Visit The Pub Curmudgeon site

Earlier this week, I reported that, on a CAMRA pub crawl of Didsbury, at the age of 55 I was the youngest of a party of nine. One commenter expressed concern that his branch of CAMRA was struggling to organise social events that had a wide appeal across age groups.
In a sense, this isn’t really my problem anyway, but, in terms of a single event, I’d say it isn’t much to worry about, as the local branch organises a variety of different types of meetings and socials, and not all will appeal to everyone. And the last thing it should be doing is deliberately organising supposedly youth-oriented activities in an attempt to “get down with the kids”.
However, the experience of many membership organisations has been that young people, although often expressing serious interest in the issues of the day, seem reluctant to actually get involved. It is very noticeable that many of the members of the local beer festival organising committee are the same people who were doing it twenty years ago. When they disappear off the scene, who will be there to take their place?
Might the whole business of attracting young people be accorded too much importance, though? After all, we are an ageing society and people in their 20s and 30s are often far too busy developing their careers, buying houses and raising families to get involved in social and campaigning organisations.
And, as I said eighteen years ago, it’s often the case that the appreciation of the finer things in life is something that only comes with age, and if CAMRA wants to recruit members who are going to take an active part in the organisation it might do better to concentrate on the recently retired.
Possibly another issue is that, now there’s little difficulty in finding a wide range of interesting beer in most major urban areas, it’s far from clear what CAMRA is actually campaigning about, and if it is to become just a drinking club then the tastes of over-50s and under-30s are likely to be widely divergent.