On a national scale, CAMRA campaigns for pub goers and beer drinkers in a number of areas. Locally we focus our campaigning effort on two key areas.
Promoting and protecting pubs
Well-run pubs play a pivotal role in local communities, but are increasingly under threat from closure – with 21 pubs shutting every week across the country. Cambridge has not avoided pub closures – recent years have seen closures in both the city and the surrounding area.
The planning system can help protect pubs from closure, or at least demolition or change of use. We have had success with persuading and encouraging the various local planning authorities to introduce regulations to protect pubs.
Promoting real ale, cider and perry
Pubs are the best place to enjoy real ale, cider and perry. So by promoting and protecting pubs we are also promoting these drinks.
Cambridge is also home to the oldest CAMRA beer festival in the country. The Cambridge beer festival first happened in 1974. There was some doubt as to whether anybody would turn up, but they very much did. Since then the branch has organised over 70 beer festivals. The main event occurs in May, and is one of the largest such events in the country, with over 40,000 people attending over 6 days. The range of beer, cider and perry available year-round in pubs has changed utterly since 1974, but the festival still provides an opportunity to showcase some less common styles and introduce new people to the drinks we enjoy.