The Campaign for Real Ale is the leading consumer organisation that campaigns for real ale and the rights of those who drink it. CAMRA's membership is drawn from across the world and now stands at almost 150,000, many thousands of whom volunteer large quantities of their time in furtherance of CAMRA's aims.
In 1988, CAMRA set up APPLE, its organisation tasked with campaigning for real cider and perry. On 16 May, APPLE celebrates its 25th anniversary, which includes a special cider-tasting social at the Queens Vaults in Westgate Street. Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which starts at 2000 hours.
Over the years, APPLE has been active in many areas including running cider and perry festivals, running cider and perry bars at beer festivals, assisting in the publication of CAMRA's Good Cider Guide and arranging annual Cider and Perry Of The Year competitions.
April is the month when CAMRA and other organisations involved with the pub trade celebrate Community Pubs Month.
This recognises the important role that pubs have in the community. They provide a meeting place where neighbours can get together to socialise and where community organisations can meet and plan their activities. They provide a venue for responsible drinking and for eating out.
When it comes to beer, Westgate Street and its neighbouring thoroughfares is the place to be. However, the area also has much to offer traditional cider drinkers.
The City Arms, Fire Island, The Gatekeeper and the Prince of Wales all regularly serve traditional ciders or perries*. Top of the list though is the Queens Vaults, which serves up to six ciders and perries. These recently included products from Gwynt y Ddraig and Raglan Cider Mill (see illustration).
* Perry is similar to cider but is produced by fermenting pear instead of apple juice.
Having named the Gwaelod y Garth its 2013 "Pub Of The Year", CAMRA's Cardiff Branch has named two other local pubs as "Highly Commended".
The Deri, in leafy Rhiwbina, is a smart, stylish pub that combines most effectively the roles of pub/restaurant and community local. It serves a range of local real ales plus guest beers from breweries further afield. A presentation will be made to manager Barry Garnham on Friday 15 March.
Cardiff Branch of CAMRA are pleased to announce that their 2013 Pub of the Year award goes to the Gwaelod Y Garth Inn situated on the outskirts of the City. The pub was voted for by the hundreds of volunteer members who go to make up the Cardiff Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.
Cardiff CAMRA members and members of the Cardiff University Real Ale Society recently paid a visit to Brains Brewery, the visit took place on the evening of 28 November and was aimed at new and younger members of CAMRA plus the students’ Real Ale Society.
A highlight was a look at the new Brains Craft Brewery (see illustration), a brewery within a brewery, which allows Brains to experiment with small production runs of new beers.