Visit the Student Brewer site

With Mark Dredge bemoaning terrible branding recently, I was pleasantly surprised when a recent meeting with a brewery rep displayed every characteristic of a brewery taking their ales very seriously.

The rep was from the Otter Brewery, in Devon. Expecting the usual A4 sheet of paper with black and white thumbnails alongside the usual bland descriptions, a professional looking portfolio . There website is to the same standard - excellent photos, simple and easy-to-use site with tasting notes and quick descriptions of appearance, aroma and taste.

Talk moved on to product support, which normally seems to be a dozen branded glasses - something we have no use for as we use our own branded glasses. A choice of bar towels (suitable for country pubs such as ours) or those rubber bar 'runners' that would be more suited to a town centre bar for example. Did you hear that DIAGEO? A CHOICE of POS that allows pubs to keep their branding/atmosphere/look etc in keeping with the character of the building.

Sorry, slight bug of mine there - every Guinness POS we get sent through seems tailored for high st bars, not country pubs. Anyway...

A branded Angram pump handle was offered, and proper ceramic pump clips for any beers we took on regularly. And an elegant poster, framed and ready for the wall. This, coupled with a sensible pricing structure, meant I agreed on the spot to order one of each, and try them out.

They've all sold so well, I'm now on my third delivery of them. The reason why they've sold well is of particular interest to me though - that being my raison d'etre, to sell beer.

I've stolen this picture from their website and take no credit for it whatsoever
Looking at the picture above, the clips are elegant, simple and attractive to all. The names describe the beers, and the beers are the same colour as the clips (excluding bitter and presumably Head). Ladies, men, young, old, the entire spectrum of our customer base has talked about them. On the back of the pumps are simple tasting notes, which are a useful memory aid to staff working a bar where the beers change often.

In summery, I find everything about the beers accessible, and I think that's a key word to consider if growth of cask is to continue. The beers themselves are good, solid examples of the beer styles they claim to be. My personal favourite so far has to be the Bright.

This is how you do it. Lets see more breweries take this level of pride in their beer. Organising a beer festival for the bank holiday, any brewery without a website that at least listed their beers and an email address won't be present. Yet beers from Devon will constantly be available on my bar.