Talk:Campaign for Real Ale
- CAMRA has also been criticized by many other beer advocates, especially in the United States. Criticisms include:
- CAMRA's narrow focus
- Because it focuses exclusively on traditional real ale, CAMRA is thought by many to promote an unnecessarily narrow view of "proper" beer drinking, leaving out not only many highly regarded lager styles, but also many fine craft brewed ales produced around the world that do not fit CAMRA's definitions of real ale. As a result, craft beers served in kegs may have trouble finding a market in Britain.
- The "CAMRA Man" image
- In Britain, CAMRA has strong associations with a certain type of strident advocate; this image has hindered the organization's attempts to reach a wider audience. The image associated with CAMRA was summed up in the 1997 Half Man Half Biscuit song "C.A.M.R.A. Man": "Weekends, vintage car show/Doctor Who afficianado".
- As a result, many American craft beer advocates are reluctant to talk about "real ale", preferring to focus their efforts on all flavorful, interesting beer styles, ale or lager, regardless of the way they are conditioned or served.
I'm not sure this belongs on a wiki. It is criticising and opinions.
My response: When there are controversial aspects to a subject, it's standard practice in most Wikis to have a separate section on the controversy or criticism to preserve the neutrality of the article as a whole, which is what I did here. But I don't think there's anything inappropriate about including it per se. If anyone has a good quotable source for the "narrow focus" criticism, that might be helpful, though. --Chapka 15:20, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
- I'm sorry, but I'm not sure that CAMRA is that controversial anymore. The focus on 'real ale' is simply because that is an appropriate stance to take in the UK. It was never the intention that the campaign should become internationalised; that it did was purely a function of there being a dearth of similar organisations elsewhere. When the campaign was founded, it would have stood a snowball's chance in hell if the aim had been to 'er... make British beer a bit better'. The focus on real ale was simply because that was where most early members' interest lay (in point of fact they still do) and the widespread withdrawal of traditional ales in favour of processed varieties was a clearly identifiable target. The fact that circumstances were different elsewhere is a given. Okay, so small brewers in the US, by and large choose not to brew 'real ale' and hence don't use the term. Well that's okay, the US has always had a different brewing tradition, and since the 'better beer' message became internationalised the domestic beer market, in what was one of the worst countries in the world for the beer lover has improved a zillionfold.
- The mention of the image of CAMRA members is little more than knocking copy. Every organisation/interest group has its stereotypes, and not surprisingly a tiny percentage conform to that image. Think football supporters, scientists, environmentalists, Republicans, Democrats... all have their stereotypes but the vast bulk of people associated with those terms are just regular folk. To commit such a large percentage of a comparatively short entry to this subject is to get the thing entirely out of perspective. --Redriley 11:28, 4 January 2008