Many of you will have seen the recent post by James on the Brewdog blog about CAMRA cancelling the Brewdog brewery stand at GBBF this year.
In an effort to pre-empt the usual suspects reblogging without having all of the information I thought I'd offer a more balanced opinion. I am no apologist for either Brewdog or CAMRA. (Full disclosure: I am a proud member of CAMRA and new shareholder of brewdog but I don't agree with everything that gets said/done).
First off it needs to be remembered that we have only heard Brewdog's side of the story so far; so before we can go jumping to conclusions we should wait to see what Marc Holmes/ the other GBBF organisers have to say. I have tweeted as much to the editor of What's brewing and the official Camra twitter and will try through other contacts if this has no success. Until that time we should hold off from forming an opinion (regardless of our natural prejudices).
I, like many of you, am disappointed that Brewdog beers will no longer be available at GBBF this year. It would have been a fantastic platform to showcase the beers and a good start to an at least cordial relationship between CAMRA and Brewdog. Not least it would show the (few) unconvinced CAMRA members that Brewdog has nothing to hide.
Will update as more info becomes available. In the meantime read Brewdog's side of the story here. Marc's orginal comments re. Brewdog appearance at GBBF (as taken from here):
"Some facts to answer questions floating about here and elsewhere:
- CAMRA buys the beer from the brewery, CAMRA sells the beer to the public, Brewdog are paying for the privilege of having a dedicated bar.
- The beer will be in 50l Keykegs. Unfortunately this will limit the amount we can order so it may run out.
- The beer will conform to CAMRA's definition of real ale - unpasteurised, unfiltered and with enough viable yeast to allow secondary fermentation (don't worry, we'll be checking...).
- It will be served using compressed air, as James says as per the foreign beers. At no point will the beer come into contact with extraneous CO2.
- If James wants to work behind the bar he can, as soon as he joins CAMRA, as per the terms of the contract."
EDIT: MArc has now replied to Brewdog's post as follows:
The reason Brewdog are not coming is that you didn’t pay the outstanding balance, as per the terms of the contract.
- The contract stated payment for the bar was due by May 27th. Giving you until July was very generous, nearly 7 weeks.
- The ultimatum was Thursday 12pm, you kept arguing and didn't agree until Friday 11am. Too late, we had programme deadlines to meet.
But to answer some of your other points:
- Right from the very start we said your beer must be supplied in large containers. We were happy with 50L kegs (as long as the beer contained live yeast) but you persisted in wanting to use 30L keykegs. Thornbridge did use 9G casks last year but it didn't work - they will be using 18G casks this year. We were looking at ordering in excess of 60 kils (equivalent) of beer, which is just not practical in 30L keykegs.
- You were the one that offered to supply cask beer in 18G casks.
Happy to start talking about GBBF 2012, and feel free to pop in this year to see how it works. I’ll even send you some tickets.
It seems therefore that Brewdog broke the terms of the contract and it was therefore nulled.
James mentioned receiving an email extending these deadlines, but the question is why did they wait so long to pay the balance?