I have just seen your website & feel obliged to comment. In the current state of decline how can you possibly believe that importing American hops is going to assist this country. The finest hops in the world come from Kent & always will. Surely if you wish to add improvement to your own ales, would it not be a little more diplomatic to be a little quieter about America & more praiseworthy of local grown? Why not save yourself more financially & grow or by from local sources? 1st the Germans now the Americans - how do they know how to brew ale anyway - were they around in the stone age? Come on lads - be British & Campaign For Real Ale (not America Beer).
Regards Kevin (Camra member)
Now I'm a pretty placid guy but this REALLY annoyed me & left me almost speechless, so I decided to collect my thoughts & respond to every point Kevin has made.
|Kevin's Utopia is certainly not mine.|
- 'In the current state of decline how can you possibly believe that importing American hops is going to assist this country.' Firstly, Kevin what exactly do you mean by current state of decline? Cask ale is the only growth sector in the market, surely you would know that as a CAMRA member? Regarding American hops that are imported, as a brewer & a business man I source the best ingredients available to me to improve my product, there are no similar English alternatives to the vast array of US hops.
- 'The finest hops in the world come from Kent & always will.' In your opinion Kevin & your quite entitled to it, I know thousands who would disagree.
- 'Surely if you wish to add improvement to your own ales, would it not be a little more diplomatic to be a little quieter about America & more praiseworthy of local grown?' There is no room for diplomacy in a commercial environment Kevin, your product dictates whether you live or die & I assure you if all of our beers contained homegrown hops we couldn't compete in this highly competitive industry. Also, why would I want to be quieter about America? They are brewing stunning beers & growing the worlds best hops, I have a habit of talking about things that excite me & I won't stop that for you.
- 'Why not save yourself more financially & grow or by from local sources?' Possibly your most uneducated comment, as my fellow brewers & brewsters will tell you, US hops are currently roughly half the price of English hops, & don't get me started on quality! So it would actually cost us more as a business to use more English hops.
- '1st the Germans now the Americans - how do they know how to brew ale anyway' - were they around in the stone age?' Talk about a xenophobic insult, no the Americans weren't around in the Stone Age but you are clearly stuck there Kevin. A bigoted, introverted & highly insulting comment. I'd say they know an awful lot about brewing beer, I just hope there are no Americans or Germans reading this blog for your sake.
Last week Pete Brown made a post regarding a comment made by Micheal Harding, one of the original founding members of CAMRA, here's Michael's quote:
“I must point out that we’re not fighting against anything, we’re fighting for something,” he says, as measured as a well-poured pint. “There may be some members who give a different impression and I apologise to the general drinking public for the fact that we’ve recruited those people.”
I think Kevin is one of 'those' people to whom he is referring. I fear however there are rather more CAMRA members like this than they would have you believe. It is a tired arguement to keep labelling these people as a minority as these spats are becoming more & more frequent.
I personally know members of CAMRA who are ready for wholesale change of the organisation & are in fact calling for it, however, I feel as long as the 'Kevin' element exists CAMRA will be unable to move forward.
The beer world is changing, fast! If CAMRA does nothing they will be maginalised over time & seal their own demise with the attitudes played out above. The alternative is to move on with our dynamic, eclectic, exciting, fast paced industry & become a useful force instead of hankering after their past glories, the term 'Real Ale' no longer encompasses what we as brewers are doing. We are progressive not regressive, we are innovative not traditionalists, we package beer in new ways, we dispense in new formats. Stop trying to reign in our activities, if you persist then we are better off without you!
In your current format you are not standing still you are going backwards, it seems you are becoming impotent & irrelevant. You claim to have lobbying power yet you efforts to prevent extra pressures on the industry always fail, huge beer tax hikes in recent years & closing pubs, you celebrated a break in duty for beers sub 2.8% but you failed to prevent tax hikes on stronger more popular beers.
At branch level I feel you rule by fear, I know licensees who are afraid of addressing their concerns to CAMRA branches as they fear their business will suffer as a result, you have become a toothless self-interest group riddled with politics & resistance to change.
My message to you CAMRA, if you won't modernise, fine! But stop your members meddling in the affairs of those who are modernising & attempting to take craft beer to the next level!
The new wave of exciting craft brewers, new breed licensees & outlets WILL move this industry on, with or without you!
And finally to you Kevin,
I won't apologise for brewing cutting edge beer.
I won't apologise for using the best ingredients available to me.
I won't apologise for brewing beer you don't like.
I won't apologise for endorsing great beer regardless of where in the world it is brewed!
And finally, I certainly won't apologise for not subscribing to your xenophobic & bigoted views nor your precious pre-historic organisation!