MINUTES of CAMRA WALES REGIONAL MEETING 27/1/2018.
Llanerch Inn, Llandrindod Wells.
Present: Chris Charters (Radnorshire, Welsh Director, Chair), Tristan Robinson, A N Other (Bae Ceredigion), Malcolm James, Rick Zaple (Cardiff), Keith Johnson, Rose Morrison (Carmarthen), Cris Bartlett, Martyn Groucutt (Gwent), Dave Gill (Radnorshire, Deputy Welsh Director, Minutes), Paul James, Debra White (Swansea)
Apologies: Ian Saunders (Abercolwyn), Brian Francis, Keith Jenkins, John Lamb (Cardiff), Elved Gray-Jones (Chester & South Clwyd, North Wales AO), Gerry Watkins (Gwent), Paul Burgess (Mid Glamorgan), John Hopkins (Neath – Port Talbot), Mike Porter (Pembrokeshire), Gerwyn Thomas (VoG & Bridgend)
1.Introductions. Members introduced themselves.
- Minutes from last meeting. Agreed as a true record.
3.1 A meeting at the Senedd, Cardiff on Tuesday 30th January to be attended by C.C.
Jointly organized by CAMRA and the new “All party group on food and drink”.
ACV progress. The group are looking to push this matter through the Welsh Assembly asap.
Update. We spoke to several AM’s at the event who are in favour of new legislation that is something like England, to include village halls etc. and will progress the matter.
3.2 COBAS. Ongoing. If anyone is interested in attending they should e-mail C.C.
3.3 Regional competitions. Information on CPOY and POY sent with original agenda to advise on entry dates. Paul James raised a question on a results embargo. Answer is, locally no problem . Anything not clear refer to RCC. or Wales Director.
3.4 GBG 2019. Branches in various stages with results. Deadline to have all information uploaded from What Pub and signed off is 5 March 2018.
- Meeting with NE member. Was to explain the Revitalization results. This postponed and re- scheduled with Ian Hill on 10 March 2018. Details to be confirmed. Need to find a venue and time. CC to check.
- Directors report.
5.1 A copy was sent out with the minutes and is also reproduced at Appendix 1.
5.2 C.C. had e-mail address problems so has created, email@example.com which seems to be working. The Wales Regional Director address supplied by CAMRA is variable.
Social media contact not an option.
5.3 Taxation R.Z. commented about tax on strong cider (White lightening) which was increased in the budget. This is not under Welsh Government control but a matter for Westminster.
CAMRA proposes to get a new definition of Real Cider by taking regard of the juice content.
To control cheap high alcohol drinks a new 50p / unit tax is proposed by the Welsh government. This would be applicable only to supermarkets and cheap booze retailers. Although the 50p was not expected to change prices paid in pubs, it could be the “thin edge of the wedge” in future.
5.4 Deputy Director Wales. The vacant position was addressed. RZ suggested that all vacancies are notified to all the Welsh branches in future. With no other nominations Dave Gill was ratified.
- Welsh language membership forms.
6.1 At a previous NE/RD meeting C.C. was advised that due to lack of funding a printed leaflet in Welsh was not possible but an online version can be produced.
There is a new leaflet being designed which will be translated into Welsh for the online version.
An approach to the Welsh government for a grant to do the translation was suggested.
A heated discussion followed on printing small quantities in Welsh or a bi-lingual leaflet with totally separate pages or mixed in together pages, if a leaflet is ever produced. C.C. suggested he contact CAMRA for a flyer in Welsh directing people to the internet.
6.2 Postcodes. There was a discussion about members being put into the wrong branch due to their postcode.
- Situations Vacant.
These are area organizer (West Wales) and Champion beer of Wales organizer.
On RZ comments, CC will advise all branches.
- Brewery Liaison. As Brian Francis did not attend or send a report, no further action was possible.
- Cider report. Was attached with the agenda and also reproduced at Appendix 2.
- Drinkers Voice.
Concerns were raised from Gwent branch about the involvement of CAMRA with the organization, on political grounds. There are possibly better alternatives that should have our backing. A suggestion was made to ask for more details and greater clarification.
Attachment 1 shows a later e-mail with the concerns of Martyn Groucutt.
At the moment there are bars, pumps and other festival equipment in a storage that has to be vacated by Easter 2018. These items are available to all branches. A new storage area is needed and becoming urgent. Attachment 2 shows 8 bars x 8 ft. erected, Attachment 3 shows all 8 bars in a van for transportation.
