What is a CAMRA Brewery Liaison Officer (BLO)

In my multifaceted involvement with CAMRA, one of my roles is that of a Brewery Liaison Officer (BLO). In this blog post, I will delve into the intricacies of this role and elucidate its significance for breweries in their association with CAMRA.

CAMRA, in its internal memorandum (which is publically searchable), outlines the responsibilities of a Brewery Liaison Officer, defining the BLO as follows:

The role of the Brewery Liaison Officer (BLO) is to be a link between an appointed Brewery and CAMRA.

Why Breweries Should Engage with CAMRA and Their BLO

Engaging with CAMRA and its Brewery Liaison Officers offers a variety of benefits for breweries:

  • Free Marketing: CAMRA provides a platform for breweries to gain visibility, reaching a wide audience of beer enthusiasts.
  • Champion Beer of Britain (CBOB) Competition: Breweries have the opportunity to showcase their best brews and compete for the prestigious title of Champion Beer of Britain.
  • Participation in CAMRA Beer Festivals: CAMRA organizes over 180 beer festivals annually, providing breweries with a chance to have their beers ordered and featured.
  • Feedback and Reviews: CAMRA members are typically passionate about beer. Engaging with a CAMRA BLO can provide your brewery with valuable feedback and reviews from a wide audience.

The Responsibilities of a BLO and Their Impact on Breweries

In essence, being a BLO involves maintaining constant communication with the brewery. Tasked with updating CAMRA's internal database, the Brewery Information System (BIS), with essential details about the brewery, including news, particulars, and beer information.

Simultaneously, a BLO plays a crucial role in disseminating information about the brewery to CAMRA members and branches. Additionally, any feedback or relevant information from CAMRA members is conveyed back to the brewery.

Understanding the Time Commitment of a BLO

The initial phase often requires dedicating an hour to fill in and update basic details about the brewery, particularly if it's a new entry. Subsequently, the process involves entering details about each beer produced, averaging 5-10 minutes per beer.

Fortunately, much of the required information can be sourced from platforms like Untappd. However, collaboration with the brewery becomes pivotal to determine the CAMRA Beer Style, serving methods, availability (one-off, yearly, monthly, etc.), and optional details such as OG, ingredients, and tasting notes.

Periodically, I reach out to the brewery for updates, ensuring that the information is current. This entire process, which includes communication with the brewery, relaying updates to CAMRA, and other necessary tasks, should not exceed a couple of hours per month.