Ours is tomorrow. Due to the long lead in times, we will be discussing GBG 2010 entries. I am hoping that it will be a fruitful and democratic meeting, where we will pick the best pubs for our branch and ultimately for those who purchase the product.
A lot of guff is talked about how cabals of CAMRA insiders decide in advance what is what and who will be in the guide. In my branch, despite being Chairman, I have no more idea than the next man and will argue for the pubs I support with passion, as well as listening carefully to the arguments of others. The list we will choose from has been compiled by asking every member we have what they think. The system isn't perfect, but I have no doubt, in other CAMRA branches, my counterparts will be trying hard to be fair and democratic too. Then begins the onerous job of surveying the pubs to ensure they are fit for selection and the complicated process of getting the entries to CAMRA centrally.
The work of CAMRA branches behind the scenes is never ending. It is a labour of love for most of us, so when you pick up your copy of the Good Beer Guide and agree or disagree with our selection, remember we are (mostly) just doing our best.
I am told unofficially that CAMRA membership is expected to break the 100,000 barrier early next year.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, CAMRA Chairman and (local) activist, beer author, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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