The time has come, then. This week, the Campaign for Real Ale’s members will be casting their votes on the future direction and purpose of the 47-year-old consumer organisation.
Members will have the opportunity to decide whether CAMRA will widen its remit to represent drinkers of quality beers of all types and move its focus beyond traditional pubs and clubs.
The proposals follow a root and branch review of the organisation’s purpose and objectives, which involved the consultation of all 191,000 members. If approved, they could take the form of:
CAMRA festivals offering a range of quality beers, ciders and perries in all formats, alongside a wider range of canned and bottled products
CAMRA engaging with drinkers of all types, supporting them on a journey of discovery to understand why real ale, cider and perry is particularly special
CAMRA educating members in appreciating quality beer, as well as campaigning to drive up the quality of beers in all licensed establishments
CAMRA providing access to information about all kinds of beer, not just real ale, as well as the opportunity to learn more about how they’re made and the differences between different types and beer and the way they’re dispensed
CAMRA’s national competitions continuing to reward the best real ales and pubs, but also accepting a wider pool of entries into its competitions.
CAMRA acting as the representative of all pub-goers, in campaigning to preserve the special role that pubs play in their local communities
Voting opens this week both online and via postal votes, and will continue until Wednesday, April18. Members may also choose to vote in person at the organisation’s annual general meeting in Coventry on the April 21.
CAMRA chairman, Colin Valentine, said: “It’s always been important that our members have had a say throughout this review process and we’re now at the point where we’ll be giving all our members the chance to vote on the final recommendations.
“This marks an important stage in CAMRA’s long history. The beer and pub landscape has changed over the last 47 years and continues to evolve, and we’re determined to remain relevant to drinkers of all types so that we can continue to offer a compelling reason for people to join our organisation.
“The vote will be held at our annual general meeting in Coventry in April, but members unable to attend this meeting can vote by proxy between now and then.
“We will be making sure members can access the full details of the changes we’re recommending, along with the analysis of the impacts and potential opportunities the changes will have before they cast a final vote.”