Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Happy birthday CAMRA
Forty years on and the trend towards bland, ersatz beer has been reversed. Not before time, real ale is finally becoming hip. Despite the efforts of the ad men, a new generation is discovering the joy of proper beer; something they wouldn't be able to do if the CAMRA bashers had succeeded.
The likes of Fullers and Caledonian, to name but two old-established breweries, would have closed years ago. There wouldn't be over 700 hundred breweries, most of them established since CAMRA was founded. There wouldn't be the seedling micropub movement that is just beginning to take root.
CAMRA has survived because it was willing to be unpopular. Members were willing to put in years of volunteer labour. Willing to put up with ridicule and sometimes abuse from the mass media. Though denounced as luddites and beardy-weirdies, the grim determination of these stubborn old buggers inspired a beer revolution.
So get down the pub tonight and raise a glass of real ale. It's thanks to CAMRA that you have the choice.