The poll by the Campaign for Real Ale also showed that 18% of people who have never tried real ale 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 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. With approximately 1,200 British breweries now brewing over 8,000 different real ales, it is now 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 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.
Stainer said: “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 that 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 is time for change.”
Chiltern (Bucks), Harviestoun (Clackmannanshire), Hook Norton (Oxfordshire) and Saltaire (West Yorskhire) are among the breweries already describing their beers on their pump clips and the likes of Batemans (Lincolnshire) have recently introduced tasting notes on key rings that are attached to the pump clips.
The research was released as part of the Great British Beer Festival, which continues until tomorrow (Saturday) at Olympia in London.