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The Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood
(SPBW), founded in 1963, is the oldest consumer-based group interested in stimulating the brewing of, increasing the awareness of, and encouraging the drinking of cask-conditioned real ale.
The SPBW was founded on December 6, 1963 at the Rising Sun,in Epsom, England out of a concern for a perceived decline in both quality and palatability of beer. This was attributed to the increasing use of gas pressure dispense and the introduction of keg beers.
In 1963 wooden casks were still regarded as synonymous with traditional draught beer. As metal casks rapidly replaced wooden ones, the Society relaxed its principles accordingly. Today the SPBW is more concerned with the contents than the container, but the original name has been retained for the sake of tradition.
The SPBW's aims are similar to those of CAMRA, but the emphasis is on activity within its autonomous Branches, which is mainly of a social nature. The SPBW's National Executive Committee maintains contact with breweries and other relevant bodies on issues of concern. It produces a quarterly magazine Pint in Hand and organizes an annual "National Weekend".
London Pub of the Year
The SPBW annually chooses a London Pub of the Year
(LPOTY). The competition was launched in 1980 as a reaction to a "best London pub" competition in a London evening paper, in which beer did not seem to be a significant criterion. A blog is kept of the LPOTY scoring adventure during the run-up to the award.
Other branches, in particular the Northern Ireland branch, also present local "Pub of the Year" awards.