Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Blogging about beer

Why blog about beer? I've been provoked into asking this question by Wurst, our colourful and controversial blogger. I have a suspicion that the provocation was somewhat rhetorical and merely a vehicle to get across his obvious irritation about something. Rhetorical or not, it is clear that Wurst is wound up about a few things, it would be interesting to understand why.

The answer to the original question regarding beer blogging has been developing in my mind. I think there is a simple answer; Because we care about beer. That though, is not sufficient to compel us to write, one would imagine. It is because we have a view on the many issues surrounding beer, and pubs and other drinking related subjects. It is because we want to share our thoughts with others in the hope they might understand our views.

For me, the main issue was trying to share with a wider audience the difficulties of turning a failing pub around. Being a licensee and hearing some of the CAMRA rhetoric I found difficult. For me, the raft of CAMRA demands was conflicting with my ability to make an honest living. The full pint campaign a case in point. I used to be quite annoyed about it. Wurst is obviously still is, or maybe just with CAMRA in general.

Thankfully, the combined efforts of the bloggers I currently follow have been able to rationalise most issues. The full pint thing has been dealt with in a rational way with sensitive comments. But there remains a couple of issues that bother me. One is that of sparklers, which seems like an argument we might just have to accept. The other is the perception of CAMRA many people have.

Out of all the groups of people that have contempt for CAMRA, by far in a way the strongest are the people who are trying to earn a living from the industry. There seems to be barriers in some areas that are hindering a relationship that could be beneficial to everybody. I've just returned from a branch meeting, and I am quite upset about being made to feel like an outsider, the reason being I own a pub and therefor have an "interest". I fear the work of my fellow bloggers has all but been undone.

Maybe Wurst is a bit extreme in his point of view, but Tim is making some good points that back up his view. Perhaps this view is wrong, or misinformed, but if so I still want to know why it is there with many people.

8 comments:

The Southport Drinker said...

Camra's going a bit nuts these days. Try not to take it personally.

Meanwhile, is there another link to Wurst's blog. I want to see what the blighter is all about, but all I get is a warning about adult material and am unable to go further.

Woolpack Dave said...

Hi SD,

Well I've just followed the link OK. Yes it does warn of adult content but click on the "I understand" and all is OK. I don't know of a way of getting in without going through this page.

Paul Garrard said...

I see beer blogging as a healthy alternative to the sometimes peculiar and negative viewpoint put out by CAMRA. It is also a useful vehicle to get things off one's chest.

Artist formerly known as Wurst said...

I don't think I'm extreme in my point of view. I think my views are educated. CAMRA has done a lot in bringing real English beer to the forefront, which it should. It's also made it a laughingstock by promoting beards and overall lack of beer knowledge. Beer commentary, beer blogs, whatever you want to call them need points of view that aren't necessarily inline with the masses. What I do is satire. There's needs to be more. Bottom line is I love beer. I've got the resume to prove it.

Woolpack Dave said...

Wurst, you're right; your views aren't extreme and are widely held. Perhaps the way you put them across might result in people not listening.

There are many people who agree with you that CAMRA has some problems, large number of licences for instance, many of whom keep quiet because they don't want to upset CAMRA for fear of losing custom. These licences get fed up and so go run a nice B&B instead or even better a restaurant, where there is no problem with people complaining about the odd 50p more in the price of drinks.

Most of all I am concerned about the inadvertent trade bashing that CAMRA get up to. “Bite the hand that feeds you” as Tim said. I am frankly getting well fed up with it. I think I might turn my place into a restaurant and hotel and shut the public bar.

Tyson said...

Dave

It's unfortunate that you were made to feel unwelcome. Obviously they should be listening to someone with your experience. It's a fact though that some Camra groups are more anal retentive than others-as SD said, try not to take it personally.

Woolpack Dave said...

"Obviously they should be listening to someone with your experience" - that's what I would have said as well. I tend to bite my tongue in meetings, there's little point in doing anything else.

To be fair there are many sensible officers in our branch. The chair is very good, but sadly stepping down at the AGM. I fear that the pub-landlord-is-the-enemy types will take over.

Velky Al said...

How can the pub landlord be the enemy when it is he who dispenses the beer? Perhaps I am just being insane here, but surely you should be made to feel ultra welcome - because you're the guys who gives us what we ask for.