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National chairman Colin Valentine: Camra determined to remain relevant to drinkers of all types

CAMRA’s future now in the polling booth

Voting is underway on whether the Campaign for Real Ale will, in its 48th year, broaden its scope beyond cask conditioned brews to engage with the rise of craft keg beer.

Some 191,000 members of the organisation will have their say on the recommendations that emerged from the Revitalisation Project, a thorough-going review of its purpose and objectives in the face of a challenge from a younger generation.

If they agree to the proposals, Camra’s beer festivals will offer a range of beers in all formats while the campaign will seek to educate drinkers in all kinds of beer and dispense methods, and to appreciate quality, whether or not it’s from a cask.

Entries to its beer competitions will be accepted from ‘a wider pool’ while Camra will extend its pub protection remit to represent all pub-goers.

The final decision will be made at April’s AGM, but voting has begun for those who can’t make it to the University of Warwick for the proceedings.

"This marks an important stage in our long history,” said Camra chairman Colin Valentine. “The beer and pub landscape has changed over the last 47 years and continues to evolve, and we’re determined to remain relevant to drinkers of all types so we can continue to offer a compelling reason for people to join our organisation.”

Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding the proposed change is also reflected in a fiercest competition ‘in living memory’ for four places on the national executive.

The 10 candidates include Bradley Cummings, founder and managing director of Tiny Rebel Brewing, a past winner of  Camra’s Champion Beer of Britain contest who has declared the Revitalisation Project “too little, too late” for those who feel Camra is “outdated and increasingly irrelevant”.

His 23-page manifesto calls on the organisation to promote beer of all types and cask beer as “the pinnacle of the brewer’s craft”, suggesting it could have its own quality mark.

Details of Camra’s Revitalisation Project can be found here.

Phil Mellows
12th March 2018

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