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There has been a heated argument between Brew Dog and CAMRA today. I first read about it as a Twitter post from All About Beer Magazine. The origin of the dispute is that CAMRA decided to not let Brew Dog attend the Great British Beer Festival that is coming up in two weeks. This has also inspired many beer fans on each side and in the middle to comment on the situation on different websites. I’m not going in to the dispute it self. To me it boils down to miss-communications, not willing to see the other side, not willing to come up with a solution that works for both of them and a lot of “they said” and “they did” and “no we didn’t they did and they said”. The only one that can figure this out are the two parties. But I also think there is an element of the rebellious teenager and the retrogressive dad. The teenager has his/her fans and is treated like a rock star by them and the dad have the authority and influence. But I think there is something really important for CAMRA (dad) to learn about this. They need to analyze their role in the future of British beer. CAMRA has done a great job with real ale and British craft beer culture and made sure that it didn’t disappear. Now they need to figure out how they can keep real ale alive and support a younger group of beer enthusiasts with taste for the new influences. I used to be a member of CAMRA and I prefer cask condition ale the CAMRA way more than many beers from Brew Dog. But beer is about innovation and stretching the boundaries. And that is what Brew Dog does and that is what their supporters like them to do. And there are more and more of them. This dispute might be the start of the new British beer movement or maybe even New CAMRA (transforming stuffy old organization by adding “new” to the name has happened before in England). CAMRA need to cater to the “beer teenagers” needs and it’s not just real ale the CAMRA way anymore. They are looking to their cousins in the west and seeing the great things that are happening there and want to be a part of that. CAMRA might have a “London hops party” on their hand that they can’t handle which might lead them to a corner spot in the attic of the Imperial War Museum.

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