beer festivals News opinion

Increased costs of GBBF cause CAMRA to make a loss

gbbf.jpgThis month’s “What’s Brewing” contains the CAMRA financial statements, showing an operating loss of £71K compared to an operating profit of £44K last year. Net current liabilities are also up considerably.

Slightly concerned about the financial position of the organisation, I eventually found some commentary in “Beer”, the other paper that comes out with What’s Brewing. Apparently, the loss is due to not meeting income targets from the Great British Beer Festival. The commentary from the chair, Paula Waters, says that:

…we had to experiment with the amount of beer we bought in in order to judge how much we will require in future…we now know what we need to do to make the event work in 2008 with lower costs and the right amount of beer”

Interesting. I suppose it’s all well and good us members making demands about what the GBBF should contain, but we do need to remember that this is one of the premier sources of income for CAMRA. It’s oviously a fine balance to get enough beers to appeal to the hardened tickers yet not have too much left over at the end.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind a smaller selection, particularly if it was kept better. Let’s face it, even if you sat there from opening day to closing day and had a liver of iron, you’d never get through it all. Other members may disagree.

3 replies on “Increased costs of GBBF cause CAMRA to make a loss”

I think there is more to this than meets the eye. There are other things – sponsorship was well down for example – but one point struck me; door receipts were up considerably and beer sales were down considerably. I’d guess the third of a pint glass is the culprit here both for overmeasure and slowing down the pace of supping. A wolf in sheep’s clothing that one!

I’d miss the third of a pint glass if it went, but, you’re right, it held more than a third of a pint and the bar staff had obviously been influenced by CAMRA’s own “take it to the top” campaign…

As for slowing down the pace of supping, though, that’s surely not a bad thing? They’re not running a town-centre drinking barn; it shouldn’t be purely about turning over product.

Apart from the money side of things, my impression is that year’s festival was a success, and lots of people I know who wouldn’t normally go, did. So maybe that will attract more sponsorship? Fingers crossed.

If you have a LOT of beer to sell you want them supping, so in its context it is a bad thing, though I do take your point. I was merely stating it as a suspicion for some of the loss. I think CAMRA has to redesign the third of a pint and make it nearer a brim measure or they (we) will just be giving beer away. The general point is that in beer festivals you have a limited time to sell a perishable product.

As an aside, anyone remember the Little Pub Company of the Midlands? They ran among others, the Desperate Dan Pie Factory and the Cradley Heath Sausage Works. Both great places. Their till receipts said “Please drink harder and faster”. Would be frowned on now.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: