Saturday 16 April 2011

CAMRA's keg-bashing Motion 13

CAMRA's AGM is taking place in Sheffield this weekend. You can follow its fascinating tweet-stream at!/CAMRA_Official.

Amongst the generally tedious and nitpicking motions being discussed today is:
This Conference believes in the beneficial health effects of real ale and believes that other ale products with chemical and gas additives can have a detrimental effect on public health. Conference believes that the differences between the two are significant and measurable, but acknowledges that research on this area has so far been minimal. Conference therefore resolves that CAMRA shall work with other interested parties to quantify the differences in health terms between real ale and other ale products. 

Would the proposers, West Lancashire Branch, care to offer evidence for the statement "gas additives can have a detrimental effect on public health" or is it just an example of seventies throwback keg-bashing?

In order to do so they would have to demonstrate that CO2 and Nitrogen used to dispense evil keg beer are somehow chemically different to the gases we find in the air we breath.

Somehow I doubt they can.

I also doubt they can find any evidence that "chemical additives" have any detrimental effect on public health for that matter. A detrimental effect on flavour maybe.

I suspect the word "chemical" is simply a weasel word used to provoke fear and disgust in those whose scientific education is lacking. 

Let's see if the motion is passed. My money is on a pass. It will be a victory for stupidity.

UPDATE: The motion wasn't passed. I'm glad I was wrong.


Brew Wales said...

It does seem a case of fiddling whilst Rome burns, especially when the temperance lobby in the form of fake charities such as Alcohol Concern recieve tens of thousands of pounds from the Government.
The enemies are not other beer styles but state-funded neo-prohibitionists.

Alex Routledge said...

How on earth would kegged products have made it into every pub in the land if they had additives that were damaging to public health in them? Even if the motion is passed, their research will only come to the conclusion that kegged beer is no more harmful than cask conditioned, rendering it a pointless waste of time and member's subs.

Great post Jeff, keep it up.

Jeff Pickthall said...

The enemy is non-evidential policy making.

StringersBeer said...

No Jeff. These additives are polluting our precious bodily fluids. And that's the point of General Ripper's motion.

Ed said...

You sure they're not just having a laugh? It made me laugh anyway.

Jeff Rosenmeier said...

So pathetic. Let's get a bunch of people that have know idea how to brew beer and let them debate issues that they aren't qualified to debate. Sounds like I'd need a beer if I had to sit through that torture.

Curmudgeon said...

Motion 12 is along similar lines, of course:

"This Conference recognises the importance of beer festivals to CAMRA in promoting real ale, real cider and real perry. As such, it instructs the Organisers of National events, such as the Great British Beer Festival, the National Winter Ales Festival and the Scottish Real Ale Festival, not to offer to the public, either directly or indirectly, alcoholic drinks other than real ale, real cider and real perry. Quality bottled beers from overseas countries that do not have a "Real Ale in a Bottle" tradition may be allowed at the Festival Organisers' discretion. It also encourages the Organisers of other CAMRA beer festivals to do likewise."

None of that imported German chemical piss, then...

WV = "pshole" ;)

Anonymous said...

Beer has no "chemicals" in it, chemicals are expensive! The way large breweries get about making cheap fizz is to do with the time taken to produce it. A beer made in a day is never going to taste good.

StringersBeer said...

Motion 13 - Defeated

John Clarke said...

Not that I guess you are really bothered but for what itls worth both motions 12 and 13 were soundly (and I mean really soundly) defeated

Tandleman said...

I don't think evidence of CAMRA's common sense is quite what Jeff was after.

Sat In A Pub said...

I’m disappointed with you, Jeff. But should I be surprised? Sadly, perhaps not. You let your anti-CAMRA paranoia spur you into having a rant at a mere proposed motion. If CAMRA had passed such a ridiculous thing, then that would have been the time for a rant. And I, and many others, would have joined you.

The fact that you actually thought it would pass is also sad, but does demonstrate how far removed you are from CAMRA and the thinking of its active members.

Unknown said...

The silly thing is, there are probably more "chemicals" put into real ale to make it drop bright than there are put into industrial lager. Maize aside, most industrial lager is in fact very pure and highly filtered.

I understand that to many Jeff's very hardened anti-CAMRA stance is as far biased as the nutters who put forward this crazy motion. But the "anti-chemical fizz" mantra is a real damaging thing for CAMRA, even if it is only a very low minority that shout it without thought.

However, it is an indigenous view within CAMRA,; fortunately most of the CAMRA supporters who engage on blogs have more of a sensible head, but I'd like to see more condemnation from within CAMRA for the fact that this motion was brought at all.

Sure, the fact that it was soundly thrown out is good, and may even send a message back to these silly people that they are way off-beam.

It's the same old problem; CAMRA is the campaign for real ale and that is good. More CAMRA activists than I'd like are campaigning against the majority of beer, that's not good.

Tandleman said...

"More CAMRA activists than I'd like are campaigning against the majority of beer, that's not good."

No real evidence for that I'd say. If you [postulate that only the hardened activists go to the AGM (as many have done), the fact that it was chucked out by a huge majority would suggest your fox has been, to all intents and purposes, shot.