CAMRABC Awards for 2013

CAMRABC will present 4 awards in October in Powell River to recognize efforts by our members and the craft brewing community in furthering the goals of the organization.

All members of CAMRABC are invited to submit their nominations for the four categories. The form for nominations will be available on the CAMRA BC website (camrabc.ca/awards) and links posted on the branch newsletters and websites.

The nominations will open on August 1 and close midnight August 23rd. CAMRA BC Executive will vote on the final candidates and winners will be announced & presented at the Powell River Octoberfest on October 4.

CAMRA BC executive members and branch executive members are ineligible for nomination.

Lifetime contribution - sponsor: Victoria branch

  • CAMRA member who has made a significant contribution to the organization, elevation of craft beer awareness in the community.
  • involved in the organization for a significant part of the society’s existence but not necessarily known to all members of the society
  • exemplifies ideals of commitment and involvement.
  • contributions while a member where significant in expanding the society or establishing its reputation.

Community activism for the Calendar year 2013- sponsor: Powell River branch

  • Brewer/licensee or politician – a part of the Craft Beer triangle
  • initiates, hosts and/or participates in activities that benefit the greater community  - environmental or outreach e.g. hosting a charity event, implementing ‘green’ brewing procedures.
  • goes above and beyond beer.

Innovation in 2013 - sponsor: South Fraser branch

  • Meets CAMRA brewing standards and commitment to real ale
  • Exceeds industry standards in leadership and innovation
  • Happy staff/happy customers
  • Good corporate citizen

Volunteer of  Year 2013 - sponsor: Vancouver branch

  • CAMRA member who is outstanding in their service to the branch/society.
  • Takes on the grunt work of the branch – not just organizing but also the one who always takes the coats and cleans up afterwards.
  • General dogsbody of the branch and most likely to be voted “I’d have a pint with him/her”
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Happy Hour Press Release 7/2/14

FUSS logo
New Happy Hour Laws Not So Pleasant, Local Advocacy Group Finds
CAMRA BC Sends Letter to Policy Makers Following Happy Hour Announcement

(Vancouver—July 2) In the wake of a policy directive released by the provincial government on June 20th that revealed happy hour would finally be coming to restaurants and bars across British Columbia, beer lovers are now finding themselves a little more than shortchanged. Despite the growing popularity of craft beer in British Columbia, many consumers were shocked to discover that a pint of beer will now be available for no less than $5.00—before tax and tip, that is. The Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC (CAMRA BC), a local consumer advocacy group, is asking consumers to speak up against this drastic and arbitrary price increase.
The group sent a letter on Friday, June 27 explaining the impact the Liberal government’s new minimum pricing for alcoholic beverages will have on the service industry and its consumers, as well as its relation to their FUSS, or Fess Up to Serving Sizes, campaign. Addressed to Attorney General Suzanne Anton, Parliamentary Secretary John Yap, LCLB General Manager Douglas Scott, NDP Alcohol Portfolio Critic Shane Simpson and Premier Christy Clark, the letter is a reminder that while consumers in the larger metropolitan areas of the province may be used to high liquor prices while enjoying a night out, it will come as a shock to many of the province’s smaller communities.
“This policy directive will not affect the wallets of most Vancouverites or Victorians who are already used to paying exorbitantly high prices while enjoying a drink on a patio or dinner at a restaurant, but these increases, which are effective immediately, will be a shock to consumers and small business owners throughout the rest of the province,” says CAMRA BC Advocacy Committee Representative and Powell River Branch President, Paddy Treavor.
“For many independent restaurants and pubs, this will mean raising the price of their products whether they want to or not. Doing so will particularly affect those in smaller communities, whose pricing has stayed lower while in recent years the price of a pint in Vancouver and Victoria has been steadily on the rise.”
The issue extends beyond just craft beer, however. Effective immediately, the new minimum price for all draft and bottled beer purchased at any restaurant, pub, or bar across British Columbia is 25 cents per ounce, excluding tax and tip. Whether it’s Molson Canadian or your favourite local craft brew, this means business owners can’t charge less than $5 for a pint (20 oz), or $15 for a pitcher (60 oz). BC now has the highest minimum price for beer of any province in the country, well ahead of Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta, whose minimum beer prices are 18, 16.7, and 16 cents per ounce, respectively.
“The terms ‘sleeve’ and ‘pint’ have become ambiguous in today’s service industry, the former ranging anywhere from 12 to 16 ounces and the latter from 16 to 20. This highlights the importance of our FUSS, or Fess Up to Serving Sizes, campaign, which asks the LCLB to enforce their own legislation that all requires restaurants and bars to publish the volume of every drink they serve so consumers know exactly how much liquid is in each serving. Now that BC has the highest minimum pricing for beer of any province in the country, it is more important than ever to let consumers know exactly what they are paying for,” insists Adam Chatburn, President of the CAMRA BC Vancouver Branch.
“If the LCLB insists on mandating minimum drink pricing, consumer awareness of serving volumes is imperative to ensuring not only public safety but also that restaurants and bars are not manipulating the price to their advantage. This legislation exists with good reason and enforcing it is imperative to maintaining public safety while helping prevent consumer fraud.”
CAMRA BC is urging concerned consumers to write, email and even tweet to their local MLA and express their displeasure with the minimum pricing regulations as well as the ongoing practice of being served undefined drink sizes. “We have been told that law enforcement has bigger things to worry about, but ignoring laws designed to prevent bars from misleading, and frankly overcharging, consumers while risking public health and safety is a very serious issue if you ask me,” Chatburn concludes.

