I’ve finally caved in and joined CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
It could be that I am getting old, live in the sticks, have a beard and want to keep alive the traditional British pub. It could be because I adore cask beer. Or it could be a moment of madness.
CAMRA get regularly bashed by some in the craft beer movement (and rightly so sometimes) and are certainly not cool, but what’s done is done.
It’s something I’ll just have to live with.
However, I’ve been to many a CAMRA festival and enjoyed myself so what the hell. At just £25 a year, how bad can it be? After all, that’s about the price of four cans of the latest murky hop-bomb at the beer shop.
After joining, I was sent through a welcome pack, which consists of a letter and a big stack of JD Wetherspoon vouchers. These give a whopping 50p off a pint of real ale. That probably makes for some cheap ale at ‘Spoons!
I should receive some more information and their regular monthly magazine ‘What’s brewing’ and their imaginatively titled ‘BEER’ magazine, quarterly.
I’ve also since found out that at least one of the local pubs offers 10% off real ale for CAMRA members. Funnily enough, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use a CAMRA card to get a discount. We’ll see how that goes.
CAMRA is organised regionally, with different branches covering a fairly large region. I’m local to the East and Mid Surrey branch, which consists of a Yahoo group and lists of local breweries and festivals.
I did not think Yahoo groups still existed in 2019, but hey ho!
Will I attend GBBF this year, or any other CAMRA festival? Will I ever dare enter a Wetherspoon pub and use a voucher? I’ll let you know.