CAMRA chairman angry at BA magazine article

Reads 24574 • Replies 192 • Started Sunday, May 29, 2011 3:15:27 AM CT

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beers 3487 º places 280 º 15:52 Sun 5/29/2011

It’s really simple. There’s good beer and there’s bad beer. Cask and keg beer falls into both categories.

I joined CAMRA in the mistaken belief that it supports ’good beer’. It doesn’t. It supports a traditional British method. I don’t have a problem with that, and they should continue to promote this method. But the Americans are producing much better, tastier and more interesting beers than are coming out of Britain.

The question is, do we just ignore that and keep our head in the sand and keep going on and on about cask ale, or do we have an organisation that supports ’good beer’ however it is made?

I think Colin raises a brilliant point. He says why don’t they (craft supporters) start up their own organisation. A bloody good idea, because CAMRA does not represent what I want from a beer organisation. I want to learn about and know about where I can get good beer, not just cask beer. If anyone starts this I and many others will join in a flash.

Also, the use of the word ’fresh’ is not really correct in association with cask ale. ’Live’ might be a better term. I’ve had plenty of shit cask ale that is absolutely not fresh. In fact more tends to be stale than is fresh.

beers 34992 º places 453 º 16:04 Sun 5/29/2011

Originally posted by chriso
Originally posted by cgarvieuk
CAMRA isnt the Campain for Good beer its the CAMpain for Real Ale.

I can understand why CAMRA would want to exploit a very well established and recognized brand but it’s actually about a whole lot more than that isn’t it?

Google CAMRA and the short summary you get is "Advocacy group that supports consumers rights in the United Kingdom and Europe with respect to the beer and drinks industry, aiming to promote quality, ...".

And from the CAMRA website:

"We aim to:
Protect and improve consumer rights
Promote quality, choice and value for money
Support the public house as a focus of community life
Campaign for greater appreciation of traditional beers, ciders and perries as part of our national heritage and culture
Seek improvements in all licensed premises and throughout the brewing industry"

The word "quality" suggests to me that "good" is (or should be) involved as well as "real". And a whole lot of those aims have only the most tenuous link to "real ale" if any.

As was discussed in the previous thread on this issue, CAMRA is a membership organisation and will promote and support whatever the members decide, whether Mr Valentine likes it or not. It has clearly already gone way beyond the "real ale" manifesto and. If there is any constitutional reason why it cannot support drinks that do not fall within the current definition, should the membership so decide, it escapes me. And of course, CAMRA already represents itself as an "advocacy group" covering the whole drinks industry anyway.

I can see what you say.
and i have a love for beer from De Molen, De Struise, Mikkeller etc that dont fall within the Real ale description.

Much as i love Real Ale, i dont believe that its the only good beer out there. Im gutted to have missed the Copenhagen festival and i doubt i would have drunk a single beer that would have classified as real ale at the festival (damn that ash cloud)

But im still not convinced that CAMRA should be forced to accept
the new wave of trendy beer. Its not that its worse beer than much of what CAMRA promotes. Its just that it doesnt necessarily fit what is seen as its Remit.

If CAMRA chooses to support a wider range of beer, i wont complain. But im not not going to be upset if they dont.

I like cask beer, im glad cask beer exists, I think on the whole they have done more good than bad and im yet to be convinced that supporting "craft" beer is a good thing.

And if i havent been convinced. And i regularly drink and enjoy "craft" beers , im not so sure we should be insisting that CAMRA as a whole accept it.

I know just how much cash i spend on "craft" beers (and so does my wife unfortunately) So i have nothing against craft beer. Im a fan. I firmly believe that there are GREAT non cask beers out there. But i am not convinced that CAMRA need to be involed in the promotion of non Cask beers

beers 3487 º places 280 º 16:46 Sun 5/29/2011

Again, so there is clearly a gap in the UK consumer arena for an organisation that supports ’good beer’ in the UK and is not shackled by it having to be cask beer.

Again, someone should step up to this and start organising.

beers 1 º places 1 º 17:14 Sun 5/29/2011

Originally posted by cgarvieuk
well i might as well plug my blog again.

Im with the Chairman on this. Until the Craft promoters can define craft beer as something other than beer they like, i think there’s a problem.

CAMRA isnt the Campain for Good beer its the CAMpain for Real Ale.
Real Ale has a clear definition and isnt about good or bad but about a process. But i go into it more in my blag :-)

Awsome, because the vast majority of Real Ale comes from the big ones, Green King, Marstons, Caledonian, Wells & Youngs and alot of that is bright beer that has been conditioned in the brewery for consistancy.

