CAMRA branches in London have all decided their best pub for 2009 and each of the twelve branches now provides a judge (or a team of judges) to visit each winning pub. The votes are then cast at the end of June to decide which pub is the Greater London Pub of the Year to go forward to the regional final stages.
The winner in London last year was The Trafalgar in South Wimbledon. This was then defeated at the super regional stage by Sussex's best pub, The Royal Oak at Rusper Street which in turn lost out in the final stage to The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield, CAMRA's National Pub of the Year for 2008.
What makes a great pub is often a matter of personal choice and sometimes the beer led CAMRA criteria give rise to some winners that may not be universally agreed. However, anyone who has ever been to the Kelham Island Tavern could not deny it is a great pub.
In the coming week, I intend to elaborate on London's twelve local choices for 2009.