Friday, 26 July 2013

CAMRA - Making Brewers and Publicans Happy

There's sometimes talk about how publicans, brewers and breweries hold CAMRA in contempt, though it isn't something I've come across much.  When this talk happens, it tends to be in snide comments on blogs or in asides between non CAMRA types. As I said, it isn't something I've had to deal with all that often and even then, it usually comes down to a remark about beer quality or whatever and it soon blows over.

Again despite rumours to the contrary, one thing brewers love, adore and can't get enough of is awards.  Pubs are the same. Awards mean some kind of recognition for effort and everyone likes to be recognised for what they do don't they?  So last night we (my local CAMRA Branch) had an awards ceremony.  First up was the Oldham Pub of the Year, the Ashton Arms, a comfortable and welcoming town centre pub with a great range of beer and then the awards for Oldham Beer Festival.  Gold and Silver to a local brewery, Greenfield for Silver Owl and Vanilla Stout and Bronze to Millstone, nearby in Mossley, for True Grit.  The brewers and owners were there.  We actually know all of our local brewers extremely well and they were absolutely delighted with the awards.  The pub was delighted. We were delighted that they were delighted and we all had a great night and brought extra trade into the Ashton.

CAMRA - Delighting the good in Pubs and Brewing.

Winning beer, Greenfield Silver Owl is a superbly clean pale, hoppy and bitter beer of around 4%.  I had a lovely couple of pints of it last night. All winning beers were chosen by the general public at the festival itself.


bailey said...

From the conversations we've been having:

* some hate CAMRA, usually because they've had encounters with particular arseholes, or are on a short fuse themselves;
* some love CAMRA, and are members/activists; and
* others have hurt feelings because they think they're on the same side as CAMRA but don't get any recognition. (Again, usually because of local politics.)

Tandleman said...

"* others have hurt feelings because they think they're on the same side as CAMRA but don't get any recognition. (Again, usually because of local politics.)"

I think that's largely imagined. They probably just aren't as good as they think. Local politics? Maybe in some places. Rarer than you'd imagine, I imagine.

bailey said...

I wish I could find the flyer the North Bar group put out a while ago on this subject, but I can't: in sixteen years of running various pubs and bars in Leeds, and promoting choice, Belgian beer, etc., they've hardly had any recognition from local CAMRA. They interpret it, with bemusement and a sigh, rightly or wrongly, as a pointed snub.

I'll email you offline about local politics...

Cooking Lager said...

I, for one, love CAMRA. It's great.

There are one or two odd balls that are not that odd when you get to know them, or maybe they turn you odd so you don't think they are odd. Dunno.

Most are amiable enough middle aged and middle class blokes that like a pint and have decided turning it into a hobby is more respectable than being a drunk, and are nice chaps to sup with.

There are plenty of free piss ups to go on making it worth the price, all under the guise of educational brewery tour.

The awards and what not are genuine ones from customers and as such tend to be deserved. Why not praise decent boozers where the grog is drinkable and people don't get knifed?

Without CAMRA we would have no real ale twats and without them a shade of colour would be lost from the pub landscape, making us all the poorer.

I recommend it, I find sandals comfy, though beards itchy. Down with chemical fizz, up with warm flat brown pongy ale ! Hail CAMRA!

Curmudgeon said...

How does one define "recognition"?

Yes, sometimes the choice of Pubs of the Month can be a bit capricious, but it's hard to think of any deserving pubs that don't at least get a favourable mention in the local CAMRA paper.

North Bar is in the current GBG and is described as "one of the most enduring and popular bars in Leeds". That looks like recognition to me.

Some licensees say "I never see anyone from CAMRA in here", as if members had to announce their presence every time they visit a pub. And not all are grossly overweight bearded blokes bearing stained beer festival T-shirts.

bailey said...

Can't say whether their feeling is justified -- just reporting it!

Suspect many publicans, brewers and breweries, rightly or wrongly, feel the same, to a greater or lesser extent. They certainly don't all love CAMRA to bits, but nor do they all hold it 'in contempt'.