Camra's Cyclops: a vision of the future?

Retailers can now download posters and tasting notes designed to "demystify" real ale as part of the Campaign for Real Ale's Cyclops scheme.

The scheme is mainly targeted at pubs, but will also apply to bottle-conditioned beers from the 14 breweries participating in the project so far, such as Everards, Refresh UK and Fuller's.

Some brewers already print Cyclops notes, which break beers down into look, nose and taste, with a scale of sweetness and bitterness, on back labels.

Camra senior marketing manager Tony Jerome said that the use of Cyclops notes on bottle-conditioned ales is "an absolutely fantastic idea that could help the real ale category to establish itself in the off-trade".

"It has always been my belief that retailers should have a specific area for these bottled-conditioned real ales - highlighting the 'real' stuff.

"By using Cyclops, bottled ales will be easy to understand and the bitter and sweet scales could help to revolutionise the interest in to bottled-conditioned real ales like the A to E scales did for the wine industry."

He said wine sales increased after the scaling system was introduced to inform the drinker of sweetness or dryness .

But he added: "While some brewers will use Cyclops to promote their bottled beers, Camra only supports Cyclops for draught cask ales and bottle-conditioned beers.

"This is because a number of non-bottle-conditioned beers taste very different to their cask version."

Find out more at