THE race is on to find out which pub is the best in Oxford.

Six city taverns have been included in the shortlist for the Oxford Camra pub of the year award.

The winner will be decided by members of Camra’s city branch based on six criteria including the service, quality of beer and mix of clientele.

This year’s shortlist is made up of The Chequers in High Street, Far From the Madding Crowd in Friar’s Entry, the Lamb and Flag in St Giles, The Royal Blenheim in St Ebbe’s Street, the Rose and Crown in North Parade Avenue and The Mason’s Arms in Quarry School Place, Headington.

Adam Hall is manager of the Rose and Crown, which has returned to the shortlist after a year out.

He said: “It is good to be back. We have been keeping it simple and we have added a guest beer, which made it a bit more interesting.

“My father bought the pub about two years ago so we have got a lot more free rein on where we get our beer from. Real ales are rocketing up in terms of consumption so they are having a comeback at the moment.”

Last year’s winner was Far From the Madding Crowd.

The city centre pub took the award from the Mason’s Arms in Headington after coming second in 2010.

Sara Liddle, manager of The Royal Blenheim, said: “Oxford is brilliant for real ale. It is one of the best places we have been.

“Here we are serving a good range of beer. We are a White Horse Brewery pub but we don’t just have their beer. It is not the traditional relationship between brewery and pub.

“We have beer from all over the place. We are very lucky.”

Members of Oxford Camra will be visiting the pubs over the next couple of months, filling out voting forms that will be stamped at each hostelry.