Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
  • CAMRA, trouble at mill?
  • Premier Icon theboatman
    Full Member

    I joined CAMRA just before 1990 when I was working at a town centre boozer whilst waiting to join the army. A CAMRA bod turned up one early doors, and it was the era when a pint of tt’s landlord was manner from heaven. So I joined.

    I had always thought they were a power for the good of beer, but read this today. I have no real agenda, and have never heard a grumble about CAMRA before. So hoping for some of you with more knowledge to advise if this is owt or nowt. I get CAMRA is a consumer body, is there a debate to be had?

    Beer fuss

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Yeah I read something about that on FB recently. It’s a good point IMO. Been a member for a long time now (never used one of those vouchers), probably won’t renew next time.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    Is this really true, as claimed in that letter? – When CAMRA was established, 22% of beer drunk in the UK was real ale and now that figure is only 9%

    It must have been some pretty bad real ale back in the day, as the quality and choice of UK beer has never been better. Started bevvying myself early 90s and the standard of ale was a joke relative to now.

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    Hard to believe that stat but probably something to do with tbe classification of what real ale is?

    Premier Icon richardk
    Free Member

    Or to do with where it is drunk? If it excludes cans, bottles, etc and only includes hand pulled pints (into a pewter tankard), then the decline of pubs is the bigger problem

    Premier Icon Simon_Semtex
    Free Member

    Yup….. Met a few CAMRA people a few years ago. I just went into my local for a quiet pint.

    Bloody local CAMRA group were giving the landlord dogs abuse for not stocking some really obscure brew from Chile or Peru.

    Bloody rude feckers. Some would say they had no mannas, effing and jeffing like that.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Real ale doesn’t include most of what people think as “craft” beer which is undoubtedly more popular these days.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Real ale means it has to be naturally conditioned, either cask or bottle conditioned (yeast still in the bottle).

    Hence why its probably on the decline.

    There’s a seperate argument with/among breweries and CAMRA about the absurdity of the rules. They’re stricter than the Reinheitsgebot which at least allows forced carbonation with brewery gas (the co2 recovered from the fermenters is pressuised to carbonate the finished beer).

    Premier Icon theboatman
    Full Member

    @zilog6128 I never realised that either, I have to admit I am probably one of those folk that has just paid and never even read the magazine or thought about the wider picture. I regularly pop over to the Thornbridge brewery tap near me, and in all honesty would have no idea what was real ale or craft beer there.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    I am probably one of those folk that has just paid and never even read the magazine

    And yet you don’t have a P next to your name 🙂

    Premier Icon johnners
    Free Member

    Bloody local CAMRA group were giving the landlord dogs abuse for not stocking some really obscure brew from Chile or Peru.

    I’m not surprised. CAMRA have always been notorious for going to war with pub landlords in support of the burgeoning South American real ale movement.

    Premier Icon bob_summers
    Full Member

    Used to be a member years ago – these days only read the local branch magazines they leave in pubs and certainly at a local level there seems to be an existential crisis over craft (keg/pasteurised) beer.

    Premier Icon theboatman
    Full Member

    And yet you don’t have a P next to your name 🙂

    There’s a stw magazine? 😉

    Slightly more seriously, this is probably one of the reasons why I don’t. I seem to have accrued a number of piddly subscriptions to stuff and I should look at what I’m spending sensibly.

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    OK so I know a few of the brewers that signed that petition
    To be fair , the numbers don’t make a jot of difference
    X numbers of card carrying Camra memembers , buying Y no of pints / divided by each brewery on that list annual output = probably .1% of brewery sales
    Not enough to bankrupt the business , and its the landlord who has the option to accept the voucher or not , not the brewery
    Will crunch some numbers later this week but have a tidal wave of sheet to deal with just now which is giving me panic attacks and something psycosomatic called paradoxial reflex breathing which means riding bikes is an issue

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    Real ale doesn’t include most of what people think as “craft” beer which is undoubtedly more popular these days.

    Please explain the difference, ‘cos I’ve no idea. Other than when I look at the section of the beer isle in the supermarket labelled’craft beer’, I just see smaller bottles with a higher price.
    Which I think is the case, it’s just so a few chin-stroking beer snobs can act all superior about their poncy, too expensive ’craft beer’
    There’s loads of breweries around these parts, they seem to be selling their products quite well, thank you.

