CAMRA cancels BrewDog's GBBF Bar.

CAMRA cancels BrewDog's GBBF Bar.

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Back in May, we announced that we would be attending the GBBF in August. We had came to an agreement with CAMRA to have a bar serving kegged our beers at the festival. We signed the contract and paid the deposit.  We agreed to work together with CAMRA, put past differences behind us, and try and introduce something new and exciting to the Great British Beer Festival.  We feel the festival lacks the stylistic diversity amongst domestic brewers that makes craft beer great. It is easy to get lost in a sea of boring, lightly hopped bland cask ales at the festival and we were determined to change that.

Foreign keg beers have always been present at the GBBF so it seems strange that CAMRA, in their infinite wisdom, would apply different rules to domestic, rather than overseas participants. We are sure this violates EU law as well as being deeply flawed. It was not easy initially, getting them to allow us to attend with keg rather than cask beer. Ironic that if Scotland was independent, we would qualify as foreign and could serve anything we wanted there.

During the course of the discussion we were able to satisfy CAMRA and Ralph Warrington, Chair of the wonderfully named ‘Technical Advisory Group’ that our draft beer does indeed contain 0.1 million living yeast cells per ml. Our kegged and bottled beers are only lightly filtered (around 5-7 micron), unpasteurized and the bulk of the carbonationisation comes from CO2 created during the initial fermentation which occurs under pressure.  Despite this, a subject of our attendance was that our beers were going to be tested by an onsite laboratory (I did not know they had one!) and if they did not meet the CAMRA definition of ale, they ‘would not be sold, then returned as ullage, not paid for and our bar cancelled’.

This begs the killer question; who actually cares is a beer contains at least 0.1 million living yeast cells per millilitres? Surely this is not the definition of good beer. For us great beer is great beer regardless of if it is bottle, cask, can, keg. Regardless of if it is bottle conditioned, carbonated during the initial fermentation or carbonated prior to packaging. Give me a Stone IPA (which is carbonated) any day over a fundamentally pedestrian cask bitter.


Rushden Historical transport society social club is awarded the C.A.M.R.A. Regional Pub of the year 2009.  Presenting the award on behalf of C.A.M.R.A.  is Mr Julian Tubbs -Regional Director

If we look at what is happening with craft beer globally it is all about a wide spectrum of beer styles with amazing flavour, diversity and craftsmanship rather than CAMRA who are rapidly losing relevance hiding behind arbitrary distinctions which no longer apply. Production and dispense techniques for craft beer have changed since the 1970s, CAMRA need to accept this and change too. Why apply one rule to foreign brewers and another one to domestic ones?

Is our beer real ale? Are other progressive UK craft brewer's keg and bottled beers real ale? Firstly, I don’t think we should really care. However is CAMRA insist on imposing draconian rules they need to know what they stand for and where to draw the line. The problem is, they themselves don’t know.  

We really don't care what vessel beer is transported or stored in as long as it adds to the brew in a positive way. While we're firm believers in the carbonation in beer – however taking a puritanical stance that rejects a beer on the basis of carbonation or keg alone only serves to push the industry backwards rather than forwards.  Different beers suit different types of dispense. Beers such as milds and bitters are best showcased in cask whereas we feel hoppy, American style craft ales suit the draft dispense far better than the hand-pump. We also think some of our beers, such as Trashy Blonde suit cask better than keg. However, for us big dry-hopped beers need the carbonation to stop them from becoming sticky or cloying on the pallet and help deliver the flavour to your taste-buds in the most satisfying and encapsulating way.


Anyway, after we reached the agreement, paid the deposit and signed the contract, things started to get difficult.  We had our order confirmed and thought we were all ready to rock. However, the first issue they threw back at us was with the fact our kegs were going to be 30L. CAMRA started insisting 30L was too small and we should take 18 gallon casks (after we initially agreed a keg order). 18 gallon casks are however massively different from 30L kegs, not just in size but in dispense style. They said 30L was too small, despite the fact brewers attended with 9 gallon casks (a comparable size to 30L kegs) the previous year. They also argued 30L kegs would be too much of a challenge logistically: This is despite the fact they are much lighter than an 18 gallon cask and also require zero racking or venting required thus saving loads of time and space and making them much easier to handle.

By Shareholders, For Shareholders - The Equity for Punks Beer 2011!

During the ensuing debate, it was patently obvious they regretted signing the contract with us and were desperate to find a way of cancelling it. They then reneged from our original agreement and insisted we take cask beer. Because of this discussion we told them we would withhold the balance of the £5,500 payment until we agreed or reverted to the original contract.

They then sent us an ultimatum saying we had to accept their order (including cask beers) by 12 noon on Friday 15th July and transfer the deposit or they would be cancelling our attendance. Feeling totally frustrated but still very keen to attend the festival we reluctantly accepted this at 11am last Friday and transferred the balance, only to be told they had already cancelled our attendance and there was to be no further discussion on this. They had done this on Thursday 14th.


We are pretty shocked CAMRA unceremoniously cancelled our attendance at the festival and also by the manner in which they acted. We intended to take some amazing beers and do some very exciting new beer launches. We wanted to work with CAMRA after our past difficulties and try and breathe some new life into the GBBF and get more young people excited about great craft beer.

Maybe we should also start a campaign to get BrewDog at the GBBF?


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Posted in - brewdog-news


  • Guys , as we are now getting people posting under false names and also disclosing personal details this thread is now locked.

    I believe everyone has had a fair chance to voice their view below :)
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • @Graeme - yes the truth is what we all seek hear without doubt.

    I for one believe James rather than CAMRA.

    P.s have you had the range of Brew Dog beers? they are outstanding in taste and quality
    persicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • Troll the GBBF. When you drink the beer either say that you can taste autolysis (followed by a you'd never get this from a keg) or a good old fashioned 'There's something wrong with the gas. This beer's flat'.
  • chris@thelambpub.net : You stock them and I'll come and buy them!!! You'll be the nearest regular stockist to me...
  • CAMRA are punishing the attendants of the gbbf. Its the GBBF's loss if the Brewdog lads aren't there. Anyway, a brewdog festival would be much better than a CAMRA one, it would have less socks and sandles for a start...
  • Ha,

    this is not true either, one of their orders was for 30L keykegs.

    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • CAMRA are outdated spods still living in the 70's. I prefer cask but would be very happy to try your beers and if I liked them stock them in out pub. Start and campaign and go gettem!
  • @Perspicacity

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, who exactly did you e-mail? Did their responses contain all those typos are are those your own? why didn't you just copy-paste the e-mails?
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Camra should back down with some dignity and let them attend.

    Surely this is the best solution for everyone.

    Teddy, Lonodn19.07.2011
  • wow!

    they are sending a lot of wrong information to you.

    1) Even by Marc's account below, we were less than 1 day late with payment

    2) They did change the original arrangement and would not revert to this.

    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • I've had some replies from Camra here you go.

    Hi All

    I was just wondering why you have taken Brew Dog off your festival please? This is very sad, I was looking forward to this.

    Obviously there is a lot of hearsay flying about the internet (their blog site, twitter and facebook) but I canít seem to see the truth of the matter.

    Thank you in advance for your reply, this is greatly appreciated.
    In short they didnít pay their bill.

    We would have liked there also and are disappointed that they w3ill not be there.


    Many thanks for your very quick reply, I wasnít expecting one so soon.

