ONE OF the most pleasant tasks for a CAMRA member is the sampling and grading of cask beers from local breweries.

A local ‘tasting panel’ is responsible for creating descriptions for the brewery section of the Good Beer Guide and to influence which local beers go forward to the prestigious Champion Beer of Britain competition.

The panel is comprised of volunteers who learn the basics of tasting beer through the understanding of styles, positive and negative flavours and the range of aromas and colours associated with beer.

It is interesting and fun to learn and then it’s practice, practice, practice!

Traditional beer styles cross a wide range from milds to bitters and best bitters, strong ales and golden ales, IPAs, stouts and porters, barely wines and speciality beers.

There’s also a new wave of brewers that are creating styles that push the boundaries, with offerings such as white stouts and black IPAs.

This makes for fascinating tasting sessions as well as proving that there’s beer out there for everyone’s taste.

Local members enjoy liaising with the breweries situated within the branch boundaries: Bridgehouse, Copper Dragon/Greyhawk, Dark Horse, Goose Eye, Naylor’s, Settle, Three Peaks, Timothy Taylor’s and Wishbone.

Combined, these breweries produce over 50 regularly brewed cask ales as well as numerous specials and seasonal brews.

As a consumer organisation CAMRA is always keen to spread the word about cask conditioned beers. Special tasting events can be organised for local groups to learn about beer styles.

These can be held in pubs or clubs and the programme tailored to include general or specific beer styles, local brewery beers or even beer and food matching. It is an entertaining and informative way to learn about beer.

If you are in a group that has been intrigued by beer styles but just don’t know where to start, let us organise a tasting event and help you to discover the wonderful world of beer.

Please contact Colleen Holiday by e-mailing