We couldn’t sum up our feelings about the latest Brewdog/CAMRA spat in a Tweet, so here’s a quick post.
In short, based on what we’ve read so far, we’re annoyed at both parties.
Brewdog make some beers we really love. The current bottled version of Punk IPA is far better than many of the cask ales we can easily get where we live.
And CAMRA is a great institution. We keep renewing our membership because, broadly speaking, we know they’re the goodies — the Rebellion facing off against the sinister Galactic Empire of crappy beer.
But Brewdog’s relentless pursuit of publicity and attention-seeking is really boring. They’ve got nice beer, good design — why do they need to be so malevolent? Is ‘irritating’ one of their ‘brand values’? They position themselves as underdogs but are beginning to look like school bullies.
And CAMRA… well, they make us sad. Why can’t they just try to turn the other cheek, show some statesman-like dignity, and make their critics look petty and bad-tempered for once? Brewdog take the piss and push and push, hoping for a controversy, and CAMRA give them one. To be fair, Marc Holmes, GBBF organiser, has given an impressively calm, dignified response, but it’s a bit late now.
Those who already have a downer on CAMRA, or aren’t sure it has values they can buy into, will have had their prejudices confirmed and might not bother reading beyond the Brewdog PR.
Whether there is any flex in its principles or not (not, seems to be the answer, which is fine, as long as we know where we are) CAMRA needs to work twice as hard to show it’s not grumpy, prickly and petty.