Storm in a pint glass: beer drinkers split over Camra plan

For almost 50 years, it has been at the forefront of the crusade to promote cask beers.

But the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) risks a rebellion from members over plans to support lager for the first time.

Camra, which has championed traditional brews for 47 years, is launching a "revitalisation project" in an attempt to attract younger members.

The organisation's chairman, Colin Valentine, said it must "evolve so that we are relevant to drinkers of all types" amid a changing "beer and pub landscape".

But the move risks a backlash from thousands of staunchly-traditional members, some of whom claim the proposals would change Camra's entire ethos.

The project proposes Camra's remit be extended to include all types of quality beers - not just ales - which are classified as cask-conditioned beers served traditionally without additional gas pressure.

If approved, it means Camra could begin supporting lagers and craft beer as opposed to purely ales and ciders under plans to deliver what it feels modern drinkers want.

The formation of Camra in 1971 by four men from the north west disillusioned with the the UK beer market was instrumental in shaking up the beer making industry so that good quality ales began appearing in Britain's pubs.

Now Camra is in the middle of discussions with its 190,000 members across the country about allowing lagers be part of its campaign.

The proposals, which are backed by the leadership, will be voted on at Camra's annual general meeting in Coventry next month. In order for the motion to be passed, 75 percent of its members will need to approve of the changes.

Mr Valentine said: "Our recommendations mark an important stage in Camra's long history.

"We recognise that the beer and pub landscape has changed and continues to evolve, and our place in that landscape has changed as well.

"We're determined to make sure that we continue to change and evolve so that we are relevant to drinkers of all types and continue to offer a compelling reason for people to join our organisation."
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