CAMRA Alberta: Getting Serious About Local Craft Beer

There has been some buzz around town lately about a craft beer society being formed called CAMRA Alberta. Some of you might already know that yours truly is involved with forming this organization. So I thought that I would write a little something up so that everyone knows where we’re coming from.

UK Origins

The Campaign for Real Ale Society was started in England during 1971 by a group of beer lovers who were worried that the traditional locally brewed real ale was being overrun by the abundance of global macro beers (I don’t think that I need to name any names, if you’re reading this you know the ones that I’m talking about).

Campaign for Real Ale

CAMRA has spread across the UK. This image is from the Wolverhampton Campaign.

The society quickly picked up momentum. Just one year after forming their membership grew to 5,000 members. That may seem like a large membership base but it was just the start. There are currently 163,019 members. Basically, CAMRA is regarded as the most successful consumer campaign to ever take place in all of Europe.

Our Western Neighbours

However, CAMRA is not only a UK phenomenon. There’s also an active branch just west of us in BC. If you enjoy craft beer and live in Canada you should know that the craft beer culture in Beautiful British Columbia is an incredible thing. CAMRA BC and more particularly, the Vancouver Branch, is what inspired us to start a craft beer society right here in Wild Rose Country.

I truly believe that with a little time & effort we can develop into another destination for craft beer lovers.

Alberta Bound

CAMRA Alberta

Check out the new logo, hope you like it!

CAMRA Alberta was founded in 2014 by a handful of passionate beer geeks who wanted to see the local craft beer scene grow & hang out with more like-minded people. The initial group that got the ball rolling was:

Natasha Peiskar an award winning home brewer and part-time bartender at The National on 17th & sales rep at Copper & Theory.

Adam Seguin, hey that’s me! 🙂

Jeremy Foster, the creator of Alberta Beers.

Brett Hopper , the Media and Online Experience with Alberta Beer Festivals and director of Content Creative for Good Old Fridge .

Jeff Orr the President of Tool Shed Brewing Company who makes some damn good beer.

Ric Cutillo, the owner of Midtown Kitchen & Bar. A restaurant and craft beer hub in Kensington.

Brett Ireland, the co-founder of Bear Hill Brewing Company which is the parent company of the Banff, Japer & Wood Buffalo brewpubs; and soon Calgary’s Last Best Brewing & Distilling. Another local craft brewery who are putting out some incredible beers.

Kirk Bodnar, a Certified Cicerone and BJCP who does some beer consulting through Beers ‘n Such. Basically Kirk is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to beer.

Objectives

So what is it that we aim to do? Well, basically we want to grow the local craft beer scene & culture. We can do this by working together to:

  • Promote existing craft beer and cask ale events so that people can meet others who are passionate about beer.
  • Help organize more of these events so that our numbers grow and we can see more demand for quality craft beer.
  • To encourage the brewing and consumption of cask ale and eventually real ale.
  • Encourage responsible consumption, no one wants to be that guy passed out on the table.
  • Educate people about the various aspects of craft beer though seminars and classes.
  • Create a pub culture that is somewhat reminiscent to the incredible comraderie/community that exists in the UK.
Craft Beer Market Draft Room

This was from a little craft beer pub crawl that we did recently. With CAMRA Alberta you can expect to see more events like this.

Our Annual General Meeting

The very 1st AGM will be taking place at Ric’s Midtown Kitchen & Bar (302 10th St. NW) on June 16th at 6:00 pm. Our goal is to sign up as many local beer geeks as we can so that we can start moving forward.

Annual memberships will cost $25 per person & $40 for couples. Midtown has generously offered to give all new members a $10 Gift Certificate which they can use on the next visit.

And of course it would not be a proper event without the presence of some cask ale. Last Best Brewing & Distilling will be bringing us a surprise cask of beer to enjoy & talk about. New sign-ups will get one free glass of this for joining the revolution.

I hope to see many of you there! Until then, Cheers to local craft beer!

12 thoughts on “CAMRA Alberta: Getting Serious About Local Craft Beer

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