Alex Metcalfe, CAMRA’s information and education manager, introduces a new initiative
In 2018 CAMRA voted to ‘play a leading role in the provision of information, education and training to all those with an interest in beer, cider and perry of any type’. Consumers are facing an ever broadening range of choices in a constantly evolving landscape of hybrid styles, new forms of dispense and non-traditional venues serving beer, cider and perry from British and international producers.
In response to consumer needs CAMRA is developing a new educational offer across the country via our beer festivals, branch events, website and publications to support drinkers’ lifelong learning.
We are running a pilot programme of learning and discovery spaces at seven festivals through 2019. Manchester Beer and Cider Festival (January), Thanet Easter Beer and Cider Festival (April), Cambridge Beer Festival (May), Great British Beer Festival (August), St Albans (September), Nottingham (October) and the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival (October).
CAMRA’s learning and discovery spaces provide festival-goers, wherever they are on their drinking journey, with the opportunity to interact with high quality brewing ingredients, hops, malts and varietal fruits, and the chance to take part in informal tastings, guided by the brewers and makers themselves.
Our approach is to provide technically accurate and unbiased information whilst building consumers’ knowledge and confidence around a range of issues such as dispense, quality and provenance, and to provide a basic understanding of the ingredients and processes behind their favourite drinks. We love cask conditioned live beer, beer that’s still evolving by the time we drink it. We are so confident and passionate about it we are happy to host brewer-led comparative tastings of cask beer alongside other versions so our members and festival-goers are empowered to build their own understanding of the differences between them.
We are lucky to have some of the finest regional brewers and makers lined up for our learning and discovery activities at the Cambridge Beer Festival 2019 showcasing their work and ready to guide you through relaxed, engaging and informative tastings.