Norfolk

Norwich pub landlord's anger over Good Beer Guide 'snub'

Eaton Cottage Image copyright Alex March
Image caption The Eaton Cottage in Norwich has been removed from the 2020 Camra guide

A landlord has criticised his customers after his pub failed to make it into the Good Beer Guide.

Philip Birchall put up a notice in the Eaton Cottage in Norwich offering a "huge sarcastic thank you" to members of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

He said the pub had been removed from the 2020 guide because his regulars had not voted for its inclusion.

Camra said it might have been excluded because local competition had got "stiffer" since last year.

The group said its Good Beer Guide was an independent survey of pubs.

Image copyright The Eaton Cottage
Image caption Philip Birchall put up a sign giving a "huge sarcastic" thank you to Camra members who did not vote

As a result of the pub not featuring in the guide Mr Birchall said he had decided to gradually reduce the number of real ale pumps.

He said he put up the notice because he was "annoyed that people did not vote for me, as that is why Camra said I had gone out of the guide".

"I have tried to build up real ale, but if they are not scratching my back..." Mr Birchall said.

"People like drinking here and removing the pub from the guide is tantamount to a demotion."

Image copyright Alex March
Image caption Camra's national chairman said The Good Beer Guide was an independent survey of pubs

Mr Birchall, who has been landlord of the pub for 16 years, said it had "slipped in and out" of the guide over a number of years.

The sign also thanked the regulars of the pub who were "100% supportive of our attempts to keep one of Norwich's last community beer-only local proper pubs from disappearing forever".

He said a notice suggesting Camra members should be charged an extra 10% was "just a joke".

Pub regular Bob Halbert, 80, said: "I've been coming here since the 1960s. It's a good pub because you don't get the smell of food in your beer."

Carole Tebbutt, who moved to Norwich about a year ago, said: "It's a wonderful pub. It's excellent."

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Nik Antona, Camra's national chairman, said the guide was independent and only five pubs had been in every edition since it was first published in 1972.

"If a pub has not been chosen in this year's guide having been represented in the past, that doesn't necessarily mean that their pub or beer quality has gone down - the competition in the local area has just gotten stiffer," he said.

"This impartial and independent process provides our readers with a trustworthy and up-to-date list of local pubs and gives listed pubs an accreditation that's really worth bragging about."

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