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Thread: CAMRA Revitalisation Project

  1. #11
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Pub Curmudgeon has some interesting words on the need for revitalisation on his blog http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/...old-casks.html , he will be analysing it in depth when the special resolutions are published. There is also a bit here although it repeats the MA errors about what has been proposed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    Pub Curmudgeon has some interesting words on the need for revitalisation on his blog http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/...old-casks.html , he will be analysing it in depth when the special resolutions are published.
    Thanks for the link. I think he's hit the nail on the head with this: " Indeed, it could be argued that the very rise of “craft keg” makes the need to champion real ale all the more pressing." I don't agree with everything he writes (heaven forfend) and often enjoy his blog most for the comments btl from Cooking Lager, but most of what he's written here seems about right to me.

    One other comment blt got my blood boiling, though: "I for one wouldn't consider joining CAMRA because it is focussed, still, on real ale which is of little interest to me. However, if it changed into, say, the Society for the Appreciation of Pubs and Beer (or something along those lines) then I'd be much more inclined to join." (I have responded - perhaps too hot-bloodedly.)

    [Anyway, isn't Pubs Galore the Society for the Appreciation of Pubs and Beer?]
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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    Pub Curmudgeon has some interesting words on the need for revitalisation on his blog http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/...old-casks.html , he will be analysing it in depth when the special resolutions are published. There is also a bit here although it repeats the MA errors about what has been proposed.
    I find the views of these blogging keg evangelists just as idiotic as those who think that only the products of the old independent brewers are the pinnacle of cask ale production.
    Let's look at draught Bass which isn't an independent but is a great example. Back in the 1970s it was a fantastic beer that was famously difficult to keep. It relied on heavy dry hopping which is one of the things that made it difficult but if it was on song it was superb. Bass changed it in the early or mid 80s when it became just another boring brown beer. Despite that people still wanted it and CAMRA still sung its praises. Today it's brewed by Marstons so is just yet another Marstons bitter, probably inferior to Pedigree. I wonder how many of the people that still drink it are actually aware of this and are not just blindly following a well known brand.

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    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I find the views of these blogging keg evangelists just as idiotic as those who think that only the products of the old independent brewers are the pinnacle of cask ale production.
    I don't think a man who raves about Sam Smiths OBB and Draught Bass could be described as a Keg Evangelist. However I also find the two extreme views as unpalatable as cold, fizzy beer and agree 100% about Bass as it is now (possibly now brewed at Wolverhampton!) and Pedigree has been a shadow of its former self for at least 20 years too.

    The revitalisation proposals do include "Review whether beer marketed as real ale meets CAMRA’s definition" which could spell the end of support for Marstons and possibly GK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    I don't think a man who raves about Sam Smiths OBB and Draught Bass could be described as a Keg Evangelist.
    I didn't know that, the only Blog I regularly look at is Boak and Bailey. If he sings the praises of those two products then he clearly is raving.

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    This Space For Hire sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    The revitalisation proposals do include "Review whether beer marketed as real ale meets CAMRA’s definition" which could spell the end of support for Marstons and possibly GK.
    Surely they can't redefine real ale so that it has to taste as good as it did forty years ago?

    I think there's something in the last FAQ answer that may be relevant here: "There is a difference between recognising the value of all beer types and campaigning for them." This seems to refer to making the organisation more inclusive so that it attracts drinkers of lager and craft keg by recognising some of them as "quality" products but not necessarily campaigning for them. I don't see how they could remove Bass and Pedigree from the category of real ales (and therefore exclude them from campaigns?) simply because the quality of these beers has declined over the years (in the opinion of some more discerning drinkers, perhaps I should add!).
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Surely they can't redefine real ale so that it has to taste as good as it did forty years ago?
    I wouldn't think so.
    I would say Pedigree is generally better now than in the 70s when it wasn't a national brand. It was always OK in Fleet Street's Cheshire Cheese (where it was a major attraction and they sold shed loads of the stuff) but I had many a dire pint of it in their North Wales outlets. Bass is another matter, today's product shows no resemblance at all to what it was before the brewery changed and ruined it in the 80s. Boddingtons was another example of this. Does anyone else remember Boddington's Mild and winter Old Ale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    Boddingtons was another example of this. Does anyone else remember Boddington's Mild and winter Old Ale?
    Boddingtons Bitter is my favourite beer of all time - in its original manifestation of course. And I can vaguely remember getting very drunk on Old at the New Inn in Morecambe a long time ago (1975/6?).
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Boddingtons Bitter is my favourite beer of all time - in its original manifestation of course. And I can vaguely remember getting very drunk on Old at the New Inn in Morecambe a long time ago (1975/6?).
    I came across the Old and Mild in a Preston tied house. It may have been this one but I can't be entirely sure. It would have involved the Persil tickets to get there and would have probably been the late seventies.

  10. #20
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Surely they can't redefine real ale so that it has to taste as good as it did forty years ago?

    ...I don't see how they could remove Bass and Pedigree from the category of real ales (and therefore exclude them from campaigns?) simply because the quality of these beers has declined over the years (in the opinion of some more discerning drinkers, perhaps I should add!).
    If only some beers did taste as good as they did in the 1970s, I actually used to like the heavy sulphury taste of Pedigree then. The thing about the current version of Pedigree is the use of "Fastcask" yeast so it drops bright within hours, this is part of the dumbing down process that has been going on since the late 1970s. At that time the regional and family brewers were still sticking with traditional processes and ingredients, they then started cost cutting with inferior ingredients and shortening the brewing time. The loss of the Burton Unions and the wandering about the country of Draught Bass brewing is one symptom of this, over the same period the loss of traditional cellar skills has caused the extended use of brewery conditioning and the production of almost bright beer by many breweries. It is ironic that the hipster generation seek full flavour beers and denigrate the Boring Brown Bitters when they were full flavoured until "the accountants" buggered it all up.

    This guy says some of the same things but gets a lot of it so very wrong, but it illustrates one facet of the debate.

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