David Bremner, Director of Marketing for Robinsons Brewery and one of the founders of Cyclops, explains: “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 their focus and proven record in improving beer quality and staff training, we have a great new steward of our independent scheme.”
For the past decade, a steering group of senior representatives from SIBA, CAMRA and Cask Marque (amongst others) have nurtured the revolution and evolution of Cyclops. David continues: “The future of Cyclops is in very safe hands. 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 M&B now all use Cyclops to help them market an increasingly diverse beer selection to their licensees. Equally, 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.”
Paul Nunny, Director of Cask Marque, continues: “as we further develop the CaskFinder app to include pump clip recognition it is important that all beers are Cyclopsed as 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 into the future.”
David Gwilliam, Beer Category Manager at Carlsberg, has supported Cyclops to date and has pledged to continue to do so: “Since the foundation of Cyclops, Carlsberg have ensured that breweries provide Cyclops tasting notes for our Tapsters Choice Ale Programme. This helps us present ever more diverse and interesting beers in a consistent way which in turn helps licensees build a balanced range and informed recommendations across the bar. The move to Cask Marque as a home can only be good for the future of this scheme in order to provide the necessary resource to recruit more breweries whilst remaining an independent company. The removal of any annual costs for the brewers will lead to even wider participation.”
Within this evolution, brewers are invited to use the new easy-to-use website to describe their beers using a collaborative series of descriptions for the look, smell and taste of the beer and select the balance between maltiness to hoppiness. These descriptions will then be available not only on the website but also via seamless integration with the CaskFinder app.
Stephen Martin, Category Manager at Punch, concluded: “We welcome these recent developments. Punch Taverns already work closely with both Cyclops and Cask Marque to educate telesales, licensees, and staff about beer. Therefore, Cask Marque seems a natural fit to safeguard and develop this going forward. As far as I am concerned there is no reason to change our approach within Finest Cask – if it isn’t in Cyclops, it isn’t coming in.”