A STROUD pub has made it back into the ‘beer-lovers’ bible’ this year, after an absence of 45 years.

The Bowbridge Arms, formerly the British Oak, featured in the first proper edition of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide in 1974 and was listed in the following year's edition too.

It served just one real ale at the time, West Country Pale Ale from Whitbread’s Flowers brewery in Cheltenham.

After that, the pub disappeared from the independent guide’s pages, until now.

The 2020 Good Beer Guide has just been published and the Bowbridge Arms, along with seven other Stroud pubs, is listed inside.

To mark the occasion, the Stroud Campaign for Real Ale group chose to launch the publication of the new edition at the Bowbridge Arms.

The Stroud pubs that are also feature are: The Ale House, Stroud; The Butchers Arms, Sheepscombe; The Crown & Sceptre, Stroud; The Crown Inn, Frampton Mansell; The Old Badger, Eastington; The Prince Albert, Stroud, and The Woolpack, Slad.

The Good Beer Guide is fully revised and updated each year and lists pubs across the UK that serve the best real ale.

It includes a breweries section, listing every brewery—micro, regional and national—that produces real ale in the UK, and their beers.

Tasting notes for the beers, compiled by trained tasting teams, are also included.

Stroud CAMRA, which covers postcodes GL5, GL6 and GL10, has more than 200 members who file reports on the pubs they visit, rating them for the range and quality of their beers, as well as welcome, service and atmosphere.

As part of the evaluation process, each shortlisted pub is visited unannounced at least three times a year—in spring, summer and winter—to see how the pub fares at different seasons, whether the number of beers available varies, and if the temperature and quality is consistent on a hot summer’s day as well as on a cold winter’s night.

As far as possible they try to judge the quality and condition of the beer on offer—the part that is down to the landlord and the cellarmanship—rather than whether or not a particular beer is to their taste.