SmartBeer was launched in March 2012 by Terry Dicks who developed the website YourRound, a listing database for over 900 breweries and 11,000 beers in the UK.
Brewers can generate their own logos for free using the SmartBeer system and Dicks believes it will help boost real ale sales for licensees by giving the customers a clearer description of the product, and making their choice less “daunting”.
Nearly 30 breweries have signed up so far and Dicks is hopeful that more will start using it once they realise what it could add to their business.
“We talk to a lot of brewers and pubs and realised it (Cyclops) wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing for a lot of people,” said Dicks.
“By colour-coding our tasting notes, it makes it easier for people to identify what kind of beer it is, and simplifies the process.”
Unlike Cyclops, SmartBeer can also be used for lagers, and brewers can pay a small annual fee to register for a premium service, which includes a listing on the mobile site and alerts about their beer.
“We are not snobby about what beers we have on our system,” added Dicks. “Any beers which the publicans want covered, we will support. It covers anything they want to sell.”
Kevin Newbould from Box Steam Brewery, who has signed up to SmartBeer, said: “By using this simple system, we are able to engage our drinkers with promotions and drive traffic to our website and increase levels of interest in our products.”
The Cyclops Beer Ltd Board said: “Any point of sale material that helps pubs promote real ale and gives consumers information on different beers has to be a good thing for the category.
“We feel Cyclops is the strongest national beer description initiative on the market as it offers consumers consistent real ale tasting notes through a central, independent accreditation system.”