There's not going to be a campaign for that for much longer
The campaign name There’s A Beer For That may have got cynics like me trying to think of things there wasn’t a beer for, but broadly speaking it was a force for good.
Over four years it took positive marketing messages about the social well-being and sensual joys of drinking beer to the wider world.
And soon, we assume, it will be no more, in its current form and name at any rate. Programme director David Cunningham has revealed that the emphasis of the campaign will change this year to focus on fighting increases in beer duty.
Forgive me while I yawn. Obviously I’m in favour of more tax, nor do I think that consumers shouldn't be reminded about the arguments against putting it up, but it’s a battle that’s already being forcefully fought by all manner of trade organisations and the PR machines of many of the bigger drinks producers, some of whom are There’s a Beer For That funders. Do we need another one? What would be of more use to brewers, retailers and pub owners at this stage – a campaign persuading more people to buy more great beer, or one asking them to write to their MP about excise duty?
More details on the campaign shift are to come – which will presumably include a name change, as There’s a Beer For That doesn’t really fit any more – but it seems a shame that it will just another mouthpiece for the anti-duty lobby when it has been performing a worthy job that no other generic organisation had hitherto been doing.
Perhaps Camra will fill some of the void if it finally gets round to becoming the celebrant of all quality beer, rather than just cask ale, a shift its own reforming consultation of 2016 recommended.
Cunningham cites research that shows “all key image scores for beer quality, diversity and versatility have improved significantly over the last four years” as a reason for moving on.
If we’re honest, that success probably has more to do with the work of individual brewers, bars, bottle shops, bloggers and beer writers than it does with There’s a Beer For That, but if even some of the credit can be given to the campaign then surely its success is a reason to keep it going, not to stop.