Call to pimp-up the pump clip

Can the Irish craft beer movement learn from the UK Campaign for Real Ale’s latest research on the potential value of putting tasting notes on the draught-pump clip?

CAMRA  has called on British breweries to revolutionise the way they promote their beers in pubs by making it standard to highlight how a beer looks, smells and tastes on hand-pumps. It believes this can help grow the real ale market after new research showed 68% of real ale drinkers would try more varieties of real ale if brief tasting notes appeared on pump clips.

Such a move could help grow the real ale market there, believes the organisation – which should be of interest to those supplying craft beers here in Ireland.

The research also showed that 18% of people who’ve never tried real ale before would be encouraged to do so if pump clips provided more information on how the beer tasted. This was especially true of younger people, with a whopping 44% of 18 to 24 year-olds saying they’d give real ale a go if provided with this information.

“CAMRA believes the new research highlights it is time to improve the information at the Point Of Sale to help consumers understand what a beer is like before they purchase it,” commented Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications.

Beer sales figures issued by the British Beer & Pub Association recently show beer sales in pubs have experienced only their third quarterly increase since 2000, but the organisation’s research shows that a new approach to promoting real ale on the bar is needed in order to encourage more people to try different real ales and possibly bring new people into the market.

Where before, the pump clip was used just to promote the beer’s name and associated brewery, the research shows that consumers now want breweries to use this limited space in a more productive way to describe their beers so that they can make an informed decision at the bar.

“We’ve seen some breweries in recent times introduce some great ways of doing this” Tom Stainer continued, “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 change.”

Batemans Brewery in Lincolnshire, for example, recently introduced tasting notes on key rings attached to the pump clips.


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