    Yes but I have read this online, and am a little disappointed to say the least. Surely some dispensation could be made here and allow Brew Dog to appear, it really is very nice beer indeed (okay some isnít great granted) and the public will be missing out on a great brewer, couldnít an organisation as fantastic and large as CAMRA are make allowances?
    We did make allowances

    Seven weeks worth of allowance after the deadline for payment

    Again thank you for your reply.

    Iíve heard that the seven weeks was an extension due to contractual changes imposed by CAMRA, is this true?


    No that is not true there was no attempt by CAMRA to change the contract signed by Brewdog


    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • @Bored of you all

    Official huh? Be on their website then I guess...?
  • @Bored of you all

    the response is still there below as posted by Marc for everyone to read.

    Only repetitions are deleted.
  • Oh well, having pondered attending this forthcoming melee in London, I shall now alight in Edinburgh from my train from Fife and visit a certain bar in the Cowgate instead....tossers !
  • @perspicacity corruption

    I haven't chosen to believe one side over the other.

    However, as I just posted the official CAMRA response and BrewDog administrators have deleted it, you can draw your own conclusions.

    Bored of you all19.07.2011
  • @Bored of you all - go back and do your reading!! SOMEONE changed the order - we haven't seen the evidence either way but to me it looks like CAMRA did.

    They extended the payment date, presumably to work out the change to the order, no agreement was reached by that point so it all got cancelled. If brewdog were pissing about at the first non-extended date surely they would have cancelled then? No?

    If the CAMRA changed the order then Brewdog have every right to be pissed about this, if Brewdog simply decided they weren't going to supply what was agreed, or simply weren't going to pay for the bar as was agreed (with no changes as alledged) the CAMRA would have every right to cancel and be pissed about it.

    Campaign? Bollocks! If shennanigans have been going on then better off out of it I say.

    I do, however, like the idea of an organisation which will support and promote great beer however it is delivered - and yes, even to the exclusion of some mass market beers that CAMRA would consider "real".
  • You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, much like the rest of the labotomised bunch of hysterical half wits posting on here.

  • A couple of reposts have been deleted as we do not encourage repetition here.

    All orginal posts still below.

  • @Bored of you all - so you choose to believe one side over the other just like many hear have done... does this make you a CAMRA fanboy?

    I can sense your hatred, yes yes turn to the dark side yes.

    *p.s it's a pinch of salt/humour attempt....I'll get my cloak.
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • It's funny that most real ale brewers who support camra come up with more imaginative beers that brewdog.
  • If the GABF here in the States were run this way I can tell you exactly what would happen. Dogfish, and/or the "San Diego Mafia" headed by Stone, would be starting their own festival.
    Why are you Brits allowing a bunch of dowdy old farts to stand in your way?
  • @billy

    I'm not an advocate for CAMRA in anyway, nor am I against BrewDog. It's you lot I can't stand.

    All this fan boy whining, when if you read the comments from the GBBF organiser, BrewDog were 7 weeks late with payment and failed to adhere to the terms and conditions of the contract.

    So what really happened? I fear it is not I who is delusional, certainly not when I read all the brainwashed comments from you set of fanboy of puppy lovers.

    Bored of you all19.07.2011
  • has anyone emailed the CAMRA folk yet?

    any replies?

    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • How ironic, one of the first organizations to actually advocate good beer is starting to limit it. Sure rules are necessary to a certain point like in the beginning of modern home/craft brewing to set a clear difference from macro trash and real beer (not just ale). But what CAMRA is doing is not fighting for better beer, but what they see as "real" beer, they are defending their narrow and dated idea of what beer should be. I mean the very concept of "real ale" shows it, to them only ale is real beer and only cask ale, the rest... sorry. All those others wonderful styles, processes and families of beer from the whole world are simply treated as trash a plague that should be eradicated. In a way they are no different than the macros, well at least they prime for quality... unless it goes against their view of quality.
  • Probably outnumbered by Brewdog's PR people, much as they are on Twitter.
    Richard E Allele19.07.2011
  • Are some of these people commenting working for CAMRA ??
    James(not brew dog)19.07.2011
  • Exactly what Ben said!
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • i think it might be an age thing...young creative beer makers against old farty headed drones...dont worry they will be dead before brewdog ever dies!! long live trashy blonde fuckin love a pint of that!!
  • A shame that CAMRA, who used to stand up for quality pushing out bland conformity, have now become what they used to oppose. A while since I've been to a CAMRA event now and I don't really anticipate going back. Going back being the right words.
  • Fascists, I believe brewdog is doing a fantastic job of moving the beer industry forward, and getting younger people involved in great tasting beer, instead of drinking stella and smirnoff ice. I'm proud to be a share holder. Long live brewdog!!!!
    Ben SW19.07.2011
  • @Mike
    If you want great beer stay away from Brewdog.
  • @ Bored of you all

    that is not what really happened. If you want to be delusional as well as throw insults and be ignorant that is cool.

    And having the courage to do all that and not even post your name. What a hero for CAMRA!

  • @Graeme

    Do I think that sending a few e-mails will make a difference due to ''massive logistical and programme-production issues that prevent Brewdog attending'' ? Maybe not, but I know that sitting on my arse and doing nothing but fume in anger at this backwards decision by this most narrowminded of organisations won't achieve anything either.

    So send your protest e-mails here people;



    Fuck CAMRA and have a nice day :)
  • @boredofyouall- Dude jump off the bandwagon, come to the good side! CAMRA are trying to stop the progress of the beer revolution, get a grip and join us! We all deserve better beer, even you!
  • @Bored of all of you - my dad is bigger than your, oh hand on he's dead. My dead dad is bigger than your *living/dead dad.

    *delete as appropriate.

    be nice now or you won't get your tea
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • You guys are always welcome at American Beer festivals. We are not afraid of great beer over here!
  • I don't understand why you fan boys seem to think that CAMRA should bend over backwards to include BrewDog?

    There are rules and everyone else sticks to them, like paying on time for example, so why should BrewDog get special treatment?

    Now you want a petition to get BrewDog in to the GBBF? How old are you people? It's like listening to a thousand tantrums from pathetic children.

    BrewDog haven't been banned, they failed to pay on time or comply with the conditions to attend. Would you start shouting at an airline if you rocked up to the terminal having not paid for a flight and without a passport? No.

    Now shut the fuck up you whiney little bitches
    Bored of you all19.07.2011
  • Brewdog festival. Let the sandle wearing, daily mail loving bigots have their party.
    CAMRA have failed.
  • @Graeme that is not what I am saying at all. You asked me what I would do, and I replied. However previously you wanted to make dispensation for an event planner of the highest order.

    I see you are a gent that is simply either very stubbourn or very intelligent, and I will now retire from this discourse and buy a bewDog.

    toodle pip old bean
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • CAMRA, you've been excellent at putting on beer festivals and getting real ale out into lager land BUT you must keep up with the times or risk loosing your members, then you'll be screwed and we won't have beer festivals. Brewdog brew great beer, stop being so fecking pedantic about *your* definition of real ale.
  • You know you've got a good blog post when the trolls turn up! :)
  • Brewdog makes shit beer, more room for decent stuff now.
  • The festival is in two weeks.

    There was a waiting list of other brewers ready to supply at short notice. Two weeks IS short notice.

    You're criticising him for doing exactly what you say you'd have done in his place.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • @Graeme you want me to do his job for him? well ok then

    1) if the deadline (for what ever reason) was extended then ask who would like to be a stand in at short notice. Given CAMRA are a large organisation with substantial clout this shouldn't be a problem.

