CAMRA White Horse Branch

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The Campaign for Real Ale

There are more than one hundred and eighty branches and sub-branches of CAMRA throughout the country, of which White Horse CAMRA is one.

Most of the area covered was formerly part of Berkshire before the boundary changes of 1974, and includes, as well as numerous villages, the market towns of Faringdon and Wantage, the latter being the birthplace of King Alfred the Great in 849. Formed originally as a sub-branch of the Oxford branch in the early 1990s, it fills a rural area not covered by the City branch or other neighbouring branches in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire.

About the Campaign for Real Ale

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was founded in 1971 as a pressure group which strove to stem the tide of keg beers produced by a handful of national brewing companies, sole survivors of the internecine take-over wars of the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, many of our finest regional breweries were closed, with the permanent loss of their distinctive beers, with their local following.

In order to gauge CAMRA’s success since its inception, reflect upon the fact that in 1971 there were just six home-brew pubs or micro-breweries in the country; there are now hundreds! Details of all of these, together with a selection of pubs serving the best quality beer, can be found in the Good Beer Guide, a CAMRA publication which is completely updated each year (unlike many ‘rival’ publications).

The battle is not yet won, however. Although CAMRA can now boast a membership of over 125,000, breweries still continue to be taken over and closed. CAMRA is, at the same time, battling against the upsurge of smooth nitrokeg beers. The closure of many rural pubs, and the unsympathetic and inappropriate refurbishment of many others with no thought for the needs of the local community, is also being strongly opposed.