- Branch reports.
12.1 Some were attached with the agenda and are reproduced below at Appendix A. Swansea and Bae Ceredigion were verbally given with input from Cardiff about their 2018 beer festival.
Part of the Radnorshire report was that Watson’s Ale House micropub recently opened in Knighton.
An update for excursion purposes. At weekends they open at 12 noon and are 20 miles by road or 6 stops by train away from Arvon Ale House in Llandrindod. with its 4.00 pm. weekend opening hours.
No reports were submitted from, Abercolwyn, Chester & South Clwyd, Gwynedd A Mon, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire, Teifi Valley (sub branch), and Vale of Clwyd.
12.2 A discussion about festivals in Wales resulted in C.C. to contact Duncan re. 2019 new GBBF Wales details.
13.1 Young person’s branch trying to be started in Cardiff.
13.2 South East Wales Beer Necessities magazine self-supporting from the start and going well enough to give donations to branches for campaigning purposes.
13.3 Rhys Jones legacy to CAMRA to be clarified by Bae Ceredigion branch.
- DVNM. 12th May Cris Bartlett to arrange venue.
Appendix 1 – Directors Report
Since I took over from Duncan some three month ago I certainly have had a vertical learning curve to the position of RD Wales.
My first function with only a few days’ notice was the NE/RD meeting in Newcastle upon Tyne, and I realised this was a whole new level with CAMRA.
For anyone that thinks I have been ignoring them, this is not the case I have also had problems, with emails.
There is a group email system RD@camra.org.uk. This caused me the most problems to get it to recognise me, and this has only been achieved this last week with the assistance of Jak from the CAMRA IT department.
Since I changed up to Windows 10 my email address firstname.lastname@example.org, which I have had since updating from an abacus and pigeons back in the late 1980s has not been working very well. After receiving 250 emails a “box” full of 98% complete rubbish (e.g. Do I won’t a Russian wife, am I getting the best Viagra etc.) stopped me receiving any further mail, until it was emptied. This my email host failed to solve.
In order to resolve these problems, I broadcast to all, my new email,
together with my other contact details, phones land line, mobile, snail mail address, and skype. But I understand in spite of this some people have had problems in contacting me. Hopefully now with CAMRA sorting out RDWales@camra.org.uk, and with my new personal email there will not be any further difficulties.
Meeting at Welsh Assembly
On 30th of this month there is a meeting at the WAG where we will be discussing the progress of the ACV’s to protect pub and other local disappearing community services.
Following the Autumn budget the chancellor, attempt to control youngsters drinking “White Cider” which is a chemically produced high acholic drink sold mainly in supermarkets at very cheap rates. He raised the tax band of 7.5% to 8,5% ABV beverages. The WAG is proposing to put 50p per unit on acholic drinks giving a double “Whammy”. Whilst we agree youngsters obtaining and drinking these “White Ciders” does need controlling, this increase in duty is not the way to do it.
Raising the duty, and this new proposed 50p per unit, has a blanket effect for the entire drinks industry which we wish to discuss with the WAG.
CAMRA Welsh Director
Cider Pub of the Year 2018
If your branch does not currently submit an entry into this competition, please seriously consider doing so.
Remember that CAMRA campaigns for real cider/perry as well as real ale. The competition also provides
another chance for pubs to receive welcome extra publicity.
Cider Pub of the Year
The deadline dates for National Cider Pub of the Year 2018 are as follows: –
- Branch Winners to their respective Regional Cider Co-Ordinator – 11th March 2018
- Regional Winners to National Cider Pub of the Year Organiser – 20th May 2018
- Presentation to National Winner – on or about 1st October 2018
Although not mandatory, entries may stand the best chance of progressing in the competition if the judging criteria used in the later stages are also used at the branch stage.
Please note that entries don’t have to stock a wall of 30+ ciders. It’s quality, not quantity that matters!
The Cider Pub of the Year Procedures Document is on the CAMRA website at
http://www.camra.org.uk/awards-procedures. The judging form and guidelines, which are used in the later stages of the competition, are appended to this memo.
If a branch has any queries relating to Branch/Regional Cider POTY, they should get in touch with their Regional Cider Co-ordinator.
CAMRA Wales Cider co-ordinator
APPENDIX 3 – BRANCH REPORTS
Mid Glam Branch
POTY & COTY both chosen at January meeting. Certificates ordered and obtained in readiness for presentations. Dates yet to be set.
