Fylde coast beer buffs raise a glass to 50 years of real ale

The pubs may be closed at the moment, but now is the time to raise a glass to the beer buffs who have over the past 50 years made sure our beer  is the best it has ever been.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:30 pm
Rick Pickup from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre CAMRA group

The Campaign for Real Ale was founded 50 years ago tomorrow as a not-for-profit consumer group set up to fight the monopoly of the big six brewers on British pubs and the industrial fizzy beers and lagers they filled them with.

And Fylde beer buffs are celebrating too while looking forward to the day when the coast’s pubs are open to the public after lockdown.

The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch of CAMRA was originally founded in 1974, three years after the national group, but was re-launched in its present guise in 1980.

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Branch Chairman Rick Pickup said the group had seen decades of improvement in the variety and quality of real ales and ciders available for local customers.

He said: “It is all about quality, choice and friendship.

“We have seen a real boom in the number of pubs and bars serving real ale and of course breweries too in the 21st century.

“In the old days there was little choice, just the industrial beers, but now there is a fantastic variety and real ale is more popular and served in more places.

“But it’s not just about the beer. It is about supporting the pubs, particularly now when they have been forced to close.

“One of the branch’s successes has been our annual festival, the Fleetwood Festival, first held in 1981. “

We are hoping it will be back next February with suitable hygiene precautions, but we will have to wait and see.

“But I think most of our members cannot wait for when they are allowed to go back into their favourite pubs again. We have held branch meetings online, but we only get a few members, after all the whole point of CAMRA is to meet up with your friends in a pub and enjoy a good ale.”

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