ALE enthusiasts know they have plenty of choice after 20 pubs from the Basingstoke region made it into the Good Beer Guide.

The 2010 edition of the real ale drinker’s bible includes three new entries – The Chineham Arms, The White Hart, in Sherfield-on-Loddon, and The Lord Derby, in North Warnborough.

The launch of the guide, published by the Campaign for Real Ale was celebrated by the North Hampshire branch of the group at The Queen’s Arms, in Bunnion Place, Basingstoke.

Branch chairman Phil Myatt said: “Real ale is a growing area in drinking and we are getting a lot of good real ale pubs in and surrounding the town.”

He believed part of the growth was because people increasingly liked to know where their drink had come from, rather than drinking “something coming from hundreds of miles away”.

The White Hart, in Charter Alley, has not only retained a spot in the guide, as it has for 19 years, but also been named North Hampshire branch pub of the year.

Explaining the pub’s popularity, Mr Myatt said: “The landlord has always got high-quality beer on and changes the beer on a fairly regular basis.”

Basingstoke Sports and Social Club, at May’s Bounty, and Lasham Gliding Club, North Hampshire branch and Wessex region club-of-the-year respectively also made it in to the Good Beer Guide.

Gliding club licensee Nigel Chubb said it was the third year in a row the club had won.

He said: “I don’t muck about with the beer, just let it settle.”