I cant see anything positive about CAMRA’s current stance on this "Craft beer" issue, as its resticting itself for the sake of resticting and whats more is the brewerys making the ground braking movement to expand good beer and take back from the multinationals understand that cask conditioned beer doesnt suit some of the more interesting styles and therefore is not.

Ford is not a corner stone of car making, because having a car any colour aslong as its black, doesnt work.

17:18 Sun 5/29/2011

Originally posted by EdKing
Again, so there is clearly a gap in the UK consumer arena for an organisation that supports ’good beer’ in the UK and is not shackled by it having to be cask beer.

Again, someone should step up to this and start organising.

I suspect that whoever does step may find out that there is much less interest in such an organisation than some people make out.

CAMRA also campaigns for real cider, which is of course even further removed from real ale than keg beer is. The reason cider comes under CAMRA’s umbrella in the first place is that there are quite simply not enough people in the UK interested in real cider to sustain a viable independent organisation. Sad but true.

beers 1 º places 1 º 17:33 Sun 5/29/2011

Originally posted by SilkTork
Originally posted by otakuden
craft beer is real ale and real ale is craft beer. they both stand for the same thing so it’s really a silly debate, imo. whether it’s filtered or unfiltered, what matters is the beer itself and the men and women who brew it, the community, and the men and women who love to drink these artisanal beers, both real ale and craft included.

i can drink to that

No they don’t stand for the same thing. There is a deep rooted misunderstanding regarding what CAMRA are about and what "craft beer" signifies.

They have similarities, but are very different.

CAMRA positions itself as a supporter of fresh, unfiltered beer.

Craft beer positions itself as a supporter of small brewers.

CAMRA supports fresh beer regardless of who makes it.

Craft beer supports filtered beer as long as it is made by a small brewer.

People in favour of CAMRA supporting "craft beer" are using the argument that craft brewers sometimes make tastier beer than producers of fresh beer, partly because fresh beer goes stale quicker than stabilised beer, and partly because a brewer can make good tasting or bad tasting beer regardless of if it is filtered afterwards.

CAMRA’s position is rather like that of Fair Trade. It doesn’t matter what the coffee tastes like, if the coffee producer is not paying the coffee plantation a fair amount for the beans, then it isn’t Fair Trade.

CAMRA supports fresh beer. Craft brewers don’t always sell fresh beer.

If a craft brewer ensures that its beer is always served fresh and without forced carbonation, then it would come under CAMRA’s umbrella.

Bollox Steve. The vast majority of beer, like 99% of your craft and real ale brewerys recommend you drink the beer asap. Shelf life is only a concideration once you start to pasturise beer. All brewers are aware(or should be), that wither you decide to cask your beer and let the pub condition it or be it filtered and brewery keg it, it should be had asap, unless stated otherwise.

beers 6351 º places 233 º 17:37 Sun 5/29/2011

Originally posted by kmweaver
Originally posted by stefanje
As for definitions, I though "craft brewery" is any independent brewery that produces less than 6 million barrels of beer a year, and craft beer/ale is their product. A term that is neutral and infers neither good nor bad brew (just like real ale). Can someone please enlighten me as to the controversy here?

This is the American definition. The discourse and history of things in the UK make it a completely different conversation.

I thought if they put it in 40 different scotch barrels in the UK it is considered 40 different craft beers. Is this not true?

beers 636 º places 5 º 17:37 Sun 5/29/2011

People take some shit way too seriously

beers 14481 º places 1020 º 17:45 Sun 5/29/2011

I think it is completely cool for CAMRA to say that they campaign for cask beer, real ale, unfiltered beer, etc., that that’s what they started out doing and that’s what they will continue doing. It’s a great British tradition and I would want someone to keep it alive even if all kinds of "American-style" "craft" beers were to be made there as well. In the same way, I want to drink rheinheitsgebot beers in Germany whether or not Stone starts brewing there. Not everyone wants American-style beers, and not everyone thinks those are the best beers around. Diversity in beer culture is something precious that we should applaud and help maintain.

That said, CAMRA, at least as represented by this dude in this speech, also needs to understand something about respecting diversity. They can say that they won’t support keg beer without taking the piss out of anyone who does!

beers 1704 º places 138 º 17:53 Sun 5/29/2011

Mon the Cad.