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Iain Loe wins South Herts Branch Award

Les Middlewood (left), Iain Loe (right)
Written by Les Middlewood

The Dave Burns Memorial Award was set up in 1997 in the name of a former Branch Chairman. Dave was also a former editor of Pints of View’s forerunner, the Hertfordshire Newsletter and had held most other Committee positions in the Branch. Along with other Branch members he had been a bar manager at the early Great British Beer Festivals, when they were held at Alexandra Palace. He left a strong impression on the working of the Branch in the 1970s and 80s and his stamp is found in many of the early branch campaigning achievements.

The Branch wanted to capture this spirit in a Branch award that would be presented to those whose hard work should be marked – to those whose efforts had really made a difference and usually over a long period of time. To date there have been just a dozen recipients, from CAMRA members to Publicans and Brewery representatives. Just twelve months ago we awarded departing Chairman, Phil Defriez with the “DBMA” following his 23-year stint in the position.

It is time to recognise the work of another strong campaigner. Iain Loe had been a CAMRA Branch Chairman in Bristol before a work opportunity took him to a new post at our headquarters in St Albans. He joined South Herts branch in the process and for many of us our first encounter with Iain was at a trip to Bateman’s brewery in 1989. His work at HQ was widespread but for many he will be best known as the architect of the European Beer Consumers Union which represents beer enthusiasts across the continent. Stories from his travels around the world, seeking out breweries and beer, are legion and this detailed gathered knowledge has often been utilised by CAMRA centrally and in Hertfordshire. And for me, joining Iain on a day trip to Brussels was a revelation as we scurried up alleyways and shortcuts (maximising drinking time!) discovering city pubs and bars – and drinking beers not regularly found on England’s shores.

Iain joined the South Herts Branch Committee as Press Officer. He was a key member of the first St Albans Beer Festival organising committee in 1996. Now retired from HQ and the Branch Committee, he still writes regularly for Pints of View and in the St Albans Beer and Cider Festival programme and can be called to arms on local and national campaigns. He is CAMRA’s representative on the Steering Group for the annual St Albans Food and Drink Festival.

The Branch is proud to present Iain with its highest award for individuals – and to add his name to the Branch DBMA role of honour. Our picture shows Iain (right) receiving the award from yours truly.

The list of previous winners can be found here.

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