You can follow the un-Happy Hour campaign as it develops by using the #unhappyhour and #FUSS hashtags. You can learn more about CAMRA BC’s stance on Happy Hour and FUSS here and here, respectively. For other CAMRA BC initiatives and how to get involved visit www.camrabc.ca.

ABOUT CAMRA BC

The Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia was formed in 1985 over a pint at the Rowing Club in Stanley Park and has supported the responsible evolution of craft beer in British Columbia ever since. As the province’s only consumer advocacy group for craft beer and financed wholly by membership dues, CAMRA BC is a 100% volunteer-run and independent organization that supports consumer choice through policy reform that reflects the values of education, creating craft beer awareness and supporting home brewing initiatives.

For media inquiries and interview opportunities please contact CAMRA BC’s Communications Coordinator at comm...@camrabc.ca

CAMRA BC
P.O. Box 36082
Esquimalt, B.C. V9A 7J5
camrabc.ca – @CAMRABC

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FUSS Campaign Response Letter 6/27/14

Dear Minister Anton,

On behalf of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Society of British Columbia, I would like to thank you for your response to our letter dated April 21, 2014 concerning a number of liquor policy issues. Our letter addressed the misrepresentation of draft beer serving sizes in BC, the lack of enforcement of existing liquor policy that requires licensees to have a list available showing their available drinks—including the size and price of each, and our suggestions on how to better promote public health and safety while protecting consumers.

Unfortunately we do not believe that our concerns were adequately addressed and, judging from the response, you did not understand our concern for promoting public health and safety through our suggestion that policy be created to require marked glassware be used by all licensees when serving draft beer products.

It also appears by your response that the BC Liberal Government and the Justice Minister & Attorney General’s Offices are condoning the common practice of dishonest business practices with little or no sympathy for the draft beer consumers of our province.

CAMRA BC’s Fess Up to Serving Sizes (FUSS) Campaign has focused on one simple concept: that the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch actively enforce the existing BC liquor policy that requires all licensees to have a list of drinks available for consumers that explicitly states all drink sizes and prices. We have repeatedly pointed out that this policy is widely ignored, or that when serving sizes are declared by many licensees, those serving sizes are grossly inaccurate.

This has resulted in consumers being mislead and serving sizes misrepresented in this province for decades.

Other than your acknowledgement that there is policy in place, our points regarding serving size and price lists were ignored and rebuked with indifference, “If a customer is not pleased with the service in an establishment, they have the choice of raising the issue with the licensee or taking their business to other bars or restaurants.”

Our question to you, then, is this: If protecting consumers is not a priority to the BC Liberal Government in regards to ensuring liquor licensees are not cheating their customers by misrepresenting their serving sizes, why do you have a policy requiring a serving size and price list in the first place? What is the rationale behind this policy?

Now that there is a minimum price tied to volume for all alcoholic drinks, is it not paramount to the LCLB to know exactly how much beer is in a glass, or liquor in a shot? Is it not a priority to ensure licensees are not manipulating the price to their advantage, be that overcharging, by claiming glass sizes are bigger than they actually are, or undercharging, by stating glassware is actually smaller than it is? Is it not in the interest of public health and safety to ensure patrons can regulate exactly how much alcohol they are consuming?

Regarding your comments about marked glassware, your response makes no sense in relation to what we were suggesting. You stated, “It would be a burden for provincial liquor inspectors and police to measure glassware in addition to their other duties.” We contend this is the exact opposite of what should occur if you adopted our proposed marked glassware policy.

By requiring certified, marked glassware to be used, liquor inspectors would, in fact, not have to measure a single glass as the certifying agency has already done this and verified the volume of the glassware as such.

If you insist on pursuing some level of minimum pricing, consumer awareness of serving volumes are imperative and it makes no sense for the LCLB and their inspectors to be ignorant of precisely how much beer is in each glass. This will ensure licensees are not manipulating their drink prices to either cheat consumers or get around government mandated minimum drink prices.

We urge you to revisit our suggestions and concerns as we feel that they would create a win-win situation where the government can continue to promote public health and safety and ensure that LCLB policies are being adhered to while protecting consumers who have been cheated and ignored for decades in this province.

We would love to have the opportunity to sit down with yourself and representatives from the LCLB and Liberal Government to discuss these issues face-to-face. Our objective is promote public health and safety, which we highlighted in our original letter, while protecting consumers from unscrupulous or misinformed licensees and we believe our solutions would go a long way towards modernizing BC liquor policy.

We thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your response and setting up face-to-face meetings.

Sincerely,

Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia (CAMRA BC), Advocacy Committee

Maureen Blaseckie – President, CAMRA BC
Paddy Treavor – Powell River Branch President
Adam Chatburn – Vancouver Branch President
Chad McCarthy – Vancouver Branch Vice President

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