The Bar Man, May 15, 2015: A few score draws

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Much as we like to hear about your trips to such exciting places as Ebbw Vale, some of us are interested in where to get a decent pint in West Norfolk, I hear my readers say.

Well, you are in luck, because here are the results of the National Beer Scoring Scheme compiled for the local area over the last year. Any CAMRA member can enter a score between zero and five for the beer in any pub by logging on to and entering their membership number and password. It’s an easy way to get involved and there is a prize draw every three months for those members who have entered a score. Recently the number of scores has increased and we have some regular contributors such as Ian, Paul, Chris, Nigel, Claire and Mark who have joined the regulars, with the result that the beer in 102 pubs in the West Norfolk CAMRA Branch area has been rated over the last 12 months. Obviously the more scores entered for a pub, the more accurate the overall result is likely to be, so I have divided the results into three categories. First are the pubs which have had at least 10 ratings over the time period. The top five, with the average score, are as follows. 1 Great Hockham Eagle (4.38), 2 Middleton Gate and Stuart House Hotel, Lynn (both 4.13) 4 Rathskellar Wine Bar and Bistro, Lynn (3.98) and 5 Red Lion in Hockwold (3.90).

The next category is the pubs which have had more than one rating but less than 10. There is a good chance that these serve excellent beer, but it is possible that one high or low score will have an exaggerated effect on the final average. In first place is the Red Lion in Swaffham (4.33), 2 Berney Arms at Barton Bendish (4.29), 3 Windmill at Necton and White Horse at Gaywood (both 4.25) and 5 is the Bedingfeld Arms at Oxborough (4.08)

Finally there are a number of pubs that have just had one score entered, which may be an indication that they are very good, or it may be that they happened to be serving an exceptionally good pint when they were rated. Either way, further investigation is in order and we would be pleased to have further scores. There was one pub rated at 5, the Chequers at Thompson and three rated at 4.5 with their solitary score. These are the Green Man at Methwold Hythe, the Stag at West Acre and the King William IV at Sedgeford. Another clutch weighed in with a solitary score of 4, these being the Swan in Downham Market, the Lamb and Flag in Welney, The Woolpack in Terrington St John, the House on the Green in North Wootton, the Angel in Watlington and the Crown in Mundford.

I emphasise that these are not a guide to the type of pub as the results above are purely based on the quality of the beer served. But there should be somewhere worth checking out near you.