The Cask/Keg debate and CAMRAs position seems to have reared its head again, and oddly i find myself having changed position.
I used to be more in the CAMP that CAMRA needs to accept and promote the new-wave of quality Keg beers, but ive been persuaded that this maybe(and i will stress maybe) not be the right approach.
As it stands CAMRAs remit is to promote "Real Ale", Its not for CAMRA do
decide what is good and bad Real ale. Thats for the Market to decide
Its there to promote all "Real Ale".
Now, trying to widen that is tricky. We all know that there's no really accepted definition of "craft ale"
so what are we looking for CAMRA to now widen and promote. Good beer? who decided on what is good. Theyre not making that distinction in the "Real ale" world, so why should they be doing so in the non "real ale" world.
In fact if we want them to choose what to embrace as good beer in the non "real ale" world we would need for them to first Choose what is good beer in the "Real Ale" world, and im not sure i want them to go there.
CAMRA is a large membership organisation, and if your going to have the membership choose your probably going to get what appeals to the most people. So we will probably end up with a very middle of the road uninspired definition of whats considered good.
In my eyes at least, its far better that CAMRA promote all "Real Ale", allow the mass market to exist to appeal to the middle ground and allow all the extremes to exist catering to people like myself.
So if CAMRA were to widen theyre horizons, they would find themselves having to promote all KEG beer, good and bad, effectively they would just be promoting all beer.
What matters to me is not what 'other' beers exist, what matters to me is that there is a good selection of beers i do want to drink, so someone producing fizzy lowest common denominator lager, boring bland mainstream bitter, is all fine and well if they can find a market good on them. What i do care about is that i can find well made cask bitter, big hoppy imperial IPAs and rich deep mellow stouts. Its been said before CAMRA isnt against anything, its for something, and that thing is "Real Ale", all "Real Ale" regardless of what i think of it. I think it does that well and that if it gets involved outside of that distinction, it may be dragged into deciding what is "good" and what is "bad" and i don't want some consumer group telling me what i should consider "good" or "bad"