CAMRA have finally done something we’ve wanted to see for a while: begun to consider how the biggest beer campaigning group in Britain should react to so-called craft beer and, in particular, ‘craft keg’.
Members can read more about the new working group on the CAMRA website (we wish CAMRA wouldn’t lock all its content away, but hey ho) and we can all read about it direct from one of the group’s members on Tandleman’s blog.
If you’re a CAMRA member, a lapsed member, or someone who thinks about joining but holds back for whatever reason, you can feed in to this conversation by commenting at Tandleman’s blog. (But he will be overwhelmed with people wanting their say, so make your comments are constructive and to the point, if you want them to be heard.)
It would be naieve for anyone to expect CAMRA to change policy drastically overnight, not to mention potentially disastrous for the Campaign — there are, after all, many members, whether we agree with them or not, who believe kegged beer is something to be opposed, and who would cancel their memberships if there is too much change, too quickly. And, assuming the working group does propose changes, those would then have to be approved by members at the annual meeting. (Although wouldn’t an online poll for members be a great and inclusive alternative?)
Nonetheless it would be great if, through this discussion, CAMRA can find some way to reconcile the organisation’s aims — supporting cask ale — with some kind of support, however restrained, for some of the very good non-cask beer being made in the UK today.