History of CAMRA

The organisation was founded in 1971 by a group of four drinkers—Graham Lees, Bill Mellor, Michael Hardman, and Jim Makin—who were opposed to the growing mass production of beer and the homogenisation of the British brewing industry. Other early influential members included Christopher Hutt, author of Death of the English Pub, who succeeded Hardman as chairman, Frank Baillie, author of The Beer Drinker’s Companion, and later the current Good Beer Guide editor, Roger Protz. The original name was the Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale.

CAMRA’s campaigns include promoting small brewing and pub businesses, reforming licensing laws, reducing tax on beer, and stopping continued consolidation among local British brewers. It also makes an effort to promote less common varieties of beer, including stout, porter, and mild, as well as traditional cider and perry.

For more info on CAMRA’s mission and current key campaigns please click here.

CAMRA is organised on a federal basis, with numerous independent local branches, each covering a particular geographical area of the UK, that contribute to the central body of the organisation based in St Albans. It is governed by a voluntary unpaid national executive, elected by the membership. The local branches are grouped into 16 regional branches across the UK, such as the West Midlands or Wessex.

CAMRA has established influence at national government level, including Heritage England, and has been designated by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry as a “super-complainant” to the Office of Fair Trading.