Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Back to the Day Job

NWAF is receding slightly though I'm still tired. We will have a wash up meeting in February and then think about it again, but for the meantime, it's back to being a CAMRA Branch Chairman, with my next duty chairing the 2010 Good Beer Guide Selection meeting. The GBG Co-ordinator tells me we have 29 new nominations for the guide as well as our current entries, so it looks like being a lively and (probably) heated meeting. People do get passionate about pubs and competition among licensees and CAMRA members to get "their" choice in is fierce. Also more nominations usually means there is more decent beer about. That's never a bad thing.

Then after we have narrowed it down and done our reserves, there will be a round of visits to ensure all is well and to get the stuff off to HQ by the deadline. A lot of work.

This brings me back to NWAF and why people do it? Well of course it's their hobby and their passion, but, having talked to so many CAMRA members over the last few weeks, it is also because they like to give something back, to spread the "beer is good" word to others, to project their love of beer as widely as possible. Beer Festivals and the GBG are two examples of just such selflessness. A lot of CAMRA work isn't glamorous, but it provides the means to allow others, CAMRA members or not, to enjoy the fruits of their labours, by being able to drink lots of different beers at a festival, or find a decent beer in a strange town.

You know, CAMRA may not be all good, but it sure as Hell isn't all bad.


Neville Grundy said...

Your last comment is correct. CAMRA branches are only as good as the people who work in them, and obviously there's a lot of variation there. Ultimately though, they're all volunteers doing it for nothing. I'm sure it would have made your life much simpler, TM, just to go on a few pub crawls instead of organising festivals.

Cooking Lager said...

You'll have to organise a continual beer festival, then you can really kill off the pub industry. You'll never manage it with these yearly events.

Paul Bailey said...

Well said, Tandleman. I may have the odd whinge now and then about CAMRA (my recent posting is evidence of this), but if I didn't care about decent beer and decent pubs then I wouldn't have remained a member these past thirty-five years!

Anonymous said...

I think our branch may be rather different to yours where we routinely struggle to find enough 'good' pubs to fill our quota.

The net result is, rather handing part of the quota back, we use it up and poor pubs appear in the guide.

Before you ask, I've tried to change this at branch meetings without success.