CAMRA was founded in 1971 in response to the production of tasteless and gassy keg beers by the large national brewers of the time, typified by Watney's Red Barrel. CAMRA is an independent, not-for-profit consumer organisation with over 100,000 members (Sept 2009). It is run by volunteers comprising local branches (like this one), regions led by Regional Directors and a National Executive (also volunteers), all supported by a small paid staff based in St Albans.
More information is available on the CAMRA web-site.
CAMRA's aims are to:
promote and support full flavoured beers, real ciders and perries
stand for choice and diversity of both beers and pubs
defend consumer rights for beer drinkers and pub users
promote and defend the public house as a focus of community life
It is no exaggeration to claim that without CAMRA, real ale and some breweries would no longer exist, that more pubs would have been lost and that we may not have today's more liberal licensing laws. CAMRA has been the catalyst for the formation of hundreds of new small breweries who brew thousand of real ales.
If your vision of a CAMRA meeting is a bunch of pot-bellied, bushy-bearded, middle-aged men, smoking pipes and wearing woolly jumpers then think again! We have pot-bellied, bushy-bearded, middle-aged women too! Only kidding. We represent a very broad cross-section of the community,
from students to active and retired publicans, from the self-employed to the self-made.
As a CAMRA member you will receive "What's Brewing" and you will be entitled to discounts on admission to many beer festivals. Other CAMRA products including the indispensable Good Beer Guide are also discounted to members. You can have your say on issues that concern you as a consumer of real ale, cider or perry, and be confident that your voice will be heard.
So why not join CAMRA and get involved? You will be most welcome!