Tuesday, 14 March 2017
If you were a CAMRA member, life used to be simple. There was cask conditioned beer (or "Real Ale" as they termed it themselves) and there was KEG beer. Bitter, lager, stout. Didn't matter. It was all mass-produced, adjunct-laden, expensive fizzy filth. And many CAMRA members, if not nostalgic for the days of Watney's Red Barrel, preferred the simple dichotomy.
Then the new wave of brewers arrived with their IPAs and Imperial Stouts. And because they were taking their cue from America, they put them in kegs and used carbon dioxide to dispense it. And, despite these being the antithesis of bland keg beer, a lot of CAMRA members didn't like it. It was from a keg. And keg is evil.
To be honest, these fundamentalists were few in number, but they filled the local CAMRA magazines and the CAMRA newspaper, "What's Brewing", with their views. Reading these copious missives about the forthcoming keg takeover brought to mind those apocryphal Japanese soldiers captured on isolated islands in the 1960s who thought World War 2 was still ongoing.
Needless to say, a lot of CAMRA members, even many in lofty positions in the organisation, drink this "craft" keg beer. They're just not allowed to talk about it in their own publications lest it be seen as not "promoting cask ale".
The world will move on. The future will happen whether the diehards like it or not. But it will hurt. By god, it will hurt.