Just seen on the CAMRA website that its going to try to modernise the
organisation yet again. It seems that they want to lose the beard and
sandals image, and in so doing, increase its membership by 32,000 in the
next 3 years.
Haven't they realised that the reason lots of people take the micky and
don't join is because the organisation fulfils its stereotype in nearly
everything that it does? Most people like drinking beer, not being in a club
talking about it.
A sweeping statement but are you prepared to put some meat on the bone for
us and provide some examples?
True but there are enough people around who like doing just that. As someone
who has bothered to subscribe to a real ale newsgroup, I of course include
you in this group.
Why should this be surprising? A lot of visitors to local railways aren't
actually involved in restoration.
A lot of visitors to historic monuments aren't members of the National
In message , Manky Badger
Well... most of those 'talking about beer' sessions happen at a bar
whilst drinking the product. And even more strange, rather a lot of us
like talking about beer - just like people posting to this newsgroup!
So what was the problem again?
"Manky Badger" - a made-up name
if ever I've heard one - said
There's that, but personally I'm in CAMRA for all of the following
Our branch meetings are a laugh and we have a good craic.
We get to drink some interesting beers at same.
It's interesting going round to different pubs which aren't on your
We want to support landlords who go to the effort of putting real ale
We want to support, by drinking and campaigning, local breweries,
especially our very own
We want to act as a pressure group to lobby MPs and local councils to
preserve archtecturally interesting and valuable pubs.
We want to persuade more people to think for themselves and develop
their own tastes instead of simply drinking what they see in adverts.
I'm not sure what you can do about getting more young people in - I'm
39 and I'm the youngest regular attendee at our branch meetings.
Partly the problem is that everyone in our branch is very busy with
work/children/family/other committments to put the extra outreach work
I get fixed rate transport (a fiver) to monthly meetings and often to
other events, with door to door delivery, when I can drink and not
have to drive (very rare for me, as I live in a very rural area with
little public transport, which usually stops after 6 pm anyway).
Unless I'm very much mistaken, it was loobyloo
( firstname.lastname@example.org), in message
I don't think your branch is atypical in that respect either. All the branch
meetings I've ever attended have been overwhelming comprised of people my
father's age and older.
I've been a member since I was 17. I'm now 26, and still don't feel old
enough to step back into a branch meeting, and maybe I never will.
People try to be friendly enough, but I felt uncomfortable and something of
an outsider, simply because I was of a different generation.
I also found a lot of them boring old gits, tbh.
In message , Ben Nunn
I only stopped attending regularly when I turned 30+! As you get older
time gets harder to find.
You might be better off getting involved in your local beer festival,
its the event that gets more young CAMRA members involved and a hell of
a lot more fun than most meetings. And pub surveying trips (a major part
of most branches activities) are hard not to enjoy. A few pints breaks
the ice quickly (especially if the whole party are strangers in a new
Unfortunately someone has to do the boring business that lets all the
good stuff happen...
CAMRA's ratio of active members is no worse, and may even be better, than
that of many other subscription-charging campaigning bodies. It's just a
fact of life. Even if they do nothing their subs fund campaigning
I'm sure a witchhunt against members seen with the occasional half of
draught Guinness or glass of Chardonnay in their hands would do wonders for
Personally I think CAMRA needs to grow up, forget the simplistic mantra of
"real ale good, keg beer bad", and recognise that there can be much to be
said for many beers from around the world that don't precisely conform to
the definition of real ale. To be honest, most thoughtful CAMRA members
recognise that already.
"If laws are to be respected, they must be worthy of respect."
I agree John - he doesn't see that is almost the whole point. The reason for
the pseudonym is that I own a real ale pub, that does all the things that
CAMRA say they want. Funnily enough though, CAMRA doesn't seem to like it
The problem for the average active CAMRA member (not all of them) is that
we're full of "fashionable young people" drinking from the 12 British cask
beers on the engine, the 8 continental draughts, the 150 bottled beers and 3
CAMRA doesn't seem to like the pub, because its not what they want from
their little private club, ie, old fashioned backstreet Victorian boozers
full of like minded (read small minded) middle aged blokes. The amazing
thing is that because we promote choice, quality and diversity, and the only
thing that the local CAMRA can talk about is how expensive we are. They
should try running a pub where the business rates are over £50k, that cost
over half a million quid to fit out in the city centre. Those figures are
more than the average pub rent and cost to purchase the freehold! CAMRA just
don't get it.
"Ben Nunn" - a made-up name if ever I've heard
one - said
The problem in our branch (like most I suppose) is that there aren't
sufficient numbers of younger people for them to group together if
they wish, so they tend to get a bit isolated, despite everyone's best
Older people don't have a monopoly on being boring you know!
(in message ):
Well said Mr/Ms. To, we have exactly the same problem. There were a couple of
posts earlier in this thread that highlighted one of the great myths of CAMRA
- that they're selflessly altruistically campaigning for the good of real ale
for the benefit of the whole of society. They're not, they're (not all I
admit) just a self interest group.
Nope, they dont know me! I own it, but i dont manage it daily. Lots of
people do seem to like it though because we have no shortage of customers.
Well if you need some simple maths, we sell around 350 DIFFERENT cask ales a
year - and I dont mean beers that get repeated. That doesnt include the
bottles, the fancy continental draughts like Chimay, Leifmans and Dentegems,
the standard lagers like Stella and Carlsberg or the german wheat beers or
the ciders and perry's. It goes without saying that we dont sell any keg or
nitro beers. Now by my reckoning thats well over a cask a day(ish). I have a
cellar man and I would trust our beer to be in as good or better condition
than anywhere else I know. My god.. we even flush the lines when we change a
line from one to another cask of the same product!
They're probably all away from home in the big cities. There seems to
be a pretty active "under 26" group of CAMRA members in Manchester for
example, and probably similar groups in other cities.
In message , Daisy Hill
You've missed the obvious I'm afraid.
Just selling RA does not get pubs into the GBG, otherwise the GBG would
contain 30-50 *thousand* pubs. Selling 12 at a time won't either, they
have to be good (ALL of them), pubs with 3 good beers will always beat
ones with 12 mediocre ones (or even 11 good and one consistently bad).
There are enough wine bars/continental bars/youth pulling joints getting
CAMRA support to mostly discount his other claims.
The obvious problem though is we've heard a one sided description that
there's no way to check. 3-5 years ago he could be describing my local
Hogshead, 12 beers, cider, continental beers, heaving with youngsters.
Also a pub that consistently sold stale beer from Sunday till thursday
every week because they had too many beers on sale.
If the pub's as good as claimed anonymity makes no sense...
(in message ):
You may not have intended it that way but that is such an arrogant reply (one
I've heard many times).
To me it's like saying 'how can he possibly have contrary views to CAMRA?
We're right, we have the moral high ground, there are no valid contrary views
so he must have an axe to grind'.
Winds people up it does.