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Friday, 28 February 2014

Discount for CAMRA members

The Font, round the corner from Manchester Oxford Road station gives a whopping 25% discount to CAMRA members. That reduced my pint of Magic Rock Ringmaster from an expensive £3.60 to a very reasonable £2.70. It presumably indicates that the margin on cask beer in this bar is pretty high.

22 comments:

  1. It most likely indicates that CAMRA members are being subsidised by other customers.

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    1. Possibly, but the Font is not a cheap bar to drink in. The discount is only on the cask beers. You need a deep wallet to afford the bottles and craft kegs.

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    2. ...or to look at it another way, theres a 33% premium being charged for drinking cask beer without a CAMRA card. Fantastic.

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  2. Why is that a bad thing? Join CAMRA, surely recommended for real ale drinkers, purchase cask beer in the Font a few nights a week and you'll soon recoup your subscription. Or you could just drink keg beer, some of which is good but almost all of it is overpriced. I've no problem with paying the appropriate price for a quality product but I get the impression that the 'hipsters' are a cash cow for some bars.

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  3. I guess its worth joining the beard club, for the discounts, if you like that sort of grog.

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  4. Why is it a bad thing? Well, for a start, it bolsters what has been called "CAMRA's culture of entitlement"; it encourages the campaign to inflate its own importance (how many members are actually campaigning for "great quality real ale and pubs" and how many are merely joining the "beard club" for the discounts?); those who choose (for whatever reason) not to join the gang are charged a premium; there's a whiff of the protection racket about the whole scheme (you'd better give us a discount or we're off to 'spoons); it threatens the margins of those very pubs that CAMRA's supposed to be all about protecting. Apart from that, it's a great idea.

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  5. That's bad, String? Why have a consumer union if not to flex that muscle in collective bargaining ? Trades unions do it over pay, why not a consumer union over prices?

    Sure, some mugs think the beard club is some altruistic campaign for pubs and breweries like yours, but we know different 'cos we ain't daft, matey. It's us punters V you beer vendors. Flog it me cheaper!.

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    1. Well @cookie, unless a closed shop is being operated (and that's a bad thing, right?) all workers benefit from strong labour unions. So the incentive for a worker to join is not simply the immediate benefit, but the meta-incentive (it's in every worker's interest to have strong unions - we make them stronger by joining). If the campaign is reduced to bribing people to join (with member benefits) it's not working for The Punters is it? Just The Members. The members become the enemy of the drinker without a card,

      I see a sign that says "CAMRA discounts" I don't whip my card out (you'd say I'm irrational), I think "self-serving tw*ts". And I bet I'm not the only one. Is that the message the Campaign wants to send?

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    2. P.S. Of course some establishments offer "loyalty cards" to regular customers (take that how you will) which reflect the discounts the offer to CAMRA members Like this. Nice idea.

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    3. All workers benefit from strong labour unions? How do London based workers attempting to get to work benefit from a Bob Crow's strikes? The union members benefit, at the expense of none members.

      As a consumer, I can rationally decide whether I am better off in the union or out of it. If I like pub based grog, and it's cheaper to union members, then I'm better off in. Otherwise I'm better off out.

      Unions always represent their members, at the expense of none members.

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    4. Of course unions don't just call strikes for fun. They also work against service cuts, reductions in staff training, etc. For H&S, that kind of crap.

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    5. Nah, they protect the pay, benefits & conditions of their members. When possible they lay claim to protecting the services of the end customer or none members as they seek support for there actions beyond their own members after realizing this may play a part in their overall success, considering the inconvenience of their actions.

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    6. It's a terrible bleak dog-eat-dog world inside Cookie's head isn't it? It's all selfishness and 'orrible "darwinian" competition. Maslow's hammer, they call that.

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  6. The discount for CAMRA members baffled me when I was in the dog n gun in Keswick, they do 20p off a pint for camra members, they even asked some punters if they were members, they didn't ask me or the wife though and I decided i didn't want to ask as wasn't sure who took the hit on the 20p, next time I might ask and then put the 20p in the mountain rescue box.