    2) Have mock ups done with each agreed standins name on the material that would be sent to the printer.

    Seems very very logical to have suitable contingency in the event of a cancellation, albeit by CAMRA and not BrewDog, and if indeed this was 7 weeks is the true timescale, what contingency was made within 7 weeks.

    It's all excuses isn't Graeme, sorry to hear this I really am.

    It's people who are missing out, remember that.
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • What!? That was the main reason I was going
  • I've followed Frazer's advice and emailed both parties.

    I CAN handle the truth Mr Nicholson ;)
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • @perspicacity

    What would you have had as a plan B? 7 weeks after the deadline everyone else adhered to, Marc needed to have a confirmed brewery for the bar. If there was no sign Brewdog were willing to supply on terms practical for the festival, then what should he have done, simply had an empty space?
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • A very well written and reasoned blog guys. I do feel people are focussing on BrewDog's attendance when the real issue is how out of touch CAMRA are.

  • @Charlie -- CAMRA defines real ale as ale that undergoes secondary fermentation in the vessel from which it is served, and served with no extraneous CO2.

    Some of Brewdog's [excellent] products are "real" by the CAMRA definition. This doesn't appear to be the root of the dispute.

    @Fraser - the festival starts in 2 weeks. A petition is unlikely to make any difference to the massive logistical and programme-production issues that prevent Brewdog attending, and a petition for them to attend in 2012 is pushing at an open door as Marc has already said they're welcome to negotiate for 2012.

    Let's not forget that Brewdog pulled out of the Scottish Real Ale Festival about 2 weeks before that event.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • @Graeme p.s I know a few good printers and have seen CAMRA's printed materials, a printer will always make an allowance for materials of this quality and someone of CAMRA's good stature in business. it does seem rather petty to me, IMO.
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • Great Call Fraser.

    I just sent them an email!

    The only way for CAMRA to save face and remain relevant is to invite BrewDog back.

    It would be a brave call sure, but would ensure BrewDog feel indebted to them ensure to ensure they are happy to be at the GBBF rather than use it as a stunt.

    I still think CAMRA are far too petty and pedantic to invite them back though.
  • @Graeme that's a plan B? dear dear me that's quite pathetic
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • If people feel strongly enough about the issue and campaign to get BrewDog reistated at the GBBF then perhaps a few well worded e-mails to the following addresses may help ?



  • What is there that not 'real' about BrewDog products? They are devoid of any chemicals, colouring, etc. So surely they are what CAMRA was campaigning for when they started out years ago? And BrewDog certainly mage 'great beer', in Britain so why make such stupid rules?

    Looking from the other side, CAMRA is a private club, it's their party, they can have who they want at it. More fool them for not inviting (or taking back the invite) probably the best beer brewer in the country. BrewDog does not need to compromise to be successful.
  • @Graeme Gander

    Please publish your address details so I can forward you a large fish.

    Instructions upon delivery:

    1. Sign for the parcel

    2. Open parcel carefully

    3. Take out the large fish

    4. Run the fish under cold water for 30 seconds to produce the wet fish

    5. Hold the big wet fish by the tail

    6. Stand in front of a mirror

    7. Proceed to slap your self across the face with the wet fish

    8. Repost on this blog so we can evaluate if the above process knocked some sense into you

    9.For added effect I recommend shaving off your beard and removing your glasses. White socks and sandals are optional

    10. If the above fails please repeat several times until desired results are achieved

    I had to repost this as it is genius19.07.2011
  • I haven't claimed that I know the truth. I've said throughout that I have no idea. I've only said that there's no evidence either way. Brewdog's history of antagonism towards CAMRA, their publicity stunts, and their history of failure to honour orders from other CAMRA beer festivals all call into question James' side of the story. I'm not saying it isn't true, but the evidence is very lacking.

    Marc did have a plan B. It was to drop Brewdog when they failed to pay and get a replacement brewer in good time to get the programmes printed.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • @greame OK, so shall we keep going round that circle or shall we get to the root of the problem? That being that there was a reason why an extension had to be put in place in the first instance? No?

    Give your chum Marc a buzz and ask him if he wouldn't mind popping back on to explain what the ordering issue was.

    He seems like he isn't too scared to tell the truth so how about it? We're all pretty clear that Brewdog were happy to supply beer with the requisite amount of live yeast present so the product wasn't in question at the point of contract. So it must be down to the vessels - did CAMRA specify a certain style and size of keg on the contract? If not they're running out of legs to stand on PDQ'ly. If they did - then I'm afraid it would be @James who would be on the sticky wicket.

    So come on boys - anyone care to offer up the order for which the contracts were signed?
  • @Graeme, so it you don't know the whole truth why on earth are you spending time and energy is saying you do? makes no sense to do this other that a defensive attitude, surely the truth will out. CAMRA has lost out on great beer here due. An the argument that a delay causes an organiser of an event a headache is correct, however a good project manager/organiser/war lord ALWAYS ALWAYS has a plan B! wise up and embrace brewDog, their beer is marvelous and many many people think so.

    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • How can it be called the 'Great British Beer Festival' yet people like Meantime, one of the best new wave British Brewers can't show their beers there.

    CAMRA have lost it. Oh and John, Manchester - maybe the best blog comment ever posted.

    Let's all just have a beer. Preferably a Punk IPA at the GBBF, I can dream....
  • @Grrr...

    James said the letter showed that they had cancelled before the deadline. The letter didn't show that at all, it only showed that Brewdog hadn't paid by the date specified in the contract, which is irrelevant given the extension.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • The solution is obvious.

    CAMRA should let BrewDog go.

    Wish I knew what they were planning on launching there. Knowing BrewDog, it would be epic!
  • @Graeme Gander

    Please publish your address details so I can forward you a large fish.

    Instructions upon delivery:

    1. Sign for the parcel

    2. Open parcel carefully

    3. Take out the large fish

    4. Run the fish under cold water for 30 seconds to produce the wet fish

    5. Hold the big wet fish by the tail

    6. Stand in front of a mirror

    7. Proceed to slap your self across the face with the wet fish

    8. Repost on this blog so we can evaluate if the above process knocked some sense into you

    9.For added effect I recommend shaving off your beard and removing your glasses. White socks and sandals are optional

    10. If the above fails please repeat several times until desired results are achieved

    John, Manchester19.07.2011
  • Brewdog should set up a stall outside the GBBF giving away BrewDog branded T-Shirts to all Beer Festival attendees.
  • CAMRA - please please please let them go!

    That was the only reason I was going and I have now booked my trip.

  • @graeme

    Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
    John F. Kennedy

    Come on dude, your better than CAMRA! Join the revolution! Vive le Brewdog
  • @greame - there's the nub. You battered @James on not providing evidence of the full letter - one full letter followed. He is currently proving himself to be open to producing evidence where we see none from CAMRA. So go on then, let's have marc twitpic the original order then shall we? Marc?

    If this is as simple as a screwed up order to start with, then CAMRA should be big enough to stand up and say "we ordered the wrong stuff and couldn't get it sorted with Brewdog in time to fit the logistics, sorry". Marc nearly got there...

    So come on CAMRA - what happened? Didn't realise what you ordered? Made an arse of trying to get other stuff that fitted with the logistics?

