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CAMRA’s LocAle scheme – how it works for pubs and breweries

LocAle is a CAMRA scheme which encourages pubs to stock beer from local breweries. Stocking a local beer can enable pubs to differentiate themselves from other local pubs, and gain new customers and increased beer sales. Stocking locally-brewed real ale also enables pubs to offer drinkers something different to the bottled beers that are available in supermarkets and off licenses as well as supporting local business. The scheme builds on a growing consumer demand for quality local produce and an increased awareness of ‘green’ issues.

Any pub can join the scheme if it agrees to sell at least one locally-brewed real ale which should be permanently available. Joining the LocAle scheme is free and accreditation is easy, so simply contact your local CAMRA branch. Only real ale can be promoted as a CAMRA LocAle.

Pubs which have been given LocAle status by their local CAMRA branch can display the LocAle sticker on their windows/doors. The stickers have the year for which they have been accredited as LocAle pubs by their branch. They may also have posters up in the pub and on the pumps that are serving locally brewed beers there will be LocAle pump clip crowners.


Q What is CAMRA’s definition of local?

A   Each CAMRA branch participating in the scheme is able to decide on what they think is an appropriate definition of local for their area. For example, Nottingham CAMRA adopted a definition of 20 miles and York CAMRA has opted for a 25 mile definition. Simply contact your local CAMRA branch to find out what definition of “local” has been agreed on for your area.

 How is the distance between pub and brewery measured?

A   The distance is usually based on the shortest driving distance. This can be easily calculated by using website route planners, such as AA Route Planner and RAC Route Planner.

  What if beer from a brewery is delivered 50 miles away to a distribution centre before being delivered back to my pub only 10 miles away from the brewery?

A   Because the brewery is local to your pub then the beer still qualifies as a local beer. Encouraging pubs to serve local real ales is the first step to reducing beer miles.

Q   What about licensees who are prevented from stocking a local beer by their lease or tenancy agreement?

A   Speak to your Business Relationship Manager to see whether a special arrangement can be made to enable you to sell one local real ale. The SIBA’s Direct Delivery Scheme allows some lessees of Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns and Admiral Taverns the option of stocking real ale delivered directly from a local brewer

A CAMRA survey found that the LocAle initiative has helped increase the amount of local real ales available in pubs. 86% of CAMRA branches surveyed confirmed that the scheme was doing what it set out to do. The survey also found that the scheme was highly thought of by publicans, branches and brewers alike. Comments included:

“There was enthusiastic support from several licensees. One pub pushes locally brewed real ales on its website.”

“Licensees react positively to being accredited as a LocAle pub. They see it as a sign from CAMRA that they are a ‘good pub’.”

“One brewery Rudgate has reported that it has increased the number of local outlets it supplies and gives credit to LocAle for some of this increase.”

Benefits of LocAle

  • Public houses as stocking local real ales can increase pub visits
  • Consumers who enjoy greater beer choice and diversity
  • Local brewers who gain from increased sales
  • The local economy because more money is spent and retained locally
  • The environment due to fewer ‘beer miles’ resulting in less road congestion and pollution
  • Tourism due to an increased sense of local identity and pride – let’s celebrate what makes our locality different