Tuesday, 21 September 2010

When a man is tired of ale he is tired of life!

I’m not sure I could ever be fed up with drinking real ale. But I do have bouts of being fed up with blogging about it, and reading about it. You may have noticed! I’ve just renewed my CAMRA membership for another year and I’m starting to think that I might not bother next time. It’s nice to get the Wetherspoon’s vouchers again although it is a bit of a mixed blessing especially if you have want to use the first quarter’s worth in a month, as I have to. I realise that it’s not compulsory but, hey, everyone likes a bargain, don’t they? I hardly bother to read What’s Brewing or Beer anymore as I find them both rather moribund journals. I really can’t be bothered to go to meetings and I don’t find beer festivals that enjoyable, apart from the odd exception. Is it my age? Am I developing a US style attention span of a gnat? What was I saying?

I’m not saying that I no longer agree with what CAMRA stand for because I still feel that they do a good job as a consumer interest group. It’s just that I don’t feel enthusiastic enough to be part of it anymore.


Curmudgeon said...

I'm a life member, and managed to gain that status when it cost a mere £70 (late 80s, I think).

To be honest, I wouldn't renew as an annual member nowadays, as I have been utterly dismayed by CAMRA's feeble response to both the smoking ban and the rising tide of anti-alcohol sentiment.

Although I do value the companionship of members of the local branch.

RedNev said...

Having stopped attending CAMRA meetings a few years ago as I felt unwelcome, I recently (a year or two ago) began going again, and earlier this year took over the editorship of our local CAMRA mag. So, I've gone from rebel to part of the establishment!

Still, I'm glad now I didn't write off the Branch permanently.

Tandleman said...

We all get fed up, but taking part in the Branch brings great companionship as Mudgie says.

As for nor renewing, most people aren't active members, but pay a bit to support the cause. Like most voluntary organisations in fact.

Curmudgeon said...

Why did you feel unwelcome, Nev? CAMRA has to accept it is a broad church and that not everyone will necessarily get on with each other.

Possibly in some cases the range of activities offered by local branches just doesn't appeal to people (although mine does make an effort to do a variety of things).

Paul Bailey said...

I sometimes get a bit cheesed off with CAMRA, (more so nationally than at a local level), and last year I considered stepping down from our branch committee.
However, despite having around 400 members within our branch (West Kent), we only ever see a tiny percentage of them at meetings, and the committee relies on even fewer volunteers to keep the branch going.
This, plus the pleas of fellow committee members, persuaded me to stay on. Like Curmudgeon, I value the companionship of my fellow branch members, and having been involved with the branch for the best part of 25 years it would be a real wrench if I was just to give up on it now.

RedNev said...

Curmudgeon: a number of snubs really, rather than one single incident, all in the past now - too lengthy and not interesting enough to recount here. It was probably only a couple of individuals on the committee. I think there was some wariness around my trade union and (then) Labour Party activism, which was silly seeing how much of that experience can be applied to CAMRA activities.

Steve said...

I think it's quite hard not to become a bit disillusioned with certain things when you've been a part of them/followed them for a long time, my current example is the English Premier League. As a first year CAMRA member i'm currently enjoying the cheap entry for beer festivals, and wondering if in the future I might look to get more involved.

Tyson said...


Life membership is no excuse. It has been known for life members to resign-you've had your money's worth by now:)

I agree with you on the anti-alcohol stance. However, as I know you know, the SB was different. Initially the official position was cautious and supported separate rooms. But the feedback from members was massively pro ban. So I can't see what choice CAMRA had other than to adopt its current position.

Curmudgeon said...

Life membership is no excuse. It has been known for life members to resign-you've had your money's worth by now:)

Surely even if a life member was in the mood to resign (which I am not) then the most damaging thing to CAMRA would be to continue to receive What's Brewing each month and use it as bogpaper :p

Interesting that in this month's issue, Colin Valentine says "We are not a drinking club. We are not an appreciation society. We are a Campaign with a capital C." But for many members the first two are precisely how they regard CAMRA.

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