Cambridge Branch has agreed to adopt the scheme though we haven't yet fixed on the criteria (and would welcome views on this). In Nottingham, a beer counts as a LocAle if the brewery is less than 20 miles from the pub concerned. That criterion would pose some issues for us. Quite a few pubs in the east of our area are less than 20 miles from Bury St Edmunds, home of Greene King. Conversely, several Cambridgeshire brewers, such as Elgoods and Oakham, would be excluded. One way forward could be for us to define LocAles as either brewed within Cambridgeshire or within 10 miles of our Branch boundary, which would hook in the likes of Potton and Buntingford.

We see the benefits of the campaign as being, hopefully

What LocAle is definitely not about is reducing the choice of ales in our pubs. We all love to drink interesting beers from all over the country. Many people also enjoy beers from Greene King and other nationals and that's absolutely fine - we don't want to deny them such access in any way. What's so frustrating though is that it's often easier in this area to find beers from micros in Scotland or Cornwall than Cambridgeshire beers.

We're also only too conscious of the fact that many pubs would love to sell locally-brewed ales but aren't allowed to because of their tie to a brewery or pub company. CAMRA is campaigning nationally for reintroduction of the guest beer rights. In the meantime, though, if we can demonstrate that there is great demand for LocAles then those companies might realise that it's actually in their own commercial interests to offer them. And the sad fact is that quite a few pubs which could sell LocAles don't currently do so.

The next stage in the scheme will be to introduce accreditation for pubs which sell LocAles. Pubs which are accredited will be given point of sale material, window stickers and posters to promote their status. There will also be regular publicity in ALE and at our Beer Festivals. Pubs wishing to apply for accreditation should contact Paul Ainsworth.

LocAle Facts