    Go on, be brave... let it all out... you'll feel better for it...
  • Brew Dog
    Find a venue on the Saturday, put on a shit load of your beers an i'll ditch my ticket for sure!
    If you build it....they will come!
    Hand Shandy19.07.2011
  • @Matt -- I "bleet" (sic) about evidence because I want to know the truth, while it appears you're just happy to have an excuse to CAMRA-bash.

    @Perspicacity -- I don't know, but no-one outside of the Brewdog/GBBF folk involved do. There's no evidence anywhere that the extension was to the 14th or 15th of July. Until we know which it was, then there's no point crying into our pints.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • @Graeme, come on then what is the full truth please, in full. cheers *hic*
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • Fuck CAMRA and their narrow minded, selfish view of the beer world. While I'll still be going to the GBBF festival (as have already paid for a ticket), I will not spend a single penny on cask beer there in protest. The international beer bars offer a phenomenal range anyway. They can stick their 18gallon casks up their arse.

    They are and have long been now an obsolete joke. May their joke of an organisation die a painful death.
  • I am sad that BrewDog won't be at GBBF. I think it is more important of what the beers are than how it is being dispensed. I think this is the oversite which Camra are conflicted within.

    I am sorry that a fantastic outlet as BrewDog are unable to push their craft ales at the festival. I think it is a good idea to delay the Camden opening time. There is a lot on beer wise at the moment. November is very free in my diary. That would be good.

    I sincerely hope Brewdog's business is not disrupted by this event.
  • i came on the brewdog website to thank them for their amazing prize sent to me for (joint) winning a caption contest earlier last month, and i was introduced to to this .....

    CAMRA ....... Cunts . Against . Modernistic . REAL . Ale


    They obviously needed some elaborate excuse as to not include brewdog beer into the GBBF ... i'm disgusted and more than appauled to see such a brilliant, natural and thoughtful independent brewer like brewdog to be secluded from an event of which is organised to celebrate real brittish beer !!!!!!

    i will be attending the GBBF ... PUNK Ipa t-shirt on back and my brewdog tin sign up high .... down with CAMRA .... UP WITH THE CRAFT BEER REVOLUTION !!!!!!!!!!!
    chris thompson19.07.2011

  • @ Graeme

    you keep bleeting on about evidence like a whiny little girl.

    James posted the cancellation letter. BrewDog's payment was either an hour early, or 23 hours late depending on which version of events you buy.

    The delay is caused by CAMRA changing the order and breaking the initial agreement.

    All this is superfluous really. You are missing the whole point by labouring this. You are not seeing the whole picture here dude. The main point is just how out of touch CAMRA are and the fact they can't even get their head around a keykeg.
  • My full comments can be found here: http://brewskie.co.uk/reviews/648/2011/07/what-makes-a-british-beer-great/

    My message to CAMRA is to take the bee out of your bonnet, stop with the fuddy-duddy stereotype and let the BrewDogs out. It wonít just be one brewery you are alienating, it will be a whole new generation of beer drinkers. You donít all have to be friends, you just need to understand that sometimes in life you have to learn to be tolerant and it is the public that are missing out until you can learn to get along.

    After all, it is the Great British Beer Festival and the BrewDogs are Great British Beers.
  • @Grrr...

    How do you know the order was changed? Because James claims it was?
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • It's not "my" festival, and as I've already said I was looking forward to seeing them there.

    Please, drop the childish rhetoric.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • @Greame: "Given that it's the contract that specifies when the payment must be made, it's a little odd to run crying to its coat-tails when failure to pay results in the contract being cancelled."

    Not really when the contract/order was agreed on specific beers and specific vessels. IMO @James should have terminated as soon as CAMRA imposed changes to the original contract/order. If CAMRA change it they should be prepared to accept that it may not be acceptable to the brewer. The extension to the deadline wasn't "generous" - more a common courtesy if that!

    Never mind the debate about what beers fall under CAMRAs umbrella, the point here is that someone at CAMRA has placed an order with Brewdog that they didn't actually want (and again, whether that was just a simple ordering mistake or something more systemic is irrelevant) - CAMRA placed the order which was agreed by Brewdog thereby entering into a contract. CAMRA then changed it.

    Or did they not?
  • I hope CAMRA are not trying to make an ememy out of all of this, what is the point. You must see that in order to survive then change and progress is necessary, this has always been the way in life, if you remain stubbourn to old ways eventually you will not exist. but who am I to profess logic and understanding, lets all have a slagging match..lol
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • Maybe you are right Graeme, something fishy is going on... care to explain why you wanted brewdog out of your festival?
  • I think the lack of evidence points to there being something fishy.

    Of course, we could all just sling insults all day, but I'd much rather see the truth of the matter.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Surely CAMRA should just get in touch with BrewDog and ask them back to the festival?

    CAMRA would look decent and beer drinkers would benefit? Everyone would be a winner.

    Here is betting they are far too petty and stuborn to do this.
  • Stephanos, even on CAMRA's account it was less than a day - this is not disputed. Even Marc concedes this in his post.

    And the delay was due to the fact CAMRA changed the order.
    Chris T19.07.2011
  • i think all the evidence points to Graeme being a bit of a cu*t.
    Brewdog festival would be amazing. CAMRA are fearing the revolution...
  • Camra is old fashioned, something from the 80's
  • But, GBBF is a beer festival, not an ale festival, right?
    (and as a foreigner I can also wonder if it's a great festival for british beers, festival for great beers from britain, festival for beers from great britain, a british festival for great beers etc etc, hehe)
  • If CAMRA changed their order, where is the evidence of the change?

    The previous blog on this subject carries an undisputed comment from Marc that they would need 50l containers. James is claiming they weren't allowed to supply in 30l containers. That shouldn't be a surprise.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • People seem to be clinging to 23 hours as the only delay. Its not 23 hours it was 40days+23hours!
  • The dispute should not distract us from the main points in the blog article. Fact is CAMRA are woefully out of touch.

    And petty to boot.

  • @True Scot

    Simply not true -- even an independent Scotland would have to adhere to the CAMRA definition of real ale, as it is a country with a tradition of cask conditioned beer.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • the extension was due to a dispute, it is a legal right to dispute a contract and a party must either grant an extention or not in order to solve a dispute. A business would not survive by simply cancelling contracts without being flexible.

    It's rather strange that in many organisations it's the use of power that is their downfall.
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • @Graeme - then he should not change his order and go back on the original agreement.

    Mr T19.07.2011
  • Marc - you should apologise to BrewDog and re-invite them to this year's festival.

    This is the only way for CAMRA to emerge with any scrap of dignity here.

  • Being even an hour late for a deadline is late.

    Should Marc have extended the deadline again? THAT'S NOT A DEADLINE.

    Doing so would jeopardise his ability to get a replacement brewer for the space in good time in the event that the balance had not been paid.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Oh CAMRAyou are so ANAL! It should about great beer that's why it's called the GREAT BRITISH BEER FESTIVAL !
    1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Rep
  • I reckon Graeme is wearing sandals right now.

    He's like a broken record.

    Stone the crows.
  • James,
    I don't want to let this develop into a spat, but to say I was "under a huge amount of internal pressure to try and cancel it" is just not true. I'm in charge of GBBF and everybody knows not to try and interfere with the way I run the festival.

    As I said previously, come on down this year, have a look, I'll even give you a personal guided tour. And we'll work on getting it right for 2012.

  • Ironic but true, if Scotland does get it's independence, BrewDog will be free to attend with keg beer.
    True Scot!19.07.2011
  • @ Graeme - even on the CAMRA accounts (which you yourself admit as the 14th) BrewDog were less than a day late.

