A Bluffer’s Guide To Brewing (page 3) 

Tasting Notes

As with wine, tasting notes for beer are an invaluable sales tool so having accurate and detailed tasting notes available for both staff and customers is essential in building your reputation as a cask/craft/real ale outlet.

There are several free to use resources for you and your customers giving detailed tasting notes on beers available in the UK. The best known, but sadly listing the fewest beers is Cyclops , but two other sites you might like to look at is Ale Talk with over 9,000 beers listed and you might consider is YourRound that provides free real time SMS beer alerts and mobile phone based technology. They have created a brand new beer labeling system named SmartBeer which is designed to help drinkers answer the question “I wonder what kind of beer it is?”

SmartBeer uses one of seven colours and a two word headline to enable instant identification of the type and flavour of the beer. Other information includes the alcohol content and a Quick Response (QR) code to instantly direct a mobile phone to more mobile pages about the beer and other services such as Facebook and vouchers.

Drinkers can choose to ‘follow’ the beer – which means that they will be alerted by text message or email when the beer is available in their local area. For Pubs it helps both trained and untrained bar staff to easily point customers in the right direction when looking for a certain style of drink.

YourRound currently charges pubs £74.99 a year (after a free 30 day trial period) and you can buy POS (such as pump clip tasting notes) and generate your own QR codes from their online service. With the increasing uptake of ‘smart phones’ and greater use of QR codes this might prove to be a relatively inexpensive way to promote your craft/real/cask ale offering, whilst at the same time increase your customer database for marketing your other offers.

Top Tip – get yourself, and if you can spare your staff, onto a guided brewery trip … you could even turn it into a pub outing for you, staff and customers.

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