- POTY Pencelli Hotel, Treorchy.
- COTY Real Ale Farm, Gilfach Fargoed
GBG surveying well under way, data inputting to Pubzilla in progress. Expect to complete on time.
Otley Brewery- change of brewer. Reports of rather dramatic beer flavour profile drifts, not for the better. Observations invited.
Grey Trees Brewery seeking larger premises, to include shop and tap room.
Well Drawn Brewery
4.4% Gold (core range) 4.0% Narwhale Blonde (seasonal). IPA & red ale planned. Brewery shop planned.
Recruiting a sales rep, anticipating doubling of turnover in 2018.
Hop Flux One is an acidified IPA available soon, first of 2018 seasonals.
Tap takeover at Devonshire Cat, Sheffield planned for 31st January.
Latest branch membership total 388.
Neath & Port Talbot (NPT) Sub Branch Report
Wales Regional Meeting 27th January 2018
- The NPT 2018 POTY competition was opened up to include members of both NPT and Swansea. Reciprocally, the Swansea 2018 POTY competition invited NPT members to participate. This initiative was a collaborative approach by both NPT and Swansea committee members to increase the number of participants and interest in the competition, plus maintain and increase integration between the branches.
- NPT POTY & Cider POTY Finalist pubs were selected at the November branch meeting. These were (for both POTY and Cider POTY):
- Ancient Briton (Pen y Cae)
- Corner House (Ystalyera)
- Pontardawe Inn.
- POTY Joint Vote meeting undertaken at Hogarths, Swansea on 15th Winners of NPT competitions were:
- POTY: Ancient Briton
- Cider POTY: Ancient Briton
- GBG 2019
- At November branch meeting, GBG 2019 pubs shortlist (13 pubs) drawn up and allocated to specific branch members for detailed surveying for the final list of entries to be decided.
- On 15th January, at Hogarths, Swansea, the final list of entries were decided (10 entries in total: Ancient Briton plus 9 NPT borough pubs).
- NPT Brewery details confirmed for 2019 GBG.
- Membership currently stands at 202
- A number of NPT members joined Swansea members for the Swansea Christmas ‘Walkabout’
- NPT ‘Post Christmas Walkabout’ saw a number of Swansea members join NPT members enjoying the real ales available in Port Talbot
- 2 x social events organised for forthcoming 6Nations rugby tournament.
VALE OF GLAM & BRIDGEND
Branch Report – January 2018
Despite frequent efforts, the branch continues to get very little or no response from emails and social media messages to engage with the committee, although the branch’s Facebook page is well read.
We have had no response to requests for young members to become more active. This is unsurprising as fewer than 10% (about 30) of our members are under the age of 30, and not having any Universities in the branch greatly hampers any targeted recruitment efforts. We have Barry and Bridgend colleges, but many of their students are under 18 and I’m not sure we would be welcome on their campuses.
However, we have attempted to engage with members via Social media, inviting them to a Christmas Social walk-about in Cardiff. There was again no response from branch members.
CAMRA Revitalisation Project
The Branch agreed that it would be wrong to form a collective view on any voting on the Revitalisation Project options, preferring to take an individual approach. Nevertheless, it is notable that some members of the branch committee hold very strong views against an outcome that gives CAMRA’s organisational support to craft beers other than real ale.
Pub- and Club-of-the-Year Judging
The Branch held two away-days to judge the All Wales P-o-t-Y and C-o-t-Y. The first for South Wales, taking in The New Inn and the Real Ale Farm, the second to Mid and North Wales, taking in The Druid Inn, Rhyl Sports & Social Club and The Mold Ale House, a round trip of about 400 miles.
Scoring was very close in a couple of cases but, for us, the Druid Inn and The Real Ale Farm stood out.
Good Beer Guide Selections
The committee is currently selecting pubs and clubs for the GBG, with recent meetings poring over beer scoring averages. It’s notable that many of the usual suspects are again in the running for the top awards, but by no means all of them.
Fortunately, What Pub is well monitored by a couple of our committee members, so outcomes are quite accurate and only the close calls are hotly debated.
Pub Openings and Closures
The branch has enjoyed an uplifting few months, with one new pub and pub re-openings outnumbering pub closures. The new pub is No.1 Town Hall Square in Cowbridge, a sister pub to the Coach, which is a regular GBG entry. The committee intends to compile an article highlighting this trend for the next Beer Necessities and possibly What’s Brewing.