    Petty beyond belief.

    And a huge loss to the GBBF.
  • Seems like you'd have better luck contracting out some brews tgo a US brewery & the getting the kegs flown in for the festival!
    These festival is called the great British beer festival, not the great British cask ale festival. Maybe we just need a new Festival.
    So when's the Brewdog Great Beer Fest going to kick off??!
  • The BrewDog-CAMRA dispute notwithstanding, the blog article intelligently outlines just what exactly is wrong with CAMRA and why it is loosing it's relevance.
  • The only evidence you've presented thus far shows that the deadline for payment in full was the 27th May; Marc maintains that the extension (granted generously) was until the 14th July.

    I also personally have doubts as to the keykeg's ability to serve properly vessel-conditioned beer, but that doesn't appear to be a point of dispute.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Seems incredibly petty from CAMRA.
  • @ Graeme,
    1) The deposit was paid in time
    2) the balance was with-held as CAMRA changed the original order and refused to discuss this.
    3) The CAMRA imposed deadline for the transfer balance was met.

    Ever since we signed the contract I think Marc, who I liked dealing with, came under a huge amount of internal pressure to try and cancel it. This would explain the change in order, the unwillingness to revert to the original agreement and changing the goalposts on the deposit.

    We liked dealing with Marc and felt we were on the same page and could achieve something. I think the forces inside CAMRA are too blame here.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • Given that it's the contract that specifies when the payment must be made, it's a little odd to run crying to its coat-tails when failure to pay results in the contract being cancelled.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Unfortunately BrewDog Camden will not be open at the time.

    Watch out for the vigilante Seagulls, or foxes. We like vigilante foxes. Like the Disney Robin Hood.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • @Greame

    A deadline may well be a deadline.

    Where on that scale of definitives would you put a contract or an order? higher? lower?

    @James - Just keep making brilliant beer with one change - get more of it down south please!!!
  • I was looking forward to more facts, but this appears to be a match of words with no back up. Publish the truth for all to see and hopefully we will see what CAMRA have done. I for one support BrewDog on this. blind faith? perhaps the next beer name :)


    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • Before I get a GBBF ticket, will Brewdog Camden be open and perhaps be running a counter-festival of craft beer?
  • It's breach of contract and Brew Dog are bound to have some legal standing here. This is not only unfair to Brew Dog but also to the customers that have already bought tickets precisely because they thought Brew Dog were going to be there.

    Here's a thought, surely the people who have bought tickets on the strength that Brew Dog were going to be there would have every right to write and demand their money back?
  • Get Brewdog shirts and wear them at GBBF :)
  • I can indeed read, and am yet to see anything of substance from James showing that the deadline was extended to the 15th July. A deadline is a deadline, and an extended deadline is DEFINITELY a deadline.

    Claims of fraud are also a pretty serious matter.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Screw CAMRA. They're dinosaurs. What's needed are young people, like myself, with an interest in good beer. Not just real ale (which I do like), but just good beer. I'll even drink lager if it's decent (though I can only name three that I've tried and like, Sam Smiths - Alpine (formerly Ayingerbrau or whatever), Hawkshead Brewery's lager (forget it's name) and obviously, Brewdog 77)
  • Graeme - they were less than a day late. The delay was due to the discussion over the order and the fact CAMRA changed it. Can't you read?
  • Marc,

    even on your notes below (which are false and possibly fraudulent) we missed a deadline by less than a day.

    A deadline that you imposed because we disputed the fact you changed the original order after we had paid the deposit and signed a contract.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • Again, there's no evidence so far except James' word that the deadline was 15th July (just as there's no evidence that it was the 14th except Marc's).

    They also weren't 23 hours late. They were 7 WEEKS late.

    As someone who has been involved in running events in the past, a sponsor or supplier being even a few days late with payment can be devastating for an event. 7 weeks is a LONG time.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Just like Colin Valentine's blast at the blogerati, Marc and the rest of the team seem to be desperate to self destruct CAMRA.

    Only one winner here.

    Go BrewDog!
    Chris T19.07.2011
  • I'm a Camra member but to me this is just typical Camra. Comittees making decisions, it's a bit like a local parish council, self serving busy bodies... There's no "campaign for real ale" They should rebrand themselves as a beer appreciation society rather than any sort of "campaign" Time for an alternative consumer group...
  • Personally I like the Brew Dog way to enjoy making beer and give us the choice and the surprise of new products.

    Nevertheless if I had to choose only one beer to drink from now to the end of time I would choose a lightly hopped bland cask ale. The way you can find in England. The way CAMRA has helped save and preserve.

    Please don't insult what you obviously don't understand.
    Make your beers and respect the work of others.


  • Marc,

    even by your account of it, you cancelled their attendance for being 23 hours late on a deadline.

    ha, almost too petty to be true. Especially as they had agreed to your revised order.

    Marc is Satan!19.07.2011
  • I think the brewery summed it up in the phrase 'we don't really care' about the cask/keg debate. Brewdog could never have been in the slightest doubt as to the fact that CAMRA does care, very much indeed, it didn't become the biggest consumer organisation in Western europe on the back of demand for keg beers. I like brewdog, but the tactics that appear to have been applied here with the suppression of relevant info recalls 'entryism' that was around on the '80's
    political scene.
  • This was CAMRA's chance to regain relevancy and embrace the new wave of brewing.

    Ironic that such pedantic pettiness should blow this chance for them and the olive branch offered by BrewDog.

  • Marc's response just makes CAMRA look even more pathetic and petty.

    Amazed to hear such drivel from a grown man.
    Marc - you should email James, apologise and invite them to attend this year.
  • This issue of key kegs:
    1. I understand that Camra's TAG are trialling key kegs on the Volunteer Arms staff bar, away from the main event. 2. I understand that some of the Czech draught beers are to be supplied in the same manner.

    You'd need to hear clarification from Camra on this, seems to me.
    Sid Boggle19.07.2011
  • @James

    The previous blog on this subject talks about 50l containers, while now you're talking about 30l containers, which appears to be central to the dispute.

    You're also still making unsubstantiated claims.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Marc - you cancelled their bar because of a 23 hour delay? What the fuck??


    And the delay was only caused becauase CAMRA changed the original order and can't even understand what a keykeg is.

    Anally retentive CAMRA at their worst.

    go BrewDog!
  • As the poor schmuck who broke his back shifting Thornbridge 9s last year I can tell you that they are far too small for a festival like GBBF
  • Marc,

    even if your version of events is right, which I really doubt, you cancelled their attendance for being 23 hours late on a deadline impossed during the EFP launch when the BrewDog team were travelling and very tied up.

    You fucking tosser.
  • @Graeme - what is not in dispute is that CAMRA reneged on their original order.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • When are CAMRA going to move into the 21st century? They won the battle against crap keg beer many years ago and it sounds like they looking for a new enemy. If they think accepting kegged craft beer into the fold will somehow herald a return to the days of Watney's Red Barrel they are seriously deluded!

    BrewDog have extended the olive branch here and CAMRA have slapped them in the face with it.
  • And just to prove I'm not partisan, the deadline agreed seems to be in dispute, so can either of you supply evidence that the other is wrong?
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • this is a direct quote from Marc's email to me.

    ďPlease agree to the terms of the email sent yesterday and have the funds deposited by 12pm FridayĒ. (the 15th).
    @ Graeme19.07.2011
  • @James

    that letter says that you didn't pay by the 27th May. Where's the evidence you were granted extension to 15th July?
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • James,

    The reason Brewdog are not coming is that you didnít pay the outstanding balance, as per the terms of the contract.

