Monday, December 14, 2015

Pump Clips - the old chestnut revisted

Before I start I feel I ought to apologise for my lack of content lately. Effectively I have been suffering from 'writer's block' - I have started posts that I have not been happy with and scrapped them because they have been boring or rubbish, and I do try to pride myself that I am writing something interesting, useful, or witty. These were none of the three. Anyway, after a chance conversation with BT, the editor of 'Ale Talk' I may have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the result. 

Long time readers of 'A Swift One', (and Steve G. especially) will be aware that one of my bete noire are pump clips. The brewery's point of sale on the bar. The thing that attracts the punter to make his decision as to how to spend his hard earned sheckles. And of course there are good and bad ones.

Recently I have been more than impressed with the rebranded Elland brewery clips; simple, clear and effective. They provide all the details that the drinker requires. The brewery name, the beer name, the abv of the beer, and a brief description of the beer. All in fonts that are clear and easy to read. On a background that is uncluttered. Mallinsons are another local brewery that do something similar. You know what to expect from the pump when you order the beer.

In the last week I have come across at least 3 clips which seem to totally disregard one, or all of the above, and heard of one brewery trying a rebranding and whose new clips are a step backwards from what they have now. It is not usual habit to name and shame, but on this occasion I will make an exception.(except for the brewery,I will wait and see the final result there).

My first sinner is 'Magic Rock'. I am not a great fan of their clips but they do have all the necessary information,except ....I came across a beer called 'Coffee Grounds' at least I think it was. It was a new beer to me, so I wanted as much information as I could. The clip is bronze and reflective with black lettering, and is frankly awful to read. I had to take it off the pump to read it and move it around in the light to get the abv, and even then I was unable to read some other text on it. It is just not good.

Another that ought to know better are Yorkshire Heart. They have been around a while and usually their clips are easy to read. That was until they decided that their 'Yorkshire Blonde' - at least I think that is what it is - should have a yellow pump clip. No problem, it stands out from the rest very well. But why use white lettering on it. It is virtually unreadable.

My third brewery are a new starter from Bradford called 'Hedgerow' .(I was a little surprised by this as I never thought of Bradford having hedgerows but what do I know ?). They have gone for clips that reflect the brewery name, and very pretty they are. The only problem is that they are so 'busy' with flowers and foliage that to try and extract the necessary information is a little of a chore, to say the least.

So brewers please think about us poor drinkers that have to try to read your clips across crowded bars in less than perfect lighting. Make them bold, and above all, make them clear. After all, you do want us to buy the stuff you brew don't you.


2 comments:

T_i_B said...

An even bigger gripe is unmarked draft taps in places like the Buxton Tap House, often with blackboards in obscure locations just to make it even more of a pain for customers to order beers.

Anonymous said...

Saw the Coffee Grounds pumpclip last night and removed it from the pump to see what was written.Totally agree unreadable but thankfully I had the same beer 1 hrs previous in a pub with a clearly written blackboard.Nice beer.