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It’s not every day that you can pick up a bottle of beer to see your very own words staring right back at you from the label. But that’s now a very real possibility for three real ale-loving members, as the new beers they tasted and fed back on hit Co-op shelves this week.
The members joined in to share some thoughts on three brand new Co-op beers back in January as our beer buying team looked to members for some beautiful bottle blurb – try saying that after a beer or two.
Over 70 members tasted the three new, ‘not-yet-on-the-shelves’ Co-op beers and fed back to us their comments and ratings through Join In. Our beer buying team looked at all the contributions and after much deliberation chose the following three comments.
Michael Gibbons, a Co-op member from Luton struck gold with the tasting notes for the Golden Ale.
Sam Dineley, a Co-op member from Bristol scribed the tasting notes for Triple Hop.
And the IPA inspiration came from Tom Packman, a Co-op member from Essex.
We invited the members who’d penned the chosen notes to come along to Frederick Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport, where we make and bottle the ales to see the Triple Hop bottles coming off the line for the very first time. Here they enjoyed a brewery tour, and a little sampling.
Here’s what else we learned
- First off….hands up. We didn’t get the packaging for our beers quite right this time, so some arrived broken by the time they reached our members. We said sorry and have learnt our lesson.
- Members were thrilled to be asked to taste and give their thoughts on our new ales and took to Twitter to share what they were doing – #coopjoinin.
- Over 91% of those who received their beers intact came up with some wording.
- Of the three new beers – an IPA, Golden Ale and Triple Hop, the 5.5% ABV Triple Hop received the biggest thumbs up from members, who gave it a solid 3.8 out of 5.
- 71% of members who tried it said they’d buy the Triple Hop.
- Members had very different ideas about what types of food the ales would compliment; the IPA being matched variously with meat casseroles, curry, summer foods and salads and BBQ – an ale for all seasons it would appear.
- Our members are an eloquent bunch. Across the three beers they offered up some wonderful descriptors, that made the job of choosing which ones to carry on the bottles very difficult.
This is the first time member comments have appeared on one of our products, although we have been looking at how they can be included on in-store promotion material, such as our wine trial in Holmfirth.
The Co-op ales are on sale in our Co-op Food stores from 13 March with our members’ words shouting loud and proud from the label.
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