As disappointing as the rejection to support "all pub-goers and beer, cider and perry drinkers" is, perhaps we can still see some rays of hope?

At last weekend's CAMRA conference and AGM, members voted on a number of motions designed to modernise the organisation. Predictably the rejection of just one of them - a proposal to support "all pub-goers and beer, cider and perry drinkers" - has caused controversy.

But then when has CAMRA managed not to cause discord among its ranks?

The move rejects the notion that CAMRA would embrace other beer-styles such as lager and craft keg beers and hangs on to the idea that cask ale is superior to all other beer styles, which personally I find a bit depressing.

I've been vocal in my criticism of the organisation in the past, not least its record on sexist labelling, but I am sympathetic to the challenges of getting a 190,000-strong membership to reach agreement on anything.

In fact, this most recent vote, part of a wider move to modernise CAMRA called the Revitalisaion Project, gives me hope.

The motion got 72 per cent of the vote, not the 75 per cent needed I grant you, but a far higher proportion than I was expecting and how close.

There were other signs of change: CAMRA has dropped its opposition to the use of "cask breathers" for example, and conceded that CAMRA beer festivals should not be limited to real ale only.

There's no doubt the organisation has reached a difficult point in its journey. It has pretty much achieved what it was set up to do – Britain's pubs, bars and shops are now full of wonderful brews; the independent brewing industry is booming; people have rediscovered an appreciation of good beer.

So, what can CAMRA stand for now?

It's a question for the future generation of the body's members, many of whom I reckon we can credit for that 72 per cent of the vote. It seems to me it's not impossible to get enough support to nudge that figure over the magic 75 per cent, especially as membership numbers continue to grow.

A ray of hope perhaps?