LIVEBLOG: Bearded London visits the CAMRA London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival

This Friday the Bearded London team head north to Camden, where we’ll be reporting live from the last night of the London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival.

This annual event is organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) who in recent years have been trying to shed their image as a group dominated by, well, bearded men.

Have they succeeded in their mission? Bearded London sincerely hopes not. Watch this space for updates from the Camden Centre, where we’ll be putting the ‘beer’ into ‘beard’. Hopefully not literally.

22.11 What did we find? Well, the real ale community has diversified considerably from their once-typical membership of middle-aged men. But we’re pleased to report that a significant proportion – nearly 20% – of attendees at this year’s London Drinker Beer and Cider festival proudly sported beards. It’s a great start to the weekend. Bearded London over and out.

21.07 This is Andrew Hall, another volunteer. His beard predates his CAMRA membership by five years – but he’s been a member of the ‘old guard’ for 15.

Andrew Hall, CAMRA

20.36 Following our Vine sweep, we’re conducting a quick beard survey. We’ve looked at 10 random samples of groups of 10 to find the rough proportion of beards. It’s a cool 18 beards in 100 – very nearly a fifth!

There are a lot of women here, but they make up only perhaps a quarter of all the attendees. Which means, we think, that the men here are more likely to be bearded than their brothers in the general public. The old stereotypes are clinging on…

19.53 We just caught up with Catherine Tonry, the festival organiser. She says while beards are still a mainstay of the beer festival, there’s a new generation of beards emerging as the real ale set diversifies. There are also more women drinking ale, which brings the beard quotient down somewhat. Certainly, looking around, there are a lot of them about. Good for gender parity, not so good for beards.

19.40 Beard number one! This is Carl, a steward. He’s been a proud ale drinker and beard wearer for years, but it’s only recently he’s noticed the trend for “beards you can hide a rat in” outside CAMRA circles. But does the old guard feel threatened? Well, no. It’s “the more the merrier” apparently!


18.51 And we’re off! See you soon.

2014-03-14 tweet

18.38 A quick test to make sure all our equipment is ship-shape…

About Christina Kenny

Christina Kenny is a music journalist based in London.
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One Response to LIVEBLOG: Bearded London visits the CAMRA London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival

  1. Pingback: You’re the top! Cole Porter proves that life really is good | D for Dalrymple

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