Cyclops accreditation of beer hits 1500
Cyclops Beer, the industry body which provides simple descriptions of cask and bottled ales, has now tested and accredited over 1500 British beers. The organisation, formed in 2006, aims to demystify beer making it easier for drinkers to choose a beer based on its appearance, smell and taste as well as its bitterness and sweetness rating. In the last 18 months the number of beers accredited by Cyclops has grown by nearly 20% to 1505.
Mark Tetlow who manages the testing process explains that accreditations are carried out at a laboratory based at Everards brewery:
“We measure the sweetness and bitterness of each beer in the lab, taste it and then carefully select words to describe the look, aroma and taste. We produce tasting notes for breweries using the eye, nose and mouth symbols and descriptors and have around 400 words to choose from. Breweries can use the Cyclops tasting notes on their websites and on pump clips, glasses, beer mats and other point of sale.
“It’s important to use words that people drinking beer in the pub can easily understand rather than anything overly technical or flowery. At Cyclops we want to encourage more drinkers to enjoy their beer and we believe that their choice is made easier by using simple tasting notes and a standard measure of bitterness and sweetness.”
The Cyclops scheme has recently been taken up by retailers such as M&B and Morrisons who find it helpful for their customers. Morrisons has made it a requirement for any bottled ale in their stores to be accredited by Cyclops and the Cyclops tasting notes are used on shelf edges, with beers being organised by colour rather than by brewery in a number of stores so that shoppers can find similar beers to ones which they already know they enjoy. It is also used by distributors such as NDD in their customer brochures for pubs.
Full details of all the beers and breweries can be found at www.cyclopsbeer.co.uk. The most recent beers to have been accredited by Cyclops are from Black Sheep and Box Steam Breweries. The total number of breweries who have signed up for accreditation is 240. Recent research by the Campaign for Real Ale found that 40% of young adults, aged 18-24, who have never tried real ale before would be willing to try it if simple tasting notes explaining what a beer looked, smelt and tasted like were available at the point of sale.