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    1. Take the 20p!. I used to get CAMRA discounts even before I had a card. Often just a "yeh I'm a member" is enough. Kerching. No need to flash a card. Money is always, always better off in your own pocket. You know how to spend it. Others don't. It is to the benefit of society to keep money in the hands of people that know what to do with it (yourself) and out of the hands of those that don't (governments, publicans, everyone else)

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  7. I'm not sure if StringersBeer has some kind of hidden agenda here, but the ferocity of his arguments seems somewhat disproportionate-unfortunately the peevish nature of them has led to some poorly made points and total over-reaction- I am assuming that the bar in question has made the decision of its own free will to offer a very generous CAMRA discount, so why have a go at CAMRA? Do you really believe that the tiny number of CAMRA members who frequent this pub are being subsidised by the masses paying £3.60-have you asked the landlord if he believes that's the case? Why when you see the sign "CAMRA discounts" do you think "self-serving tw*ts"-is it not the pub who has instigated the discount, and, if so why should any CAMRA member be embarrassed to accept? The whole premise of your argument seems to be that the ordinary punter is paying a premium to subsidise CAMRA members-so imagine the amount spent across the bars of the UK every year and the amount saved in CAMRA discounts-enough said don't you think?

    On the issue of joining CAMRA, I fully accept the majority of members may not be active campaigners, but by paying our subs (a voluntary act-perhaps we shouldn't bother as we'd save more in a year than we would in CAMRA discounts subsidised by the enslaved masses paying their beer premium) we are showing support for the general aims of the organisation, for good beer and financial support for campaigns.

    Finally I think the example of "you'd better give us a discount or we're off to 'spoons" only cements the view that your ire has got the better of you-the irony won't be lost on CAMRA members with their wad of 50p off vouchers slowly going out of date in their wallets.

    (as an aside to BeerReviewsAndy, when in the excellent Dog & Gun I did a) receive my CAMRA discount and b) put it straight into the mountain rescue box with the rest of my change-so maybe even us bloodsucking CAMRA members have a heart somewhere deep inside.....)

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    1. Golly, realalemike, that's a long one. Tell me Mike, where do you think the money's coming from? And why do you think we (as CAMRA members - I am, I'm assuming you are), should have it?

      P.S. just calling arguments "peevish" or "poorly made" doesn't answer them. But it does make you sound rather smug and superior. I assume that's the effect you were going for?

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  8. Hi StringersBeer,

    I don't consider myself either smug or superior, so if that was how it came across I apologise. I am a CAMRA member and at no point did I say I should receive a CAMRA discount, rather that I appreciate it when it is offered and don't feel embarrassed or like a "self seving tw*t" for gratefully accepting it-at the end of the day that's just a point of view and I accept that we differ in our outlook.

    To answer your question, I don't believe for a moment that the vast majority of the beer drinking public who receive no CAMRA discount (99.99%?) are in any way subsiding those who do-a point I have already made.

    Finally I agree that calling arguments "peevish" or "poorly made" doesn't answer them, but my lengthy missive (as acknowledged) offered my alternate view, whether or not you felt the arguments had merit.

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    1. You answer neither point. At length.

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  9. The drift of my original post was "The beer is expensive but a larger than normal discount makes it more acceptable." I didn't realise that the fact that I hadn't been ripped off was a problem. This bar is aimed at a different market to your typical cask ale pub so they obviously think that a discount to entice CAMRA members will help to ensure that they can continue to offer a choice of cask and aren't left with stale beer. So everyone wins. It's their choice to offer the discount, no one forced them. Many establishments offer discounts to some but not others. A number of butty bars near my workplace give a discount if I show my I.D. badge. I work for the biggest employer in this part of town so there is competition for my cash. Small employers aren't offered this discount. That's capitalism for you.

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  10. StringersBeer - in brief, I did.

    Birkonian - certainly got the blog going this one! At the risk of being accused of being smug and/or superior, not sure the CAMRA discount can be compared to capitalism at work-I don't see that CAMRA obtains discounts due to the size of its membership -it may gently suggest those who want to offer a discount can do so, but there is no compunction-it is at the pub's discretion, surely? (to be fair, as you state yourself).

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  11. No you didn't... but never mind. Birko' - my apologies for ranting here, it's not the place, I'll try to resist in future

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