Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CAMRA: Campaign for a Real Argument

First off let me say I have no horse in this race. But, as an impartial observer from across the water, I've made a few observations. For those of you who don't know what CAMRA is, click here.

A little background might help at this point. Colin Valentine, CAMRA's president, gave a speech, at a member's weekend, about which, among other issues, he stated that "Of course the bloggerati are only interested in new things and 40 years of achievement means nothing as the best beer they have ever had is the next." You can read his statements here on page 10 of the CAMRA publication What's Brewing. Martyn Cornell, a CAMRA member I might add, then responded (as only Martyn can do) with a rebuke against Valentine here.

So, as an American, this is what I've noticed as a general response to the issue.

1. Nobody seems to be able to agree on what "craft beer" entails.

2. Valentine states "It's funny how all these people want us to change and adopt their latest idea and not start their own movement." It seems to me the movement has already started. CAMRA just happens to be on the receiving end.

3. Campaigning for real ale is one thing but campaigning for real ale and against keg beer, then saying that your not, takes the matter to a whole other level.

4. Beer bloggers have some influence. Why make the speech, otherwise?

5. CAMRA seems to be okay with bad beer as long as it's real.

6. Don't call Martyn a bloggerati, er, boggerato?

Most importantly, CAMRA seems to be missing an opportunity. Like it or not the bloggy interwebs are here to stay. Why not cultivate a relationship with people who do their fair share of drinking, and then go home tell the entire world about it? The whole thing seems counter-productive, but what do I know, I'm an American.


  1. If you're going to call me a "bloggerato" - smile when you say it.

    Seriously, your second-to-last sentence sums it up.

  2. If you're reading my blog Martyn, I'm smiling.