Having attending two Vancouver Craft Beer Weeks and realizing that I love craft beer, I decided to finally purchase a CAMRA Vancouver membership this past summer.
CAMRA stands for “Campaign for Real Ale” and it’s a registered non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and responsible consumption of natural, crafted beers. It’s basically a way to show your support for craft beer while connecting with other like-minded beer geeks.
The membership benefits are plentiful and include discounts on craft beer at select liquor stores, as well as discounts at pubs and restaurants around town. For example, I get 20% off of food at the New Oxford here in Yaletown and 10% off Legacy Liquor Store purchases of craft beer! But the benefits, I discovered, also include members-only parties.
Last night was my first-ever CAMRA members-only cask night at the newly-opened Tap & Barrel in Olympic Village. As a way to say thank you (to us members), I was able to try a 20 oz pint of Russell Brewing’s Naughty & Spiced Porter (for free!). I also met a lot of fantastic individuals and reacquainted myself with my fellow beer geeks and realized that while there are a lot of women who enjoy craft beer, very few seem to be CAMRA members. Odd!
In any case, if you’re thinking of last minute Christmas ideas for the craft beer aficionado in your life, a CAMRA membership would certainly make a swell gift.
I came across your interesting blog by chance and was tickled to see there is CAMRA in Vancouver.
I was at college when it was born and, for a tiny amateur organisation, its influence was out of all proportion to its size – it’s no exaggeration to say it saved British beer. Acquisitions resulted in a few large breweries which manically bought up local breweries, kicked out the local brews and forced them to produce their universal standard piss – Watneys Red Barrel was the worst example.
So CAMRA’s ‘Good Beer Guide’ became our bible and guide – we would drive miles to seek out listed pubs – and this consumer guerilla campaign began to be felt by the big breweries’ bosses.
Amazingly, the big breweries began to reinstate the local brews and hitch a ride on CAMRA’s success – now almost every pub in England will have at least a couple of ‘real ale’ pumps, and take pride delivering them well – we are very fortunate to have an abundance of excellent cask beers over here. What is there in BC?