I’ve always been a bit wary of becoming a member of CAMRA. I know they do an excellent job of promoting the cause of real beer, and without them there would probably be far fewer brewers brewing beer of lower quality, and there would be even fewer pubs around than there are now – especially those selling a decent pint of beer. The reason I have never joined is that I didn’t really see myself as the “CAMRA type” of person – actually, if I’m honest, I think that I didn’t want other people to think that I was the CAMRA type of person! You know the image – male, middle-aged, large beer gut, sandals with socks, unkempt beard, questionable personal hygiene, pontificating on the finer points of the arcane details of the precise ingredients of a pint of Old Shirtlifter to anyone who is unfortunate enough not to be able to avoid him. Well, there are at least a couple of those attributes that don’t apply to me!
In spite of this hitherto firm reluctance to join the ranks of the self-appointed custodians of the beer of the nation, I have decided that in order to find out more about beer and the brewing industry, I will swallow my pride (and I don’t mean London Pride) and join up. I am hoping – in fact expecting – that my pre-concieved ideas about the organisation will prove to be unfounded, and that I will find myself settling comfortably into the bosom of the beery brotherhood. I’ll let you know how it goes.