CAMRA - Campaign for Real Ale
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale is an independent, voluntary, Not For Profit, organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.
CAMRA was formed in March 1971 by four men from the north-west who were disillusioned by the domination of the UK beer market by a handful of companies pushing products of low flavour and overall quality onto the consumer.
Many brewers during the late 1960s and early 1970s had made the decision to move away from producing traditional, flavoursome beers which continued to ferment in the cask from which they were served, and such a move was opposed by Michael Hardman, Graham Lees, Jim Makin and Bill Mellor, all of whom thought it was about time British beer drinkers were given better variety and choice at the bar.
With this in mind, it was inside the westernmost pub in Europe – along the Kerry coast - where the first foundations of the Campaign were laid. With the quartet appointing themselves as secretary (Lees), treasurer (Makin), events organiser (Mellor) and chairman (Hardman), the Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale was born on Tuesday 16th March 1971.
While the newly formed Campaign's name was altered at AGM in 1973 to the now universally recognised 'Campaign for Real Ale', CAMRA's core aims to promote real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer’s champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry, remain to this day.
In the present day, CAMRA has 146,975 members across the world, and has 200 branches across the UK.
CAMRA has been described as the most successful consumer campaign in Europe