Wednesday, 12 May 2010

What CAMRA has done for us - my views

Having compiled a list of what CAMRA does here's my take on whether I think it's good, bad or indifferent.


• Promotes cask beer: Good, I like that.
• Promotes bottle conditioned beer: Indifferent. There are some great bottle conditioned beer but there are also great beers that aren’t bottled conditioned, and the difference in the bottled isn’t as big as it is between keg and cask.
• Promotes mild in May. Indifferent. I’m not really bothered about mild.
• Promotes real cider. Indifferent. I’m not interested in cider.
• Promotes local beers. Good, this should help cask beer sales.
• Promotes Budweiser Budvar. Bad, I’m not that keen on it.
• Publishes the Good Beer Guide. Good, I like it.
• Published local beer guides. Good, they have their uses.
• Publishes Beer magazine. Good, I like it.
• Publishes What's Brewing newspaper. Indifferent, it’s pretty boring nowadays.
• Publishes local magazines. Good, I like them.
• Publishes other beer books. Good, some are very useful, like the home brewing guide and the cellarmanship guide.
• Sells merchandising whatnots. Indifferent, but every organisation raises funds this way.
• Organises the Great British Beer Festival. Good, I haven’t been for years but I think it’s a good thing.
• Organises local beer festivals. Good, I go to a few.
• Organises local social events. Good, not that I’ve been to any for a long while but I’m sure it helps the organisation stay together.
• Runs the Champion Beer of Britain competition. Good, this helps promote breweries.
• Runs local beer competitions. Good, this helps promote breweries.
• Runs a bottled beer competition. Good, this helps promote breweries.
• Campaigns against brewery closures. Indifferent, they never seem to make any difference.
• Campaigns against pub closures. Good, this has worked in some cases.
• Campaigns for full pints. Indifferent. Surely if pubs were made to use lined glasses they’d just put the prices up.
• Has a policy of opposing multinationals advertising beer. Indifferent, seems a bit of a waste of time as I can’t see it ever happening.
• Provides Wetherspoons discount vouchers to its members. Good, I’ve actually managed to use one now making me 50p better off.
• Has a bottled beer club. Indifferent, bottled beer is widely available.
• Has an investments club. Indifferent.
• Campaigns for minimum alcohol pricing. Bad. I think a united front of all boozers against attacks on alcohol is better.
• Campaigns against cask breathers. Bad. If the beer tastes good what’s the problem?
• Campaigns to get its members discounts in pubs. Good, I saved another 50p at a pub in Edinburgh with a discount for CAMRA members.

Looking at some of the replies from my previous post I'll next be looking at What CAMRA hasn't done for us.


  1. I don't think those of us who have been critical of some aspects of CAMRA are questioning that overall it does far more good than harm.

    At the present time its biggest minus point must be that it has failed to mount any kind of credible or coherent challenge to the growing influence of the anti-alcohol lobby and indeed on some points has (shamefully) been tempted to make common cause with them.

  2. I think you are wronger in that than you might imagine Mudgie. Drop Mike Benner a note. He'll tell you a few things you might not know.

    Sure they need to not hide their light under a bushel, but that isn't the same as doing nothing.