Why I Became President of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Society of Alberta
I know that at a local level the Alberta craft beer industry creates jobs, supports farmers, contributes to charities, and just generally makes our communities nicer places in which to live, work, and play. I also know that the industry is full of people who care deeply about their craft, collaborate rather than compete, and go out of their way to help each other. I wanted to be a part of that.
By Chris Walker on Jun. 01, 2017
I’m never going to be a brewer or a beer judge; I’m cool with that and you’ve all had a lucky escape. I’m simply a consumer who cares. And one of the things I care about is the beer I drink.
As I told my two oldest children, you’re better off spending a little more and drinking quality products, than spending less and drinking inferior products. And you better wait until you’re of age and you better drink responsibly. I also just happen to really enjoy craft beer.
The fact that the money I spend on the beer I drink goes back into the community I live in is an added bonus.
I Know Nothing About Craft Beer!
So, how did I end up as President of a craft beer volunteer thing when I know nothing about craft beer? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Calgary Stampede vs Alberta Craft Beer YouTube Video
In July of 2016, I came across the video below. In the video, Graham Sherman, co-founder of Tool Shed Brewing, talks about craft beer being locked out of the Calgary Stampede and why that’s a bad thing and must change. I wholeheartedly agree with Graham; Alberta craft beer must be present at one of Alberta’s premier events.
Brewery Tour Weekend in Calgary
Reacting to the news that I was going to spend a weekend in Calgary (I used to live in the Edmonton area) to take a tour of Village Brewery, my former spouse remarked “I hope you can make money with this” or something to that effect. And I thought, “why not?”
No One in the Alberta Craft Beer Industry Hired Me
As a result of my weekend in Calgary, I started contacting all the then active craft brewers in Alberta to offer my services (I’m an IT-type, management type consultant). I also contacted some brewery management software developers. As of this writing, I am not employed in the craft beer industry, nor do I have any clients in said industry. I remain, however, undaunted.
Compelled by Alberta Craft Beer
So, those three things combined made me want to go to work in craft beer. I really have no idea what I’d do, I just know that I feel compelled to find something. In the meantime, I’m going to participate how and when I can, and hopefully bring something meaningful to the table.
I love craft beer and I’m enamoured with the industry, so I’ve decided to contribute. However, I can’t do this alone. The CAMRA Executive is made up of a bunch of very talented, generous people. We’ve also been lucky to have a wonderful President the last three years, and I’ve got some pretty big boots to fill. So, I’m taking this opportunity to thank Natasha and wish her all the best on her journey (hint: it involves beer).
Drink Local, Drink Craft Beer
For those of you reading this that are beer drinkers, please go and try something from your local craft brewers. The beer’s probably pretty tasty and your community benefits. And for those of you in Alberta, consider signing up as a CAMRA Alberta member and supporting the craft beer industry. In return, you’ll enjoy discounts at local breweries, bars, and restaurants, and you’ll be supporting local businesses and charities.
If you (anyone in the Alberta craft beer community) have any comments, suggestions, complaints, related to how CAMRA Alberta serves the industry, or if you want to invite us for a pint, please reach out and let us know. We really are here for you guys.
About Chris Walker, Campaign for Real Ale Society of Alberta
A fondness for craft beer, a beer related video, and a snarky comment made Chris want to get involved in the local craft beer scene, so he did. Chris considers himself lucky to be able to participate in something about which he is so passionate, even if he isn’t an expert (yet). Favourite beer style: IPAs all the way, baby! Especially the real citrusy ones and the New England ones. Radler? Radler’s not even beer.
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