Herefordshire CAMRA

National Campaigns

CAMRA campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. We are an independent, voluntary organisation with over 160,000 members and have been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe. CAMRA promotes good-quality real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer's champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry. Our key campaigns are:

1.Stop tax killing beer and pubs.
2.Secure an effective government support package for pubs
3.Encourage more people to try a range of real ales, cider and perries
4.Raise the profile of pub-going and increase the number of people using pubs regularly

Protecting Small Cider Producers

CAMRA has launched a new campaign to support small cider makers under serious threat from the European Union (EU), which has demanded the UK Government remove its excise duty exemption for small producers.

CAMRA fully supports real cider and perries and we are incredibly concerned that the proposed action will see small cider producers landed with a tax bill of up to £2,700 every year. The duty exemption applies to producers who make less than 70 Hectolitres (hl) of cider a year, which is about 12,000 pints a year (33 pints a day). In general, these producers are hobbyists or make cider as a side business, earning less than £10,000 a year. A tax of £2,700 would have a serious impact on their income, and is likely to lead to wide-spread closures.

Ever since alcohol duty was introduced there has been an exemption in place to help small cider producers for whom making cider is an integral part of rural culture. About 80% of Britain's cider market falls into this category, which is made up of over 500 individual producers. While their output levels may be small, they are integral to a great British tradition and help support a lively pub culture and tourism sector.

Katie McKelliget, Campaigns Manager at CAMRA: "The majority of real cider comes from small scale producers and has long been part of rural tradition and culture. The proposed action by the European Union is wholly disproportionate, given that a small producer selling up to 33 pints a day has no capacity to affect EU trade to any meaningful degree. If these producers are driven out of business it will dramatically reduce consumer choice and cause irreparable damage to one of the nation's most historic industry."

We are now working hard to persuade the Government to reject this request and have written letters to the Treasury and the European Commission about the issue. We are also lobbying MPs to urge the Government to put UK cider producers and consumers first.

Please help support this campaign: Click HERE to sign our petition "protect small cider producers".

Closing Planning Loopholes

CAMRAís Great British Beer Festival Ė Britainís largest, held at Londonís Olympia back in August - was the venue to launch a new high-profile, hard-hitting CAMRA campaign. The objective of the Pubs Matter campaign is to close planning loopholes that leave pubs exposed to the whims of developers, and in so doing give communities a voice when proposals come forward to either convert or demolish them. This campaign has its own Pubs Matter website, which explains to campaigners, MPís and Councillors how to get involved.

Local Campaigns

Kilpeck Inn

Saving Village Pubs

Herefordshire CAMRA is particularly active in campaigning on the subject of village pubs. Ever since there was a threat to convert the unique and historic Live & Let Live at Bringsty Common into a private dwelling back in August, 1996, we have been active in helping to marshall and organise local campaigns to prevent pubs closing. Most recently, Herefordshire CAMRA has worked in partnership with locals from the Sun Inn at Leintwardine and the Red Lion, Kilpeck in preventing them from being converted to private houses. Herefordshire CAMRA now has a national reputation for its efforts in preventing village pubs from being converted to private houses. CAMRA recognises that these pubs form a vital part of our heritage, as well as being key facilities in their rural communities. Is your pub threatened? See Save your local

Promoting local beers

Herefordshire CAMRA is working hard to get the message across that there are some excellent beers brewed in the county. Using CAMRA's Locale publicity material and through publication of our county beer guide and widely-distributed newsletter, Hereford Hopvine, we preach the message of pubs where these beers can be drunk - and how to get to them. This aspect of our campaigning activity stepped up a notch in 2005 when we launched our 'Beer on the Wye' Festivals, where we showcase our local beers (plus cider and perry).

Enjoying Campaigning

It has been said that the best way to support real beer and real pubs, is to get out there and drink the damn stuff! Herefordshire CAMRA is very active in this regard. We pride ourselves on an active social programme that helps to underpin our principal local and national campaigning messages. We frequently organise transport out to country pubs and various breweries across the land. To see what we are doing this month see What's On.