The local CAMRA Branch I chair and have done for twenty years, is forty this month. We have been celebrating this with a series of
While that was jolly nice for all of us, what occurred to me was that on an otherwise quiet Wednesday evening, a very large number of pints were consumed, giving the pub a pretty good boost to trade. It also occurred to me that similar events happen all the time and across the country there are countless CAMRA organised events that give local pubs much needed business at quiet times. Quiet midweeks are serendipitously the best time for us to hold meetings and the best time for pubs to host them and thus fill space. Almost all CAMRA branches are no doubt doing the same kind of thing all the time and in our case, we'll have special events throughout the year and, as CAMRA was growing hugely forty years ago, there will be a lot of this kind of stuff going on. It's all good for pubs.
Some of us may be old and set in our ways, but we are still campaigning for real ale in the best way anyone can, by getting out and drinking the stuff.
My beer was brewed by Matt Holmes of Ramsbottom Craft Brewery. It was a chocolate, chilli stout of 4.5% and was a dark as possible. It had just a touch of chilli and a beautiful white creamy head. Lovely stuff. It sold out before it was ready for serving and will shortly be available in bottle conditioned form. Want some? Ask Matt here.
Photo (Top) shows me presenting a certificate to the Merrie Monk in Rochdale in 1997. Alas, like the landlord, the Merrie Monk is no longer with us. I'm hanging on in there.