The Real Ale Trail is a campaign to get people to sample the delights of real ale in a pub they might not normally go to. Some of the pubs might not be in the Good Pub Guide but they'll definitely be in the Good Beer Guide so you can be sure that your adventure will be satisfying.
You can get a booklet from any of the 28 pubs which you keep with you on your travels. Each time you buy a half or a pint of real ale in these pubs they give you a little sticker so you can mark it as done. If you complete all 28 pubs you are allowed to jump the queue for the 18th Reading CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival which is worth about 2 to 3 hours of queuing possibly in the rain!
I had a look at the Reading & Mid Berkshire Real Ale Trail page in order to plan my route around. This should have been a 5 minute job but it took me almost 2 hours to find them all, there just wasn't enough information to locate them easily. The blame is not all Reading CAMRA's web site's fault, a lot of the pubs weren't easy to find by searching Google Maps. I suspect that Google Rankings aren't at the top of the list when it comes to running a pub.
I intend to organise a pub crawl so wanted to plan my route. I didn't want anyone else to go through all this trauma so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you real ale lovers out there.
If you click this link for Reading & Mid-Berkshire CAMRA - Real Ale Trail 2012 it will open a new window showing a bigger version of the map at Google.