With the Olympics going on, and all eyes on cheery ole London, I began thinking about Britain’s contributions to craft brewing. This led to the discovery of the craft beer vs. real ale battles currently being waged overseas.
The Campaign for Real Ale or CAMRA is an organization started in the early 1970’s by a group of beer drinkers concerned with the sudden influx of mass produced beers which offered little in ways of taste and which did not follow traditional English brewing practices. These would be both European (Heineken, Beck’s) and American (Budweiser, Miller) beers which were offered in contrast to the cask offerings which had dominated British pubs for the last 1000 years.
However, as most things do, the usefulness of the organization has become outdated as their established beliefs are now hurting the blossoming craft beer industry here and abroad. Brew Dog offers a very informative, albeit biased, argument for this case.
The fact of the matter is that the macro offerings are giving way to a beer revolution in the States and this has been adopted, in a funny twist of fate, by our British bretheren. In my opinion, any advancement which produces a higher quality, great tasting beer is a good thing. Hopefully, everyone will someday see it that way.