With pub sales in England declining and beer drinkers increasingly drinking at home, CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has launched a new accreditation scheme for bottled beers urging retailers to create a new category called “real ale in a bottle.”
According to CAMRA, off-trade sales now represent more than a third of England’s beer market, but increasingly discerning beer drinkers do not find it easy to identify real ale in supermarkets and other retail outlets. Brewers signing up to the new accreditation scheme will include special easily identifiable logos on their bottle labels and CAMRA is calling for retailers to feature bottled real ales as a separate category from other premium bottled beers.
Georgie Howarth, CAMRA’s Marketing Officer and administrator of the scheme, said, “Consumers are confused. In a pub it’s easy to spot the real ales as they are served through hand pumps, but in off-licences bottled real ales share the same shelf space as other premium beers. They are not differentiated. We want to create a new category called Real Ale in a Bottle to make it easier for drinkers to pick out real ales in store.”
More than 40 breweries have already signed up for the program, including major regionals such as Young’s and Fullers of London. These “piloting partners” have agreed to include the new logo on bottle labels to create a clearly identifiable hallmark for real ale in bottles.
According to CAMRA and the Oxford English Dictionary real ale is “a name for draft (or bottle) beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide.”