[Campaign for Real Ale logo © CAMRA]

Cambridge & District CAMRA

"Frequently Asked Questions"

Some of these answers are subjective and are those of the current Branch Secretary/Webmaster.
They do not necessarily represent the views of Cambridge & District CAMRA.

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Thought about joining CAMRA?
Thought about joining CAMRA?
General enquiries & membership
CAMRA Action Line - 01727 867201
for all enquiries relating to campaigning and prospective membership.

Q: what is CAMRA?
A: (on HQ Web site)
Q: what does CAMRA campaign about?
A: see CAMRA Campaigns
Q: how do I join CAMRA?
A: CAMRA Membership
Q: ... and the Branch?
A: Branch membership

Q: when is CAMRA's annual Good Beer Guide published?
A: around the end of September.

Q: is there a local CAMRA Beer Guide?
A: see Best Real Ale Pubs In And Around Cambridgeshire and Ales from the Isle

Q: what local breweries & cider producers are there?
A: Local Breweries.

Q: what info is there on the Web about Cambridge public transport?
A: see the Links page, in particular the Cambridge Web Guide.

Q: what online maps are there of Cambridge?
A: see the Links page.

Q: recommendations for a Cambridge City Centre pub tour?
A: try the various Cambridge pub guides on the Links page.

Q: where can I get Mild in Cambridge?
A: see National Mild Month, May 2004.

Q: recommendations for accommodation?
A: there's a list of pubs with B&B in A Guide to Cambridge Pubs.
The Tenison Road area and Parkers Piece area (for instance) have a number of B&Bs.
The Arundel House Hotel and its sister establishment the Ashley Hotel of Chesterton Road are reliable family-run hotels.
The other big hotels in the City are: Garden House Hotel, Crowne Plaza, The Regent Hotel, University Arms Hotel, Royal Cambridge Hotel, Gonville Hotel.
See the Links page for further info.

Q: recommendations for pubs between the railway station and the Cambridge United football ground?
Q: recommendations for pubs near the railway station?

Q: recommendations for pubs between the railway station and the city centre?
A: Try the various pub guides but pubs which appear on many people's list of pubs with good selections of real ale (or otherwise worth a visit) include:

Q: when & where is the next Cambridge Beer Festival?
A: it is in the last full week in May, just before the Bank Holiday, on Jesus Green.
A: See the Cambridge Beer Festival Web page.
URL for bookmarking.
Q: and the next Winter Ale Festival?
A: See the Cambridge Winter Ale Festival Web page
URL for bookmarking.

Q: when's the next edition of ALE magazine out?
A: the accurate answer is "when the slender volunteer manpower has had time to produce it". The aim is for roughly one every two months. See also the News pages.
URL for bookmarking.

Q: can the Branch help me organise a beer festival?
A: CAMRA has considerable investment - intellectual property - in the set-up of beer festivals so care has to be taken in this area. Joint festivals, using the CAMRA logo, have to go though a formal approvals process to ensure that they are viable, have sufficient staffing support and won't discredit the Campaign. Other forms of cooperation, such as merely advising, are essentially ruled out, for a number of good reasons.
A: In practice, this branch (at least) puts its full effort into its own festivals and has no spare capacity to help with anyone else's - the small number of activists simply don't have the time.
A: Specific practical requests, such as hire of bar counters or supplying old stocks of beer festival glasses, may be possible. Please contact the Summer Festival organiser. The hirer/buyer would need to organise the transport and provide any necessary insurance cover.
A: The Branch does not normally have the resources to man a products+membership stall at others' festivals (however much we'd like to) - not enough activists.
A: The ALE editor would welcome any advertising copy for others' beer festivals - Advertising rates.
A: To ask for a festival added to the Web events list, email the Web editor. However we only list "local" festivals - ones within the Eastern region plus other easily-reachable ones (such as in London) - and all listings are at the editor's discretion.

Q: can the Branch help me with a pub or restaurant guide?
A: similar considerations to beer festivals apply. We can't do anything to harm our own products (e.g. the Good Beer Guide) and the limited available time that activists have goes towards Branch activities. A limited amount of general advice may be possible but surveying pubs is unlikely to be possible.
A: We would welcome any opportunity to have a CAMRA "angle" or "presence" - perhaps a membership form and marking pubs as "CAMRA recommended".

General questions

Q: what is Real Ale?
A: see Back to Basics - "What's That Then?"
Q: what's a "free house"?
A: a free house means a pub that's free of a tie to a brewer (or equivalent supplier). It's not directly relevant in this context who owns it.
To put it another way, the landlord has free choice as to where to buy beer. He/she may of course choose to use a big company as sole supplier, giving the appearance of a tied house.
And then there's the grey area of pubs which are owned (leasehold or freehold) by the landlord but the purchase came with a deal to use the previous supplier for n years.
What is 'organic beer'?
Organic beer is made from organic malt and hops using organic production methods: see the Soil Association for a fuller description.

Cambridge & District CAMRA