    - The contract stated payment for the bar was due by May 27th. Giving you until July was very generous, nearly 7 weeks.

    - The ultimatum was Thursday 12pm, you kept arguing and didn't agree until Friday 11am. Too late, we had programme deadlines to meet.

    But to answer some of your other points:

    - Right from the very start we said your beer must be supplied in large containers. We were happy with 50L kegs (as long as the beer contained live yeast) but you persisted in wanting to use 30L keykegs. Thornbridge did use 9G casks last year but it didn't work - they will be using 18G casks this year. We were looking at ordering in excess of 60 kils (equivalent) of beer, which is just not practical in 30L keykegs.

    - You were the one that offered to supply cask beer in 18G casks.

    Happy to start talking about GBBF 2012, and feel free to pop in this year to see how it works. Iíll even send you some tickets.

    Marc Holmes
    GBBF Organiser.

  • Some how this really doesn't surprise me. I've been using kegs for ages but since going legit I've had no choice but to go over to cask just to make sure I can get into festivals.

    The beer is identical (same recipe, same abv etc.) but because CAMRA won't budge one bit on delivery systems I have no choice but to conform. I'm not big enough to shoot myself in the foot by ignoring CAMRA (although I'd love to) so whilst I build up the business I guess keeping CAMRA sweet is what I'll have to do.

    I love what Brewdog do and the beers are excellent (wish I could create a few similar!)
    BlueBuzzard Ales19.07.2011
  • I wonder what would happen if next year's foreign beer bars offered draft collaborative brews with Mikkeller, Nogne-O and I think you said Baltika? No doubt these would be permitted.
    Eddie Miles19.07.2011
  • @Tim

    I am a CAMRA member but have nothing to do with GBBF except as a volunteer, one who was looking forward to having all of Brewdog's beers available in one place.

    I'm just sceptical of any claims of unfairness presented with no evidence -- if the evidence exists and is as damning as claimed, there can be no reason to withhold it.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Tim - we have nothing to hide. Here it http://www.twitpic.com/5sgjaz

    We with-held the balance payment pending agreement on what beer we were taking. The deposit was paid on time when the original order was confirmed, as soon as this happened they went back on our original agreement as to what we could serve at the bar. They were also completely unwilling to engage and discuss this with us despite numerous requests. We eventually a But WE did transfer the balance in accordance with the deadline they set us as an ultimatum.

    James, Brewdog19.07.2011
  • Shame. I was really looking forward to meeting you guys; I'm speaking about beer bread on the Thursday lunchtime with Sue Nowak.
    John Medd19.07.2011
  • Could you please print ALL of the Brewery Bar Cancellation Notice letter from CAMRA as requested by Graeme Gander?
    He wrote: ĎIt's also interesting that you've chosen to show the letterhead (supposedly as proof of the date) while not showing the content of the letter. Given the recent accusations of "clever" manipulation of images it's another poor decision.í
    I presume Graeme Gander is from CAMRA and he sounds as though he was involved in the decision to cancel and he may even have written the letter. But in the interests of openness and transparency, please show the full text of the letter.
    I am a CAMRA member and Iíve only ever had BrewDog from the cask. I love Punk IPA, The Physics and Paradox from the cask, but Iím afraid Iíve always found Trashy Blonde a disappointing beer.
    Iíve never had BrewDog from the keg so I canít judge. I did have a pint of kegged Blue Moon at The Turf Tavern in Oxford and it tasted okay, but it was a hot day and a very expensive distress purchase because of the dismal ales on offerómostly from White Horse.
    I have had cask Stone California Double IPA (7%) which was brewed by Stone brewers at Shepherd Neame for Wetherspoonís spring beer festival in 2008. That was one of the best beers I've ever had, with an incredibly lavish use of spicy aromatic American hops. As an attempt to recreate a traditional India Pale Ale it beat my previous all-time fave, Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, but I think cask Arbor Yakima Valley gives it a run for its money.
    Tim Mars19.07.2011
  • There are so many comments on here that I could easily reply to but it'll get too difficult to follow responses.

    All i will say is that the real CAMRA "cliche" i sthat there is still a cliche. Most peopel hearing of CAMRA now don't immediately think socks and sandals, only those who already know who CAMRA are and have an axe to grind.

    Of course there are still "socks and sandals" members but they are a small minority. The majority of CAMRA members are everyday people like everyone posting here.
  • The camra guys need to get out of their wing-backs and realise that Brewdog are a force for good in the beer world. Why shun the fastest and biggest growing craft beer brand in the uk? Idiots.
    Brewdog have opened up the world of craft beer to younger drinkers, and camra have now nailed their colours to the mast and said young drinkers are not welcome here.
    I would support a brewdog festival. This is what the beer drinkers need, not a beer festival full of crumbling, festering old grumpy fu*ks
  • Seems like CAMRA are being a bit stuffy and obstreperous here.
    I never before saw CAMRA as being, well, quite so snobby about UK beers but this has opened my eyes!
  • CAMRA in danger of being left behind by the revolution they originally started...?
  • No-one is suggesting that there wasn't a preliminary agreement that has now fallen through.

    The nature of the breakdown is all that's in question.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Who cares about Camra, they will soon have backed themselves into a corner with their draconian noncense, stick to what you know. Seems to be working so far ;)
  • Hearing that brewdog were going to be there is what made me decide to buy a ticket to gbbf. I'm annoyed
  • brewdog were listed as one of the breweries on the GBBF website, and now they are not. So i cant see how this can be fake.
  • @James

    Then why not provide them rather than tiny shots of the letterhead?
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Surely this will lend it self to be best guerilla stunt ever for BrewDog at the festival?

    An army of penguins? A gaggle of CAMRA fighting vigilante seagulls? A BrewDog bar outside the event?

    Anti CAMRA19.07.2011
  • Is Brewdog Camden going to be open in time? I *hope* so.

  • @Graeme,

    the version is accurate and pretty straightforward. We have documents to back it all up too.
    James, Brewdog19.07.2011
  • @Arec

    If it isn't about believing everything James says, then where's the evidence?

    Saying it isn't about swallowing James' version when all you have to go on is James' version is a little hard to buy.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Petty narrow minded beer fundamentalism.

    This decision will hurt CAMRA much more than it will hurt BrewDog.
    Mr T19.07.2011
  • CAMRA failing to push Real Beer again.........
  • This is a great shame - I was really looking forward to seeing BrewDog at GBBF. I agree with Alikocho's comment: all the lab tests in the world don't tell you the quality and taste of the product. The focus on keg v cask is a historic hangover, and I suspect this was a symptom of the original problem on bad beer in the 70s rather than the cause.
    My CAMRA DD is about to renew, and this gives me real pause for thought as to whether to retain it or not. British beermaking will move on without them - I would much rather drink a BrewDog or Meantime keg than, say, a Shepherd Neame.
  • Well as a CAMRA Life Member I was dead pleased that Marc got involved in the earlier discussions here in a positive and witty way so let's hear his side of the story now, to echo earlier posts.
  • @Graeme Gander

    This isn't about believeing everything James says. Sounds awful but this reminds me of a women having to submit to virginity checks by a priest before she gets married (only women from outside the village mind).

