Fox & Hounds, Caversham
Nags Head, Reading

To vote online, go to Or download the paper version here: Cider PoTY form.

The voting will close at the end of Saturday 3rd March.