In a flu ridden state I am quickly writing this. Having observed all week chatter of what CAMRA was planning, really you should think, as a member, I would have known about this in advance.
Last December I wrote a piece suggesting that CAMRA may well evolve (it is there, in between the ranty stuff).
Reports of the death of CAMRA are greatly exaggerated but they haven’t helped themselves with self-published articles like this
Of course that is the idea; to get people talking that the biggest consumer group may be coming to an end based on some article that has that pissant question/non-question title.
If CAMRA move from solely being about real ale and instead are revitalising their campaign then the shift of focus does mean the acronym is not correct, but that is mere pedantry.
The organisation I’m a part of has been changing over the years anyway, with the dawn of the Asset of Community value, pubs are trying to be saved and so when the BBC writes “Should there be a crusade to save British pubs?” (oh look, there is that twatty question mark again), the answer is that there already is.
You also get poorly researched articles like this (oh look another question mark) – but that is the standard of random journalism about beer these days – take a hand full of clichés, sling in a few names of breweries, add the word beard and suddenly you too can become a freelance journalist with little knowledge of any subject to back anything up, but the pay check is in the hand so who cares, modern paid journalism isn’t about getting across facts any more, it is about clickbaiting.
Anyway, as far as I am concerned that gap between “old” and “new” beer drinkers is still a bridge too far and something that CAMRA isn’t going to build on its own, especially when it comes to saving pubs.
*Insert relevant Hilaire Belloc quote here*
People who deal only in “craft” beer do not care about some dirty old pub and the dirty old people who are in it and the dirty old community that it holds together.
I’m still of the opinion that most are following a scene. A scene that is still not inspiring people to go out and drink, as on the whole the entire “night-life” industry in on a downward spiral.
The nature of drinking, in the home or on the town, is changing. People don’t go to the same places and are unlikely to be coaxed back into them. It is all about trend and maybe in that respect CAMRA and pubs should consider themselves to be like heavy metal.
There are off-shoots and little cliques that raise the profile once in a while but once these are spun off there is always a faithful core that remains, always open and welcoming to both the original purpose and future evolution.
It won’t ever go out of fashion because it has never been in fashion.
Thanks for reading?