    More importantly I'm "guessing" the majority of CAMRA members don't agree with the attitude the leadership (or a few members) have taken, in the same way the majority of Labour party members did not agree with the Iraq war. The difference is I think this will galvanise members to change CAMRA, to promote choice, micobrewing, localism and diversity (all of which it claims to do).

    Most importantly if Brewdog is making "foreign" style ale, what's wrong with this? Many foreign brewers happily wear their british influences on their sleeve.

    The real danger to real ale was never the influence of non-native styles, cross cultural fetilisation, but the homogenous mush caused by mass industrialisation and unfettered capitalism.
  • These guys are beyond belief sometimes. Brewdog are at the cutting edge of not just brewing beer in a different way but marketing it and selling it outside of the socks and sandal cliche that CAMRA spend so much tiome trying to distance themselves from but, to an outside observer, they seem actually to be rather comfortable with. Given attempts within the industry to broaden beers appeal are nothing short of insulting (if you saw the article about marketing beer to women in the MOrning Advertiser), excluding such innovators is not just naive but downright harmful to the British industry that they claim to support.

    Recently CAMRA seem to be becoming more and more the threatened dinosaur, and I hope that someone can pick up the baton and really take British brewing forward without disappearing up their own petty guidelines.
  • Three suggestions:
    1. Everyone should write to CAMRA to voice their opinions directly rather than quietly complaining here.
    2. Perhaps it is time for a new, younger organization focused at the promotion of craft beers - ie small brewers and micro breweries from around the world that do not also own and control the majority of the bars and pubs.
    3. BrewDog should turn this to their advantage and arrange a country wide alternative to GBBF - get as many pubs/bars to stock a wide and exciting selection of BrewDog beers during GBBF week - it's a good way to attract drinkers during GBBF, especially around London.
  • Fuck 'em. I've converted more of my friends to good beer with BrewDog than any CAMRA-sanctioned ale. CAMRA will die out, and all that will be left is good beer without pretentions crying out about "yeast cell numbers" and other such shite.
  • Why are you so set on keg dispense? Your ales sell far better from cask than keg.

    What exactly is the merit of keg over cask other than it allows unpopular beers to be sold more slowly without going off?

    Most of your production is either going abroad or to Tesco etc. where punters can buy it cheaper than wholesalers and pubs can. As such the promotion of your brand is so much of another nail in the coffin of the UK pub industry and CAMRA shouldn't be doing it.

    If CAMRA buy keg beer off you why not buy keg beer off other UK volume brewers?

    I think CAMRA were foolish to do anything other than order cask beer off you in the first place. Your cask beer is good. I can't give your keg beer away.

    The world doesn't revolve around your business plan/ exit strategy. When AB/Inbev or whoever buy you out how much will the Equity for Punks subscribers get?
  • The ridiculous nature of CAMRA'S top brass anality laid bare for all to see
  • James,
    you dont sound bitter to me. however, camra sound more confused than scooby doo.
    I dont hink you should start a campaign to get ur beers in the festival.
    Instead its time you launched your own festival. a real one, not like the ones in the bars that was basicly just your own beers. but hold an event where u bring together the best and most progressive brittish brewers. take the chance to really educate the market , particulay here in scotland and showcase your own beers and the other great breweries who are following your lead and pushing the beer market in the UK forward.

    your doing a good job but more education to a wider market will help brewdogs sales go through the roof!
  • As i said, i dont think CAMRA will ever run a festival for anything other than real ale...they'd have to change their name and i dont believe they would do so. I think its wasted energy pointing out all the many many flaws with CAMRA. We need a sperate organisation to promote great beers however they are served. The problem with brewdog running alternative festivals is they too are going to alienate some people who dont like brewdog, you need to have a seperate independant modern forward thinking organisation with the sole purpose of promoting great british beers!
  • Crazy. Just as the world turns their way, CAMRA seem to want to stay niche, isolated and alienated. Guess the characters involved like to think they're sticking two fingers up to the world.

    Rival the festival. Takeover a pub around the corner and hold smart parties, food events, loads of amazing stuff to pull the crowd round your way. Subvert!
    simon wilden19.07.2011
  • That is utter BS. If you signed a contract that is legally binding. CAMRA really do themselves no favours.
  • Yeah that sounds like a better campaign "FUCK CAMRA!
  • Rad Shark. Do I foresee a new brew? The Fuck CAMRA Shark "Real ale"?
  • CAMRA don't owe you anything. It doesn't matter if YOU don't care how beer is served, it's CAMRA's festival and they can do as they like.

    The naive invocation of European law is a red herring, as those laws protect sale, and do not force purchase.

    It's amazing how many people are swallowing James' side of the story hook,line, and sinker, with absolutely no evidence other than his word for the events.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • I think I might cancel my CAMRA membership, conflict of interests.

    Are there any decent beer clubs I can join? Or even set up?
    Francis Gilbert19.07.2011
  • Why not just do like Mikkeller and make your own festival same week the big one. At least BrewDog Will be at ours :) http://www.copenhagenbeercelebration.com/
  • Oh dear Camra. I believe you have just shot yourself in the (sandal clad) foot. Epic. Fail.
  • Fuck CAMRA indeed. I'll not be going to GBBF this year, and I might just rip up my CAMRA card (well, okay, I can't as it's plastic...) I think an alternative beer festival is needed.
  • As a 22 year old real ale drinker, I was of the (rather blinkered) view that CAMRA only had the best intentions of celebrating real ale for all that it is. How wrong could I be?! That is a ridiculously bad display from them!
    BrewDog is pretty much my favourite brewery. Your beer is stunning, and the fact I can buy it in cans from Sainsbury's is just amazing.
    Keep up the good work. Fuck CAMRA
    John B19.07.2011
  • Agree on most of everything here. I think in their 40th year CAMRA need to refocus not on preservation of "real" ale, which for now has succeeded (and was genuinely in danger), to preserving diversity, something the large "regionals" they support are busily destroying (through acquisition of small breweries for their tied pubs, very similar to what was happening in the 70's!)

    I think there is a danger though that you'll end up tying CAMRA members (of which I am) to the leadership. It's a pretty large consumer organisation, where most of the younger members do not take an active part. I volunteer at one beer festival every year, in Wakefield (I'm a Londoner... long story), but even in my mid-thirties I am probably the youngest person to do so. I have never taken part in my local CAMRA group, although posts like this make me really want to get involved (to put an end to this nonsence).
  • Backwards, simply backwards. This left a bit of a sour taste regarding my planned visit to the GBBF, what a shame. Not because I can't live without Brewdog (well, I probably can't but lets not delve into that), but since they essentially treated you guys like shit. Bad karma.
  • As Pete Brown points out: if the defence is "We're all about real ale, that's the name," kindly rename the Great British BEER festival.
  • shocking
  • Have been on here before angry that BrewDog refused to work with CAMRA so it was good to read that you were taking some comments on board. It's very disappointing, therefore, to read this. Perhaps an online petition should be started and sent to CAMRA to say that we don't care how many yeast cells there are in our beers as long as its good beer??
    Ben K19.07.2011
  • Hope I can get a refund on my GBBF tickets.
    It's these petty CAMRA decisions that really annoy me. I don't care whether beer is cask or keg or bottle, as long as it's good beer. I was at a CAMRA beer festival last week and drunk lots of different Real Ales, very few of them I would describe as good though.

