Wednesday, 1 January 2014

CAMRA - The End is Beer

CAMRA
Photo by Daniel Warshaw

CAMRA

Abbreviation.

Campaign for Real Ale.

On moving to Ireland from England in the early 2000s, I was often asked what I missed most about Blighty. There were a few things, of course - fish and chips, city parks and the proper pronunciation of Audi. However, one thing that caught me by surprise was how much I missed English beer - proper, delicious, flavoursome ale. Because sadly, the beer in Ireland is rubbish - utter, adulterated rubbish. England has a proud heritage of good beer, and while it's true that it's been infiltrated by the likes of Stella Barfois and myriads of other cheap, fizzy, insipid lagers from the Continent and beyond, it remains true that a good beer is never far away. Ireland has Guinness, which is a beautiful drink (and not a beer), but beyond that what? The usual suspects - Stella, Bud, Heineken, and the other faceless, flavourless corporate behemoths of the beer world. They're good if you want to get drunk, but if you actually want to enjoy your drink ... bleugh.

CAMRA
I'm not speaking for CAMRA, but I think this is the type of thing they're on about
So while I'm not sure that I would ever pick CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, as my cause (not with so many others to choose from, like, y'know, world hunger, world obesity, the fight against prejudice, etc), I do see where these guys are coming from: real ale is amazing, and it should be protected from the influx of tat. I have been to a CAMRA festival, and it was a lot of fun. I went with my Dad (as father and son do), and it was a welcome change from the nanny-state messages of the government, a surreal shift from messages of 'Drink less!' to 'Drink more!', with the proviso that it should be real ale and it should be done in support of your local pub. And there were lots of beers to taste - a lot of beers. And a lot of cardigans too. 

Campaign for Real Ale
150,000 members, and this is the best logo they could come up with between them

Are you a member of CAMRA?

Do you too rue the influx of naff lagers?

Are you, on the other hand, a staunch defender of the tasteless European lager?

Do please serve up a pint of your most alcoholic comments below.

7 comments:

  1. I like a cold beer, on occasion (I don't drink a lot). Our trappist beers, or beers from small breweries. They're the kind of stuff you need to have in front of a fireplace. Or on the terrace in the sun. Meanwhile talking about the important things in life. Yeah, beer's so much more than just a drink.

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    1. Agreed, Bibi - beer is more than just a drink, which is why I hate so many of the standard beers, because they are just drinks, only good for getting drunk.

      (I was expecting, if not a particularly robust defence of naff European beer, at least some defence, from someone ... someone out there clearly enjoys drinking it)

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    2. They're not bad, necessarily. They serve the purpose for which they were made. But you can hardly say anyone enjoys a regular beer. On a hot day when you're dying from thirst, yes. But apart from that, they just exist for drinking purposes, instead of enjoying purposes.

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  2. Like Bibi, I am not a beer drinker myself. But if you like real artisan ales, I highly recommend a trip to the US Pacific Northwest. Beer drinkers everywhere rejoice.

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    1. I suspect that the only American beers we get over here are the types of beer I'm railing against. Therefore, when I go to the US, I shall be sure to sample some of the best, locally recommended beers.

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  3. I have to say, I love different beers, from different countries.
    Likewise, I myself am not a big drinker, but do love the banter and craic with friends enjoying a beer.
    I am actually enjoying a drink right at this moment.

    Thanks for the post.

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    Replies
    1. When I finished this post, I went downstairs and enjoyed an 'Old Speckled Hen' while watching Sherlock - and thoroughly enjoyed both.

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