Cyclops, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, uses straightforward descriptors to explain how a beer will look, smell and taste, as well as information including ABV, beer style and dispense type, in order to make it easier for consumers to choose beers – and it also helps brewers and pubs to boost sales.
David Bremner, director of marketing for Robinsons Brewery and one of the founders of Cyclops, said: “We originally developed Cyclops to help licensees, staff and customers understand more about the different sorts of beers they were buying, selling and drinking.
“With 400 breweries and 2,500 beers – representing over 90% of cask volume – I think we can all agree it has been a great success.
“In truth, Cyclops had outgrown its home, but thanks to Cask Marque, with its focus and proven record in improving beer quality and staff training, we have a great new steward of our independent scheme.”
Very safe hands
For the past decade, a steering group of senior representatives including the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and Cask Marque have “nurtured the revolution and evolution of Cyclops”.
“The future of Cyclops is in very safe hands,” continued Bremner. “The facts are that it increasingly needed more day-to-day focus to optimise the reach of the project.
“There have never been more brewers or pub companies engaged, and the likes of Punch, Heineken, Carlsberg and Mitchells & Butlers now all use Cyclops to help them market an increasingly diverse beer selection to their licensees."
Bremner said Cask Marque use Cyclops as a “key pillar” in explaining beer styles to bar staff and is used on the CaskFinder app.
“To provide this ongoing focus we needed a partner that had the full-time resource to meet the demand of our customers,” he added.
A good thing for the future
Both Carlsberg and Punch have welcomed the move, with David Gwilliam, beer category manager at Carlsberg stating it can “only be a good thing for the future”.
Director of Cask Marque Paul Nunny said: “As we further develop the CaskFinder app to include pump clip recognition, it is important that all beers are 'Cyclopsed' because this will be used by the app to describe the beer.
“In future there will be no cost to brewers to have their artwork and their beer descriptions on Cyclops and this should encourage the whole industry to use Cyclops as a marketing tool.
“I am pleased that we will retain the current steering group to help us evolve Cyclops in the future.”