    CAMRA need to look at what they are doing as they are alienating a lot of great new UK breweries who are using keg more and more and filling them with amazing beer.
  • TBH im not really surprised and im sure you guys arent that this happened! However, it is a good marketing angle for brewdog who want to be percieved as a modern brewery which likes to do things differently to the normal traditional ale scene.
    I do think the argument that CAMRA should change its policies and be more inclusive of British breweries that dont do things in the traditional manner and dispense their beers from cask is never going to change things. Fundamentally, rightly or wrongly, CAMRA's main purpose is about supporting traditional British ale (the clue's in the name) and i'd argument they cant change and it will need a new organisation to be started to support an all encompassing mission to promote 'great beer' however it's served...i dont believe CAMRA will / can do this. Just like if you had an organisation called the Campaign for kegged beers im sure they wouldnt allow casked beers to be served.
    If, like me, the CAMRA ethos isnt for you dont join it. I will go to a CAMRA beer festival to support breweries that make great beer for cask that is being served at it but would the organisation or promote it.
  • Pff. You guys don't need to be there anyway. Would hate for your awesome brews to get lost in a sea of over-regulated tasteless "beers". Keep on doing what you're doing...your beers speak for themselves.
  • The time has come for Camra to take a long hard look at themselves.They are failing their faithful in many ways these days.
  • I'm a CAMRA member, but I agree they really do need to pull their heads out of their arses here and support brewers of craft beer like yourselves. Who cares if it's in a cask, a keg, or a bottle? If it's brewed with passion and it tastes great, CAMRA should be supporting it.
  • I think you'll find their definition is a hell of a lot less arbitrary than any definition of "craft" you might find (if you can find one).

    I would suggest that when the agreement was made the limitations of keykeg for serving vessel-conditioned beer were not fully understood by both parties.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • If they hate you, you must be doing something right. Keep doing what you're doing lads.
  • What a pity, but really it's their loss!
  • CAMRA really needs to take its head out its arse about keg ales and this comes from someone who is a member. Good beer is good beer no matter what its delivered in. Time to singe their beards and steal their sandals.
  • It is unbelievable the reaction I always recieve from the CAMRA crowd in my local when I mention your beers. Comments like "AWFUL STUFF!" or "Not proper beer" always make me laugh. None of them will agree to a blind tasting though
  • fuck em!
  • @Graeme

    We had satisfied CAMRA that what we were going to serve conformed to their arbitrary definition of real ale. This was also going to be tested by their lab. This is all outlined above.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • seems a little petty to me, stead fast rules rather that a little understanding. A stoic attitude is best, just do what you guys do best and keep being nice to the CAMMY folks. peace, G
    perspicacity corruption19.07.2011
  • Get the lawyers in, contacts were signed and you agreed and paid before the deadline.

    CAMRA are really getting on my tits. This is a great article and really highlights how much CAMRA need to change and move with the times.

    Good beer is good beer, no matter how its stored, served or produced. If it tastes good and is making a positive impact on the UK beer scene (Like BrewDog is) then it should be included in the festival.


    John Coleman19.07.2011
  • Camara clearly aren't forward thinking enough and are perhaps a but scared of the success you guys are having.

    The GBBF is a good event, but it does need variety and 'jazzing' up a bit as it can feel a bit tired.
    James D19.07.2011
  • I'm quite bemused by the manner in which the bar was cancelled if they gave you a deadline for payment then went back on it. I would like to hear the otehr side of the story though. Also not being privy to the contract I can't tell if it is reasonable or not.

    I too am disappointed as I was looking forward to trying some of the less often available beers.

    Let's see if Marc posts an explanation
  • I am a Camra member and I am very sad not to see BrewDog there this year. It will be a loss to us all.
  • No response to the other, more important points I raise?

    The fact is that the agreement was for supply of "real ale" from the outset. Many, many people expected this to hit a brick wall as
    (a) you have a long history of failure to supply
    (b) suspicions that it was all just a publicity stunt

    Nothing you've said changes that perception. It's also interesting that you've chosen to show the letterhead (supposedly as proof of the date) while not showing the content of the letter. Given the recent accusations of "clever" manipulation of images it's another poor decision.
    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • You can try and convince yourself we are bitter if you really want to. But we are not!

    We have far too many exciting things going on to worry about being bitter.

    Unless you are confusing us with the beer style bitter. We are not that either :)
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • Any way you can have Brewdog Camden open by early August and hold an Alternative beer festival in London?
    The comments from the CAMRA guy on the previous blog post seemed quite encouraging as well.
    This is just a sad sorry state of affairs, with an organisation supposedly representing consumers, restricting consumer choice.
    I'm regretting buying a ticket for GBBF now.
  • CAMRA are a bunch of fascists. They have become obsessed with how a beer is packaged and dispensed rather than with the actual product. Just because it comes in a cask does not mean it's good, or any more or less real. They've lost it. I've cancelled my membership and am refusing to judge for them for the Champion Beer of Britain (yep, I'm a certified beer judge).

    I'm about two steps away from calling round breweries and other craft beer people in the UK to see if we can't just start a craft beer movement that celebrates good and diverse British and worldwide beer rather than worrying about how it's packaged and served.
  • @Graeme

    Please read our comparison in paragraph 7 - we believe different styles of dispense suit different styles of beer. We love Trashy Blond in a cask. That is not the point here.

    We consider keykeg draft beer as it is dispensed cold and with more CO2 than cask beer.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • James, you do sound bitter. Do your own thing. Get a mobile bar van outside and make them look silly. Don't whinge on here. Do something positive. Moaning about Thornbridge this, Thornbridge that just sounds incredibly sour.
  • Start a campaign!
  • Epic Fail CAMRA
  • Quite a bit of obfuscation here.

    Firstly, the requirement was always that you serve beer that satisfied the definition of "real ale" according to CAMRA's external policy document.

    Secondly, your announcement that you would be serving from keg was not entirely accurate, as the only thing keykeg has in common with what is generally understood by the term is that they both contain beer.

    CAMRA also "don't care what vessel beer is transported or stored in", provided the beer undergoes secondary fermentation in that vessel. You could supply beer in a dustbin (subject to the logistics of stillaging such a container) and satisfy the technical definition.

    The continued comparison of recognised excellent craft/keg beers with hypothetical mundane cask beers is also getting tired. If you're going to compare, then compare like for like; find an excellent cask beer and show that is worse than an excellent keg beer.

    Graeme Gander19.07.2011
  • Not bitter. Just bemused and disappointed.
    James, BrewDog19.07.2011
  • Fucking CAMRA C**nts. That was the only thing worth going for.

    I thought it was too good to be true when BrewDog announced their attendance.
  • Wow, you guys sound bitter...
  • Whether or not you are a fan of BrewDog, CAMRA have not done themselves any favours by cancelling their bar.
    Mr T19.07.2011
  • Sometimes I could go right off CAMRA. I won't be at GBBF this year anymore either then.
  • A campaign to get BrewDog IN TO the GBBF? I never thought I hear you say that.

    I see Greg was extolling the virtues of cask Stone beer the other day. Port Street Bar have just had a succession of Sierra Nevada casks in recently too. CAMRA are being muppets, so let them.

    Why not just make an absolutely amazing cask beer, stick two fingers up to CAMRA (who ironically seem to be being accused of selling out to BrewDog more than the other way around) and then go back to doing what you want to do?

    Alternatively, go with cask beer and use stuffed labradors as dispense vessels. You can still BrewDog it up with out the kegs....

  • Bastards! I was soo looking forward to BrewDog being there.
  • CAMRA are their own worst enemy.
  • Best informed article about CAMRA and GBBF I have read recently.

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