UK brewers launch Cyclops to boost real ale sales

01 August 2006
UK brewers launch Cyclops to boost real ale sales

UK's brewers have followed the wine industry's lead today and launched a new initiative of simplified tasting notes for real ale.

Cyclops, the new scheme launched today at the Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court in London, has the backing of 14 real ale breweries.

Under the scheme, the brewers have agreed to follow a standardised template on all promotional material, describing the style, smell, look and taste of their beers.

Cyclops follows a pilot scheme introduced by Leicester brewer Everards, which simplified the language used to describe real ales on promotional materials so customers knew exactly what to expect.

A Campaign for Real Ale spokesman said: "Real ale is an incredibly complex drink with an enormous range of styles and tastes. Cyclops will demystify real ale so drinkers will know what a beer will look, smell and taste like before they part with their cash at the bar."

There are thought to be around 2,500 real ales on the market today, but while wine sales in the UK have rocketed in the past 40 years from one million hectolitres of wine to 13.8 million in 2005 off the back of savvy marketing, real ale sales have declined.

Breweries signed up to the scheme so far comprise: Everards (Leicestershire); Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries; Fuller's (London); Hall & Woodhouse (Dorset); Wadworth (Wiltshire); Charles Wells (Bedfordshire); Caledonian (Edinburgh); Titanic (Stoke on Trent); Hook Norton (Oxfordshire); Refresh UK (Oxfordshire); Robinson's (Cheshire); Elgoods (Cambridgeshire); Woodforde's (Norfolk); Camerons (County Durham).

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By Chris Druce

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