The CAMRA Festival Cask-Keg Craft Quandary

Subtitle – A Real Problem (Answer: No, that was just a pun which I felt was too sloppy for the title but I don’t like waste, as trite as it is).

 

The month of January 2019 saw me visit the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival and, as very usual, the Bent & Bongs Beer Bash

I still hold that Bent & Bongs is not really a CAMRA festival.  It started with the local Round Table(s), moved on to Bent & Bongs Charitable Trust and whereas it has always had help in every aspect from local CAMRA branches (Wigan, mainly), it doesn’t really push itself as a CAMRA do.

Now Bent & Bongs has always had 3 stalls; right back from my attending at the much missed Formby Hall, which were casks ales, ciders & perries and foreign beers (sometimes with bottles).  2019 saw the introduction of “Craft Corner” where by 10 beers were presented by Keg (and the were keg, not CAMRA “real ale approved” KeyKeg).

Still, having visited the Manchester version from when it was the “Winter Ales” version and then when it moved to the velodrome and almost killed people with the amount of walking required, the set up has been fairly similar, up until the move to GMex (or Manchester Central if you must).

During this rather move the beer scene has evolved (or in-vovled) and so CAMRA, wishing to not miss a trick developed a way of getting Keg (any keg style) into their festival but for sake of brevity (set-up), this year, with the exception of the brewery bars and Irish Bar, the keg were kept in the “Keg & KeyKeg Bar” – note the distinction even here, they should really add Dolium just for the fuck of it too.

Anyway, it was only on the final day of Bent & Bongs I noted the clear distinction between Cask and Craft.

Not anyone’s fault, the terms aren’t mutually exclusive.  Same with real ale, keg, keykeg, or whatever material the cask is made out of.

Or for that matter is the cask it pump or gravity.

But you can only field the “what’s the difference between cask and craft?” question so many times, trying not to notice the glazed look in the eyes of the asker, not from beer but from your own overly long, if technically correct answer, before you just say…

Craft (beer), in the UK, it’s a marketing term.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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Bolton CAMRA Beer Festival – The Wokest of Woke

So after the jollity of the 29th Bent & Bongs beer festival in February and the recently passed 31st Wigan CAMRA beer festival next up will be the Bolton CAMRA beer festival held at the Ukrainian Club (not to be confused with the other Bolton Beer Festival, now held at the Macron Stadium, that was once held at a rugby ground in a giant awing heated by jet engines that caused condensation to drop from the roof into your pint).

I thought I’d quickly search twitter for any news on beers and was greeted by their most confusing of pinned tweets.

More prominent stand against sexism?

I don’t know what that means.

There is a physical stand, the ones made of wood, against sexism where one can view leaflets and other materials?

If this is going to be the case then I’ve never seen a stand dedicated to being against sexism in all the times I’ve gone to this festival so anything, as opposed to nothing, is always going to be more prominent.

Might there be a physical stand, the ones made of flesh legs, where people will protest against sexism?

This, again is not something I’ve witnessed at beer festivals past, so it will definitely be more prominent.  Though if it is this type of stand being taken and it happens while I’m waiting to be served I will be slightly miffed.  If this is the case I hope there are times displayed around the hall to highlight when these stands will take place.

Perhaps there will be a stand with the CAMRA commandments on it?

Again, new so obviously more prominent.  Then again B&B and Wigan managed to pass off (and have do for 3 decades) without the need for this.

I guess people in Bolton and Manchester are more sexist and this is required in this little backwater towns.  Who knows?

And on the food stall at Bolton I’ll trust you can also purchase a word salad to go with your beer?

 

Thanks for reading.