CAMRA reports global brewer to National Trading Standards Bodies for ‘Handpump Hijack’

Reacting to the launch of the ‘Fresh Ale’ concept by Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has asked for investigations into whether the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations have been breached.   

The Campaign has written to National Trading Standards and Trading Standards Scotland asking for an investigation into the products, which use a cask handpump to serve the beer, which is kegged rather than cask conditioned.   

This is the start of the ‘Handpump Hijack’ campaign to raise awareness of misleading beer dispense, and make sure that the handpump remains a signifier of cask-conditioned beer.  

In the letters, Gillian Hough, National Director and Chair of CAMRA’s Real Ale, Cider and Perry Campaigns Committee, said: 

“CAMRA believes that these practices come under the scope of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, as the average consumer may choose to buy the product on the basis that they believe it to be cask conditioned beer, which in this case it is not.   

“We believe that this falls foul of the Order’s provisions in Section 2 to protect consumers from presentation which is likely to deceive the average consumer or cause the average consumers to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.”   

Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman said: 

“Misleading dispense is particularly detrimental to beer drinkers, as hijacking a handpump to serve a keg beer removes a genuine cask product from the bar, reducing choice of different formats for consumers.  

“Unfortunately, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company have a track record on potentially misleading marketing, having already badged Wainwright as ‘A Lake District Original’, despite it being brewed over 100 miles away in Wolverhampton.  

“We hope that Trading Standards bodies across Great Britain will take swiftly coordinated national action to address misleading beer dispense and safeguard the handpump as an indicator of cask beer.” 

Handpump Hijack
The leading UK consumer group has reported the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) ‘Fresh Ale’ concept for potentially breaching consumer protection legislation.

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