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What is CAMRA?

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is an independent, voluntary, consumer organisation which campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. (visit National CAMRA website here)

Membership is open to all individuals although corporate entities such as breweries and pubs are not members; we currently have over 100,000 individual members.

CAMRA is governed by a voluntary unpaid national executive, elected by the membership. We have a branch structure which means that all members can join a local CAMRA branch and campaign and socialise locally. There are around 200 branches covering the UK and many of the branches run local beer festivals, publish local newsletters and run social events to pubs and breweries.

Although we are a volunteer-led organisation there is also a small professional staff of twenty five responsible for central campaigning, research, membership services, publishing, marketing and administration.

CAMRA is financed through membership subscriptions, sales of products such as books and sweatshirts, and from the proceeds of beer festivals. We are a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee and our accounts are lodged annually with Companies House.

Why not join us today if you care about great quality real ale and pubs?


CAMRA and Campaigning

What CAMRA has done so far

CAMRA is the most successful single issue consumer campaign group in Britain. If CAMRA had not been formed to save real ale then this classic, great-tasting British drink would have become extinct. Since its formation in 1971 CAMRA has achieved the following:

  • In the 1970's CAMRA successfully fought the efforts of the big brewers to replace traditional ales with tasteless keg beers.
  • In the 1980's CAMRA lobbied against the lack of choice in Britain's pubs. In 1989 the Government responded with wide reaching reforms called the Beer Orders. The Beer Orders forced the big six brewers to sell or free from the tie over 11,000 as well as introducing the Guest Beer provision.
  • In the 1990's CAMRA actively encouraged and supported real ale resurgence. During the decade CAMRA thwarted efforts by the EU Commission to abolish Britain's Guest Beer provision.
  • Since 2000 CAMRA has succeeded in campaigning for the:
    • Extension of mandatory rate relief to public houses
    • Reform of the outdated licensing laws in England and Wales leading to a more flexible licensing system
    • Introduction of reduced excise duty for small brewers which means that small brewers are able to compete on a more level playing field with the large brewers
  • CAMRA has run literally thousands of initiatives to promote and safeguard real ale and pubs including staging beer festivals, publishing books and guides, running National Pubs Week and the Saving Your Local Pub which was launched by Prince Charles, producing a generic beer campaign, holding regular promotions for endangered beer styles and cider, producing national and regional inventories for pubs with interiors of historical significance and much more.


What we are working on:

 

LocAle

This is a new initiative that promotes pubs stocking locally brewed real ale. The scheme builds on a growing consumer demand for quality local produce and an increased awareness of 'green' issues. more about the scheme...............

In your local ... does the beer have to travel very far? If beer is brewed in Cumbria it can be given a pump crowner showing it is a LocAle. The pub has to guarantee that it will endeavour to sell at least one Cumbrian brewed ale at all times to join the scheme.

See our LocAle pubs here and let the LocAle officer know of any other licensees that would like to be in the scheme.

 

Save Our Pubs

With the most recent Beer & Pub Association report highlighting that 39 pubs are closing every week, CAMRA has to do more than ever to support local pubs through these difficult times.
CAMRA's own research shows that 84% of people believe a pub is as essential to village life as a shop or post office. Despite their popularity pubs are still under threat and need our help. CAMRA is calling on everyone to join the Save Our Pubs campaign to put a stop to the closure of British pubs.
Information on our weeks of action and activities, forums and available resources can be found on the national CAMRA website.

CAMRA calls for rethink in Licensing Review response

CAMRA has  issued a response to the Home Office's review on "Rebalancing the Licensing Act", calling for a targeted, nuanced approach to tackling alcohol-related harm, which supports well-run community pubs and not-for-profit members' clubs.

more info ...

 

Sustainable Communities Act

After 5 years of persistent campaigning CAMRA, as a lead member of the Local Works coalition, achieved a great campaign victory that saw the Sustainable Communities Act became law in October 2007..... more info ......

 

 

Full Pints Campaign

CAMRA visited 10 Downing Street to hand in a 23,361 name petition calling for an end to short beer measures in pubs and other licensed premises. CAMRA launched the full pint petition  in response to research showing that:

  • One in four pints are short measure by over 5%
  • Short beer measures cost consumers a staggering £481 million a year

....more info ....

Do the pubs you visit pub use lined oversized glasses - Are you getting what you pay for? Do bar staff top up your pint without being asked? Or do they refuse?

We are compiling a list of those that use oversized glasses and also include that information in our pubs database. Let the webmistress know of any pubs that use oversized, lined glasses!

 

Beer Styles Campaigning

Light and Dark Supporters Logo

CAMRA's Light and Dark Supporters Committee seeks to highlight all beers that are light in strength and all beers that are dark in colour. These include: Stouts, Porters and Old Ales, Light and Dark Milds, 60/- Ales and Light Bitters (those with an ABV of 3.4% or less or OG of 1034 or less). All these styles of beer are under threat of extinction;.... more

A branch award can be given to or individuals or groups who have been campaigning within the last year to raise consumer awareness about varied beer styles in Britain, raising the profile of the range of beer styles available, particularly some of the less common but highly treasured beers such as mild, light bitters, porters or old ales.

 

 

Real Cider

Which pubs serve real cider? Cider that is fresh, unpasteurised, made only with whole apples (not juice concentrates) in the traditional way?

Pubs which sell real cider or perry can be entered on a national list and use a window sticker too!

A branch award for 'Cider Pub of the Year' can be given to the pub that most promotes real ciders and perries, and a National Award given to the one judged to do the most for this.

Help us compile a list of pubs selling this fantastic drink - let the webmistress know which pub and which cider, to get this next project going!