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Campaign for Real Ale

Every beer-drinker owes CAMRA a huge debt. Without it, we'd all be a great deal thirstier. Thanks to the trail blazed by the SPBW (Society for Preservation of Beer from the Wood) and the subsequent work of CAMRA and its members, Real Ale has been saved from the slops tray of history. Hooray!

Back in the '70s, the brewing industry was stampeding away from its roots toward the keg nightmare. As Fred Wedlock had it "hygienic beer - safely paralysed inside this aluminium drum". Awful fizzy concoctions whipped up in some chemical works. It was as if Baron Phillipe Rothschild decided to throw out all these untidy oak casks and stop storing wine for so long (can't be efficient, can it?), bring in a few stainless steel vats and churn out Piat d'Or and Blue Nun because they're recognised mass market brands which the customer wants. Unfortunately, many brewers did just that and ended up shut or bought up by international fizz factories while their pubs ended up in the hands of soul-less pubcos who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery which is why they started down this stony road in the first place.

So all praise to the hundreds of thousands of CAMRA and SPBW members who have over the years kept the real breweries brewing and growing. And much kudos to the small band of stalwarts who kicked the whole movement off - for more details please see the national websites of these august institutions: CAMRA & SPBW. Join them today - you know it makes sense!

For fellow Berkshire residents:

And if you're further afield but looking for your local branch, visit: