Recently in Campaign for Real Ale Category
The brand new edition of CAMRA's bible, The Good Beer Guide, will be out in a few weeks -- and members of the Campaign for Real Ale are eligible for substantial discounts.
Although it carries a ÃÂ£15.99 cover price, CAMRA members can buy the latest volume for just ÃÂ£11.00 -- down to ÃÂ£10.00 if you opt for an annual payment by direct debit.
There is also an electronic edition for most Sat-nav units or mobile 'phones.
For full details, check out the CAMRA website.
3-5 June: 35th Wolverhampton Beer Festival, Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton. 100+ real ales, entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings.
18-19 June: 4th Stratford-Upon-Avon Beer & Cider Festival, Stratford-Upon-Avon Racecourse. 50+ real ales, live music and Morris dancing on Saturday. Full details here.
7-11 July: 33rd Derby Beer Festival, Assembly Rooms, Derby. Live jazz and big band music, fancy dress night on Surday. Full details here.
9-11 July: Beer on the Wye VI, Hereford Rowing Club, Greyfriars Avenue, Hereford.130+ real ales, 70+ perries and ciders, live entertainment. Full details here.
15-17 July: 8th Bromsgrove Beer & Cider Festival, Bromsgrove Rugby Football Club, Finstall Park, Finstall. 100+ real ales. Full details here.
29-31 July: 3rd Stafford Beer Festival, Blessed William Howard School, Rowley Avenue, Stafford. 70 real ales, live music every evening. Full details here.
3-7 August: Great British Beer Festival, Earls Court, London. Full details here.
12-14 August: 11th Worcester Beer, Cider & Perry Festival, Worcester Racecourse. 200+ real ales, 100 ciders & perries, entertainment Thursday and Friday evening. Full details here.
No sooner do we get a spate of decent weather than Solihull CAMRA's Bob Jackson e-mails me: "This is to tell you of an informal social on Sat 5th June. We will be cycling from Shirley to Henley in Arden, setting out at 11:00, and returning late afternoon, possibly by train, depending on peoples' condition.
"The purpose of the trip will be to assess beer choice and quality and the suitability of the pubs for future Branch Meetings. If you're interested please get in touch with me to decide where to meet up and also if the weather looks doubtful."
Bob's number is 0121 705 8743 (mobile: 07771 623 909).
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is among 500 Parliamentary candidates who've signed up to support the Campaign for Real Ale's Beer Drinkers and Pub Goers Charter. Other signatories include Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party Labour's Austin Mitchell, Tory candidate Anthony Ridge-Newman and independent Ben Sherman (standing under the slogan "Reduce Tax on Beer").
The Lib Dems are at the forefront of the campaign, with 201 candidates backing the charter, followed by Labour, with 140. Only 50 Conservative candidates have signed up.
Nick Clegg said "I am proud to be a signatory to the charter and to help bring attention to the much-needed support required for well-run community pubs, local brewers and consumer rights which all contribute to community life and boost the local economy.
"Well-run pubs are important to tackling alcohol misuse, they are not part of the problem. Government policies, such as continually raising duty on beer and refusing to reform the beer tie, have led to a situation in which more than five pubs a day are said to be closing. It is hugely important that we stand up for the pub industry during these difficult times."
For full details, check out CAMRA's election coverage.
A government initiative supporting the pub industry has been warmly welcomed by the Campaign for Real Ale.
The 12-point action plan follows months of pressure from CAMRA, the brewing industry, pub bosses and ordinary customers. It includes ÃÂ£1m promoting pubs as community hubs, ÃÂ£3m to encourage community ownership and relaxation of licensing laws on live music.
CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner said: "We are now busy lobbying hard to encourage the other political parties to unveil their policies to support pubs before the General Election. We also need to ensure that the Government sticks to the proposals they've announced."
Congratulations to the Dodford Inn, named winter pub of 2009/10 by CAMRA's Redditch and Bromsgrove branch. The official presentation was made on Sunday afternoon.
Founded 150 years ago, the Inn was threatened with closure last year and eyed up for housing development, but thankfully bucked the national trend and reopened under new management.
The branch's next meeting will be at Bromgrove Golf Club on 23 February. For full details, contact Doug Robinson on 07842 135 354.
A couple of months back, I highlighted the continuing scandal of tied pubs and the Office of Fair Trading's astonishing decision not to investigate a system its own research indicates costs the average tied publican ÃÂ£20,000 per year.
On 22 December, the Campaign for Real Ale launched a legal challenge to the OFT's intransigence via the Competition Appeals Tribunal. However, it can only succeed with your backing.
CAMRA's chief executive, Mike Benner, announced this afternoon: "'We are today calling for pub goers to support CAMRA's campaign to secure a fair deal for consumers by donating to our campaign to ensure the beer tie works in a fair and competitive manner.
"'CAMRA has found that a lack of competition in the UK pub market is costing consumers ÃÂ£2.5 billion a year, as well as harming the pub-going experience through reduced quality and choice."
The lack of effective competition was a key reason why seven pubs are closing for good every day, he added, causing "irreparable damage" to local communities.
"'Regrettably, the OFT did not examine competition in local pub markets, which is why we have taken the decision to appeal. The OFT's assertion that consumers benefit from a good deal of competition and choice in the pub sector is in our view not supported by the available evidence.
"'CAMRA has pledged funds to the appeal process and is urging consumers to contribute to ensure our campaign stands the best chance of success.
"This is an historic opportunity for pub-goers to stand up to unfair conditions in the UK pub market and to assist the Office of Fair Trading in understanding the scale of harm to consumers."
You can learn more about CAMRA's appeal here.
The Campaign for Real Ale has launched an electronic alternative to carrying a copy of its bestselling pub guide in your back pocket.
Information compiled for the 2010 edition can now be downloaded straight into your mobile phone. The service costs ÃÂ£10 per year, but you can enjoy a free seven-day trial (full details here).
Congratulations to the Woodman's Rest in Union Road, Shirley, which has just been named most improved pub of 2009 by Solihull CAMRA.
The official presentation takes place on Wednesday evening at 9pm.
The Campaign for Real Ale is holding its annual members' weekend at the Villa Marina, Loch Promenade, Isle of Man, on 16-18 April 2010. The event will also include a Viking- and Celtic-themed beer festival.
Further details are available here.