    Is this really true, as claimed in that letter? – When CAMRA was established, 22% of beer drunk in the UK was real ale and now that figure is only 9%

    I don’t believe that for one second. CAMRA was set up precisely because it was almost impossible to find any beer that could be classed as ‘real ale’, other than a few local breweries. Around here that was Wadworths in Devizes, otherwise there was Ushers in Trowbridge or Courage in Bristol, neither of which brewed anything that could be considered real ale. Nowadays there’s getting on for 2000 breweries across the U.K., and they’re producing superb beers far superior to the sort of watery piss that could be found in the 70’s and 80’s, even into the 90’s – if I went out for a drink, I’d only drink Guinness because that was the only widely available beer with a decent flavour and strength; there was a joke about an advertising campaign for Courage Best that had a lovey bucolic scene with a river and a boat on it. When the MD had a closer look, there was a couple having sex in the boat. Outraged, he demanded an explanation, so the designer said it summed up the beer perfectly, ****ing near water.
    Now, when I go into my regular pub in Corsham, I can pretty much guarantee that there will be at least one beer different to the previous week, sometimes two or three, especially now they’ve enlarged the cellar, they have four beers on the pumps at any time, this gives them even more choice.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    I worked with Roger Protz in the mid 70s at Pergamon Press before his leaving to CAMRA and was amazed to find his campaign was about stuff my local area drank anyway.
    Lately my experience of CAMRA has been red socks wandering into pubs and trying to get landlords to take their vouchers. And getting a bit antsy when they wouldn’t.
    I think their time has passed.

    Edit: after reading the post above we were in the Oxford area so had Morlands. Didn’t really understand how different it was in some parts of the country.

    Oh and craft beer is usually shite INMO.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Now, when I go into my regular pub in Corsham, I can pretty much guarantee that there will be at least one beer different to the previous week, sometimes two or three, especially now they’ve enlarged the cellar, they have four beers on the pumps at any time

    so out of these 2000 UK breweries the pub will have a new beer from ONE of them and the other 3 pumps will have stale beer in the casks? Your local sounds shit 😂😂😂

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    Please explain the difference, ‘cos I’ve no idea. Other than when I look at the section of the beer isle in the supermarket labelled’craft beer’, I just see smaller bottles with a higher price.
    Which I think is the case, it’s just so a few chin-stroking beer snobs can act all superior about their poncy, too expensive ’craft beer’

    “Craft beer” has no defintiion.

    However, if you brew a beer that has a higher alcohol content and don’t just want to bang a load of sugar in it, then you need need to use more malt, which is more expensive. Also, if you want to add more flavour or make it a lot more bitter, then you need to add more hops. All the extra ingredients cost more money. Add in that is generally produced on a smaller scale, then this goes a long way to explain the extra cost.

    But if your happy with Carling or Fosters then crack on.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    CountZero

    Member

    Please explain the difference, ‘cos I’ve no idea.

    If only you’d read the thread rather than just mouthing off.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    What a bunch of weirdos beer snobs are! The only other beers available outside their whippet infested, Morris dancing village pubs is carling and fosters! 🤣🤣🤣

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    I prefer keg beer rather than cask, I suppose that falls into the craft category, so not proper beer by camras definition.

    Whatever.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Is this the equivalent of when BC used to drive members from LBSs to CRC with their 10% discount?

    Tension between short-term member retention and broader organisational aim of supporting production of good beer in Camra’s case?

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Full Member

    There’s been a lot of tension in the last few years between the broadly younger/open-minded folk and the old-time diehards. There’s a huge amount of interesting, high-quality, independent brewing going on (falling broadly into that “craft beer” category) that mostly sits outside of CAMRA’s very limited definition of “real” ale.

    Was going to write more but stumbled on this which sums it up better: https://ahoppyplace.co.uk/a-young-camra-members-thoughts-on-cask-craft-the-pub-and-beer-competition/

    If CAMRA keeps being dogmatically about cheap bland cask ale then it’ll slowly die off as it’s members do.

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