Sunday 21 January 2018

Revitalisation or revisionism?

There is only one lie, there is only one truth
There is the lie of revisionism and opportunism
Of all hues
The lie of kegism and reaction
And there is the truth of CAMRAism-Protzkyism
Of casking and conditioning

The CAMRA revitalisation process seems to be finally drawing to an end and proposed changes are now online. They didn't seem particularly earth shaking to me, but Des de Moor's response made me look more closely:

He's clearly a better CAMRA Kremlinologist than me. One point I'd given little thought to clearly has wider implications:
CAMRA’s scope widens to include quality beer of all types
Though in many ways this is what CAMRA are already doing, officially broadening its scope means filtered and kegged beers not from overseas can be supported. Clearly keggist roaders are at work. Though it would remove one of CAMRA's odder anomalies.

We also find at the bottom of the beer recommendations:
CAMRA should adopt a neutral position on the use of cask breathers.
Yes, that's right neutrality in the face of extraneous CO2! Keggist roaders indeed. I do have vague memories of the cask breather debate and if I remember rightly CAMRA's technical committee recommended they get approval, but the membership voted against at the AGM. I could be wrong but it's a fact that CAMRA's cellarmanship guide gives them the thumbs up.

I will try and get to the meeting in London about the changes, and I'll take some popcorn in case any of the proverbial CAMRA dinosaurs are there to kick off (I've always wanted to see one but I'm not sure they really exist).

But as for myself I won't be gearing up for a two line struggle. For me beer is not a political  matter, it is a spiritual issue. Though I do miss the old certainties of when we were free to denigrate other lesser beers we live in ecumenical times now and as a faithful member of the one, beery, catholic and apostolic beer consumers organisation I will accept the church's teaching whatever they may be.


  1. Craft beer doesn't need CAMRA, but CAMRA needs cask beer (desperately).

    1. Yes, a growing product category really doesn't need an organised support group. CAMRA does like to be the beer drinkers and pub goers organisation though so I guess does need to officially open things up.

    2. Will there be a definition of Craft Ale? Its all well and good to say "quality" but that is subjective. Real Ale is defined. How can you campaign for something that is undefined?

    3. I think there's zero chance of that. Even in the US they don't define craft beer, only craft breweries. And that's almost entirely based on who owns the shares now.

  2. The way they've reached out to the trade and recognised that the trade might know a bit more about beer than many CAMRA members is also a big change, they've always had a rather handsoff relationship with the trade - no corporate memberships etc.

    1. Yes, but I do have a soft spot for CAMRA being a consumers organisation, rather than the "we're all in this together" guff we get from rich craft beer businessmen.