IT’S that time of year again when real ale drinkers in St Helens get to decide on which is the best pub in town.

Six pubs in the borough have been shortlisted for St Helens CAMRA Pub of the Year award and it’s now down to the real ale drinkers to come out and vote for who they think deserves the accolade for 2020.

The shortlisted pubs are: Cowley Vaults, The Cricketers Arms, The News Room, Talbot Alehouse, Turks Head and the Skewbridge Alehouse

The St Helens CAMRA Pub of the Year and Cider Pub of the Year can be voted for by all CAMRA members registered with the branch.

The six pubs that made the cut were shortlisted based on ‘WhatPub’ scoring - which is carried out by any CAMRA member visiting pubs during the year.

Out of the 80 pubs listed by St Helens CAMRA, the six shortlisted are those with the best accumulated scores throughout the year – where people visiting those pubs have scored the beer they are drinking.

Ian Pye, Pubs Officer for St Helens and District CAMRA said: “The voting for pub of the year is open to all St Helens and District CAMRA members and I’d encourage anyone who is a member to get out there and vote.

“The only way a pub can win this award is if people who drink in these establishments score the beers regularly on ‘WhatPub’ and then take part in the final scoring for Pub of the Year.

“The forms are available to download online, or you can ask at the bar in any of the shortlisted pubs for a scoring form.

"Five of the pubs have also been shortlisted for St Helens CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year so don’t forget to score for this as well.”

CAMRA members are asked to visit each pub on the shortlist and score it out of 10 for six areas: quality of ale/cider; decor/style furnishing and cleanliness; service/welcome/offering; community focus and atmosphere; sympathy with CAMRA and overall impression.

The quality of ale and cider score is weighted so that it counts as 'double' compared to the other scores. Members must submit their scores to the CAMRA Committee by Wednesday, February 19.

This is also the first step in the shortlisting process that ultimately leads to CAMRA National Pub of the Year selections.