|The Future? When has CAMRA ever been about The Future?|
Many people I know don't agree with my viewpoint, saying that while it's easy to define "Real Ale", it's harder to define " Craft Beer". I always say Craft Beer is like pornography, nobody can define it exactly, but they certainly know it when they see it. If CAMRA managed to figure out the definition of Real Ale in 1972, I'm sure they can come up with a definition of Craft Beer that satisfies the vast majority of people. Eventually.
It's arguable that Craft Beer actually needs to be "campaigned" for. It's on the up, and even reaching hitherto unpromising places such as Wolverhampton and Doncaster. It's notable that the only "Craft" beer organisation in the UK has been formed by brewers and distributors rather than actual drinkers. Craft is "the future", increasing in market share and thus not under threat.
Whereas Real Ale, despite a record number of breweries making it (if not actual volume produced), has always "needed " protection. It's assumed without CAMRA as a guardian, it would die out and without it, everyone would only have Red Barrel to drink within 18 months.
It could be said that CAMRA needs such a siege mentality to keep going. If there are no threats to the continuing availability of Real Ale, what reason would there be fore it to exist? And that's why Craft Beer will probably never be accepted by the active membership. It's increasingly available and also increasing in visibility, not to mention fashionability. A CAMRA member just wants his favourite pint at his favourite place, forever.
The results of the Revitalisation Survey are a foregone conclusion. The status quo will be kept, and CAMRA will carry on in its journey to its fate as a middle-aged, middle-class drinking club. The battle has been won, but it will keep going through sheer inertia, propelled by it's active members wanting a social life, and it's paid staff's need of jobs.
Such it the way of humanity. Change never comes until it's far, far, too late.