Thursday, 28 July 2011

CAMRA v's BrewDog: The solution

Before I begin, it's a waste of time suggesting solutions to this situation, because both feed off the exposure provided by the other. However, BrewDog are without question getting the best deal here.

It occured to me at some point this afternoon that this ongoing saga between BrewDog and CAMRA is actually far smarter than I gave it credit for. BrewDog have seen an opportunity to become more than just a brewery and have engineered a situation whereby they have transcended their industry, to a certain extent. Take a look at the blogs, their own bars and the newly termed 'fanboys'. BrewDog are no longer just a brewery for these guys, their followers now see them as THE voice against the percieved stuffiness and outdatedness of CAMRA; they have become the voice of craft.

It's not just their followers either, it's all those people who know nothing about beer or the industry who come in to contact with BrewDog through social media, bars, newspapers etc..... they are synonymous with the term 'craft'.

Generally speaaking having a 'voice of craft' is no bad thing, but it is if that voice is a lone brewery who have tried to distance themselves from the majority of the UK brewing industry. So this particular 'voice of craft' is interested solely in the growth and profitability of one brewery. In fairness I also think that BrewDog could and should be credited for giving the beer buying public (and the non beer buying public) a shot in the arm and a kick up the arse, and true to the 'invisible hand' they've helped sales of other experimental breweries purely by bringing attention to themselves.

The obvious solution is that CAMRA, who really should start looking at what they contribute these days at a time when real ale has hit critical mass, and BrewDog sit down with all those other breweries who think that some or all of their beers are better served in keg and come up with a working model for a new branch of CAMRA. You could argue the point for ignoring CAMRA altogether and just setting up in opposition, but that helps no one really. You end up with yet another play ground fight.

When it comes down to it, we all want the same thing, we want great beer served in great condition and we want our industry to grow and we want microbrewed beers to flourish at the expense of the industrial muck we see in almost every bloody bar in the country.

CAMRA have 100,000 members, so it makes sense to make friends with 100,000 people who love beer, right? That way CAMRA don't have to compromise their position, the 'craft' community gets a platform which benefits all breweries and the whole industry gets to grow together....

Anyway, I'm off to cuddle a bunny, hug a tree and cover myself in daft necklaces made of flowers

1 comment:

  1. It would be great if everyone could get along, but maybe it's got to the stage where the bumper publicity everyone gets from the spats means they will keep on happening. If I were a betting man I'd put a shiny 50p on some kind of 'event' occurring next week at GBBF. I wonder if the fancy dress hire shops of Earls Court are in for a bumper week...