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Real ale

Our pubs have been supporting microbreweries of real ale since we opened the doors of our first pub in 1979, working with local brewers up and down the country to put local beers on the pumps.

Wetherspoon’s pubs are synonymous with real ale – and the resulting awards and recognition received are testament to the company’s passion for serving a great pint.

Our staff are committed to serving customers the perfect pint of real ale – and, with almost 50 million pints poured annually, that is no mean feat. It takes a lot of training, effort and dedication to keep real ale in top condition – and our staff are the best in the business. And you don’t have to take just our word for it.

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is considered the custodian of the great British pint of beer.


In short, what its nationwide beer-drinking members don’t know about real ale isn’t worth knowing.

The 2019 CAMRA Good Beer Guide, the UK’s best-selling beer and pub guide and ultimate list of pubs serving tip-top real ale, includes no fewer than 243 Wetherspoon pubs, consistently more than any other pub company.

Of those, 83 pubs have been listed in the guide for the last five consecutive years, highlighting not only a remarkable achievement, but an excellent consistency in the quality of real ale served to our customers.

CAMRA ( members visit thousands of pubs each year, including ours, to check on the quality of real ale and to see whether those pubs’ beer is of a high enough quality to be worthy of inclusion in their guide.

A CAMRA spokesman said: “Each of the Wetherspoon pubs listed in the Good Beer Guide 2019 deserves its place in the guide.

“It is our belief that if a licensee serves an excellent pint of real ale, then everything else in the pub, including customer service, quality of food and atmosphere, are likely to be of an equally high standard.”

Ian Lynskey, pub manager at The Old Manor (Bracknell), which, in the 2019 guide, celebrated its 20th consecutive year, said:

“We offer our customers an excellent range of real ales at all times, including those from regional brewers and microbrewers, as well as hosting our own beer festivals.

“Staff at the pub work hard to ensure that the real ales on offer are kept in first-class condition, at all times, and the pub’s inclusion in the guide highlights this.”


As well as in-house training for our staff, independent real-ale quality assessor Cask Marque has been inspecting Wetherspoon pubs for the past 20 years, gauging the quality of the real ales we are serving.

Cask Marque ( visits each pub a minimum of twice a year, every year, as well as making random visits to check on the quality of beer.

The assessors, all qualified brewers, sample up to six ales per pub each visit, testing beer in the glass exactly as a customer would receive it.

They check the beers’ temperature, clarity and aroma, as well as taste.

Every pint must pass, in order for the visit to be a success and for the pub to gain or retain its coveted Cask Marque award.

Cask Marque’s director, Paul Nunny, said: “When drinkers see a Cask Marque plaque (now recognised by 77 per cent of cask ale drinkers (YouGov 2017)) outside a Wetherspoon pub, they know that the pub has been independently inspected regularly by an experienced brewer who has sampled a wide range of cask ales – and so those customers are guaranteed a great pint of cask ale.


“Wetherspoon has invested heavily in its cask ale, in both equipment and training, and this is reflected in its ability to offer a great range of beers continually, without any failing in quality.”

During 2018, 1,889 visits were made by Cask Marque inspectors to Wetherspoon pubs in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Overall, they received a 95.8 per cent pass rate, with 876 of the company’s pubs accredited.

When Wetherspoon was founded in 1979 by chairman Tim Martin, cask ale was considered, from the beginning, a fundamental part of the pubs’ offering – and that continues today.

With twice-yearly real-ale festivals and international brewers’ visits, as well as support for local and regional breweries and microbreweries, we bring our customers an ever-changing variety of the very best beer available.

Wetherspoon sources real ale from more than 400 breweries across the UK.


As well as a list of ever-popular beers available to order for 12 months in a year, there are five guest ale lists each year, each featuring 30–45 ales, from breweries ranging in size across national, regional and smaller brewers.

Our pubs also stock at least one LocAle beer from a local brewer, at all times. So, no matter how small the brewery, a direct delivery system enables it to supply its local Wetherspoon pub (within a 30-miles radius) directly.

We source from hundreds of microbreweries annually, from across the UK and Ireland, and that list continues to grow every year, extending your choice of great real ale, wherever your local Wetherspoon may be.


January - March