Camra members reject motion to represent all beer drinkers

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has narrowly rejected plans to reform the organisation by extending beyond real ale for the first time.

The proposal could have seen Camra representing all beer, cider and perry drinkers – and not just real ale. But 18,000 members voted online and at Camra’s AGM in Coventry at the weekend, rejecting the proposal.

The motion to “act as the voice and represent the interests of all pub goers and beer, cider and perry drinkers” failed to pass, even though it received 72.6% of the votes, narrowly missing the required target of 75% it needed to pass.

The organisation has however voted to target its ‘education and training’ at all types of drinker, along with five other new objectives which were voted through, including: ‘promoting and protecting pubs as part of the UK’s cultural heritage’ and ‘increasing recognition of the benefits of responsible, moderate social drinking’.

Many took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the results.

Beer and cider writer, Pete Brown, said: “Bye bye Camra: 1971 – 2018. You did so much good. It was nice knowing you. What a shame you couldn’t change to reflect the very revolution you hoped to bring about, and did. Look forward to meeting your heirs.”

Others, such as GlassHouseBeerCo, (@glasshousebeerz) also expressed disappointment at the decision. It tweeted: “Given Camra’s regressive vote today we have pulled our beer from Stourbridge Beer Festival. We will have no affiliation with an organisation that categorically refuses to support our amazing flourishing industry #CRAFT. We love our’fizz beer’”

Beer writer Roger Protz tweeted by saying Camra members “have their heads in the sand” but he pointed out that a “very significant majority” of 72.6% voted to embrace change.”

Similarly, writer Phil Mellows said “I must say, 75% is an extraordinarily high bar. I can’t think of any organisation, trade union etc, that asks for more than a two-thirds majority on such constitutional changes.”

In another tweet, Pete Brown noted: “Camra has its highest ever membership, active interest in good beer is at its highest in living memory, and yet cask ale volume is in freefall. Imagining that cask can be supported in isolation from other beers is killing it, not saving it.”

But in reply to this, real ale supporter Mike Roebuck (@mikeroebuck53) noted: “It was set up to save real ale, which was in danger of disappearing due to the introduction by the big companies of dead beer given ‘life’ by serving it with CO2. The clue is in the name.”

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