Tuesday, December 06, 2011

That old pump clip whinge again

Readers of 'A Swift One' will be well aware of one of my pet hates, and that of other readers too, and this weekend I have found a couple more examples that just go to prove the point.

On the previous entry I referred to By The Horns producing a dead simple, easy to read pump clip. Great you may say, but how did someone at the brewery manage to release it without any reference to the abv on it. A simple, school boy error, and possibly illegal. Not much help if you have never encountered the beer before and have no idea what strength to expect.

If you take a look at the previous post, Will has kindly added a picture of the Fullers pump clip for the 'Black Cab Stout', nothing wrong with that you may say looking at it. Everything you want is there, it is attractive, easy to read and makes a good point of sale. Where the post picture and the actual clip differ is only slight, but in my opinion somewhat annoying. The lettering on the clip that looks grey is actually silver, and unless the light shines in the right place, it makes it very difficult to read - 'Cab' and 'Stout' are especially hard. Maybe I am being pedantic, but it makes an excellent clip less than perfect, and does tend to confuse the punter, or maybe its just me.

What I am in favour of, and wish all brewerys did, is something similar to the clip on the left. All the information I require is there and is easy to read on a crowded bar. Its not too much to ask for, or is it?


Jibber said...

I think the jury's out on this one. I certainly think there's a legal requirement to display prices and ABV's of beer somewhere in the pub, but I don't think this necessarily has to be on the pump clip. In a pub with multiple beers a good old blackboard (as in the Grove, the Rat and so many pubs) is usually the best bet.

Beer strengths on pump clips, although often there, are sometimes hard to see in amongst the artwork. It would be awful if brewers were forced to put the abv, car number-plate-like, in a standard back font on a yellow background!

As for beer descriptions on clips (and in tasting notes) it's such a subjective matter that the only real way to assess a beer is to have a taster, and possibly for the pub to have small samples next to the bar (as in the Sportsman, although Sam tells me that people will insist on drinking the stuff!)

The Little Valley clip you show I actually find confusing. What exactly does 'light bitter' mean? Light as in colour or as in body? And if it 'flavours the brave' does that mean it's not for timid palates and is one of those stonking hop packed bitters? (Knowing LV, I know that's not the case by the way - you very rarely hear 'Wim' and 'hops' in the same sentence!)

Bailey said...

Strength, colour -- very important bits of information which, as you say, not everyone includes. Would have helped Tandleman spot that the pint he was served as Adnam's Green Bullet wasn't. (Green Bullet is pale, his pint was brown.)

The Black Cab Stout pumpclip, unfortunately, looks a bit sinister... made us think of this...

Timbo said...

Jibber..I agree with some of your points, and I also agree, on reflection that the example I found was not the best, just that it provided the information a drinker wants, irrespective of the brewers tasting notes !

Name, brewery, abv,and possibly colour of beer are all that is really required IMO, on a pump clip that is easy to read and not in stupid colours that make it impossible..As for little glasses on bars and blackboards, that will be covered on another day..I know pubs who swear by them, and others who do not find them useful at all..again, like everything to do with beer, its a personal thing