Report chastises CAMRA

Brewer's study charges popular consumer organization out of touch

Aug 16, 2001 - A report based on research conducted by a British brewer charges that the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is out of touch with Britain's beer drinkers.


The research by Cains in Liverpool indicates that terminology used by CAMRA to describe real ale is confusing. It has received additional attention because it comes two weeks after CAMRA was criticized for banning two Greene King ales from the Great British Beer Festival.

The study, conducted around Liverpool, reports there is "widespread confusion" about real ale. Many drinkers thought it was the "obscure stuff drunk at beer festivals."

When asked specifically about CAMRA, many of the respondents referred to the 30-year-old consumer group in a negative way, claiming they would not drink real ale because it "is the stuff drunk by CAMRA members."

The report concluded that "rather than making real ale widely appealing, CAMRA may now be helping to make it exclusive."

CAMRA spokesman Tony Jerome defended the organization, saying the new NaturALE phase of its Ask if it's Cask campaign, which features nude models, had gone a long way towards changing people's perceptions of real ale. "The campaign has used stylish images, including young male and female models to emphasise the natural aspects of real ale," he said.

He added that CAMRA is concentrating its marketing strategies on appealing to all drinkers and had employed a membership officer to target different age groups. He challenged brewers, such as Cains, to get behind the CAMRA campaign.

"We are targeting female drinkers who are usually ignored by brewers' laddish marketing strategies," he said.

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