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Pumping up interest for cask beer drinkers

Added: Friday, August 15th 2014

handpumps

Brewers have been urged to include tasting notes on pump clips after new research showed 68% of real ale drinkers would branch out if they were given more information.

The poll by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, showed that 18% of people who have never tried cask beer before would do so if clips gave tasting notes – with the figure rising to 44% for 18-24 year-olds.

Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s head of communications, said: “CAMRA believes the new research highlights that it’s time to improve the information at the point of sale to help consumers understand what a beer is like before they purchase it. With approximately 1,200 British breweries now brewing more than 8,000 different real ales, it’s time to make this change and help introduce more people to the joys of real ale.”

Beer sales figures issued by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) last month showed beer sales in pubs had experienced only their third quarterly increase since 2000, but CAMRA claims a new approach is needed to encourage more experimentation and new drinkers.

Tom Stainer added: “The handpump and pump clip are synonymous with the British pub and historically breweries have used these to just promote their beer name and brewery. Our new research shows that consumers now want breweries to use this limited space in a more productive way to describe their beers so they can make an informed decision at the bar.

“We have seen some breweries in recent times introduce some great ways of doing this but many still concentrate on making the pump clips look attractive or tell the consumer something historical about the brewery. This is not what the consumer wants to know and we think it’s time for a change.”

Chiltern (Bucks), Harviestoun (Clackmannanshire), Hook Norton (Oxfordshire) and Saltaire (West Yorkshire) are among the breweries already describing their beers on their pump clips and Bateman (Lincolnshire) has recently introduced tasting notes on key rings that are attached to the pump clips.

The research was released at the Great British Beer Festival, which continues until Saturday, 16 August, at Kensington Olympia in London.