Woodwork Squeaks

“Little Rita and her sister Betty, met some mook who drove a purple Chevy

He took them for a ride one summer night (Are you angry?)

Told the girls he was a big producer, truth be told he was a cheap seducer

He drove them to the hills to see the lights. (Heh, heh, heh, yeah, right)

Two days later they were reading him his rights…..(Woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks)”

(“Out Come The Freaks” – Was Not Was)

(Vid courtesy of Paul Murff on YouTube – go to about 7 mins 14 secs for the track)

It started with this press release.

CAMRA is going to reassess its aims and goals. Under the auspices of one of its founding members Michael Hardman, it has launched a “Revitalisation Project”. Cutely done really, given what the acronym CAMRA originally meant.

For me, protecting good pubs should be the aim. Serving good beer or not. A good, well-run pub, is an asset to a community. Something worth the effort of protection.

Then there was this utterly spurious, lazy pile of steaming s***e from The Torygraph.

And then, it’s like C***t PARTY TIME! I mean, seriously? The anti-CAMRA bile crashed like a tsunami onto social media and was, like the lack of knowledge, quite frankly, embarrassing.

Take the following….

“Real ale was crafted to separate themselves from the mass produced generic lagers and beers (boddingtons, Carling etc)”. (I merely copied and pasted)

I thought that Boddingtons WAS (mostly) “real ale” – until Shitbread invaded and carried it off from Strangeways in chains….into a “smoothflow” can.

Some CAMRA members are just as bad mind. Like the old fella at Manchester Beer and Cider Festival this year, who ranted for over half an hour about extraneous gas pressure in a key keg!


There. Disclosure. And fortunately, last time I checked the statute books, it wasn’t a capital offence.

That said, I’m one of the evil multitude that is NOT an activist, I do my own thing. Many of those who ARE activists, I admire, both for their deidcation to a “cause” and for the fact that – as beer drinkers – they are some of the most open minded that I know. Drinking from Cask, Keg, Bottle and (gulp!) Can!!!

Unlike the young man who said (in response to a recent post of mine) that clear beer was “alien” to him.

Get In The F*****g Sea.

Now. I am decidedly NOT a CAMRA defender. I organise an “Independent” beer festival, because the local branch of CAMRA chose not to help. But I recognise – to the subsequent enrichment of my adult life – that CAMRA did a f*****g great job of defending good beer.

It is utterly churlish to ignore that fact.

That said, Michael Hardman did CAMRA no favours whatsoever with his stumbling performance on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning. According to many (and I can’t disagree) he epitomised what many think when they think of the organisation – “out of touch” was one of the nicer sentiments.

His statement “Craft Beer doesn’t exist” wasn’t exactly going to endear him now. Was it? Not a smart statement at all, to be fair. I mean, I can’t stand the term, it’s an undefined label. Micro breweries, brewing great tasting beers, with skill & passion. That, I do understand. However they choose to package their beer. As long as it tastes good, I simply don’t give a flying……

I just like beer. It’s a simple word. Overcomplicated by too many people and organisations.

I’ll take part in this process, in the vain hope that voices like mine CAN make a difference. But given the beating drums, I doubt it. Futile? Maybe. But I’m an (h)optimist.

And to quote a friend of mine, “There are two types of beer. Beer I will drink and beer I won’t”. I couldn’t put it better. So….

If you like cask – as do I – drink it and enjoy.

If you like keg – as do I – drink it and enjoy.

If you like a bottle – as do I – drink it and enjoy.

I’m off for one of these.


And as for the guy who said this – “What an absolute cock end and I hope camra goes bust because I can’t stand the fucking coffin Dodgers who think beer should be traditional”

Have a beer. Calm down. And play nice now eh?

And, for the benefit of the lazy Torygraph hack, “Hipsters” didn’t kill CAMRA.


5 comments on “Woodwork Squeaks

  1. I put the very quote about two types of beer on my camra survey this morning. My day today will consist of a trip to the beer shop to stock up on bottles and cans of stouts, porters and AIPAs, followed by a couple of pints in a craft keg place then probably a couple of pints of cask in my local. I’m such a rebel

  2. Very good article on an issue that, as a CAMRA member, is an important one to me.

    I think the issue, as is often the case, is that there are people who see the world in black/white rather than shades of grey. Irritating in this debate, dangerous in others (see current Govt.).

    The other aspect is a lack of appreciation of the organic growth of ‘craft’ beer from the work done to help ensure the survival of ‘real ale’ by CAMRA. Appreciation of this history does not mean a blanket acceptance of everything the organisation had or does do. Shades of grey again.

    Lastly, in the same way that CAMRA, for understandable reasons, hung its fuddy duddy hat on a relatively precise definition of what ‘real ale’ was, those evangelising ‘craft’ as a reaction to and rebellion against traditional beer and CAMRA are at risk of doing the same. Canards around cloudy beer, cans, punk ethos etc. are just as restrictive (and that’s not a judgement on whether these issues are right or wrong). History repeating?

    I say all this as someone who has drunk most styles of beer, enjoy new wave bottle shops/bars & trad boozers, and have drunk beer from bottles, cans, fermentation tanks, cask, keg, key keg etc (and only occasionally from wrung out bar towels).

    Hopefully perspective & an ability to recognise the good on both sides inform the debate – but who knows?

  3. The references to ‘the current government’ and ‘The Torygraph’ – I’m not interested – at all – in politics in a beer blog. My love for drink is unrelated to politics. If I can’t escape it when drinking what’s the point?

    I always hope that beer can eradicate political shit, but obviously not.

    Your blog, but sullied. Like drinking Carling when you thought you’re getting Jaipur.

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