Cask Ale Week 2009

What is Cask Ale week and why is it important?

Cask Ale week is a celebration of Britain's National drink. It runs from 6th April to 13th April, which includes Easter weekend.

It is being run to both celebrate this, and to bring new consumers in to the Cask Ale market that might either not have tried cask ale before, or those that might have dropped out of it for some reason.

65% of UK drinkers have NEVER tried Cask Ale before. Of those that do drink Cask Ale, 40% are converted.

The Daily Telegraph are backing the initiative with a nationwide campaign to encourage their readers to visit their local pubs to celebrate Britain's National Drink. The events are:

Calendar of events

Monday, 6th April - Launch Day

Photo call at St Pancras Station, with sampling of national and international travellers - the theme "Celebrate Britain's National Drink".

Wednesday, 8th April, FemALE day

CAMRA initiative, to encourage more women to try cask ale - can be translated into "Ladies Night" in pub

Thursday, 9th April, "Introduce a Friend Day"

ALL cask ale drinkers encouraged to buy their non cask drinking friends a pint of cask ale. Will have some high profile celebrities.

Friday/ Saturday Free Brewery Visits

Pre set tours FOC with pint at end, All Why Handpull Breweries, including all of ours.

Saturday - the BIG FINALE! World Record attempt to break the World's Largest Toast

Currently set by Guinness in the USA on St Patrick's day. We need ALL our participating pubs to hold the toast together with 2 verifiers so that we can get close.


How can you maximise Cask Ale week?

Of the people that have never tried Cask Ale, the biggest reasons were to do with taste (42%) and not knowing much about the category, ie what beer to start with, what cask ale is, where to find it (29%). SOURCE - CAPI Omnibus, TNS, Commissioned for CAMRA June 2008.

Run A Beer Festival - Marston's have a range of 16 permanent ales and 48 guest ales across the year.

Buy into the promotional kits and advertise this in your pub - we have branded kits available linked to purchase, and also a CaskMarque kit for those pubs that really want to use Cask Ale as a selling point.

In addition, Marston's has developed 2 pieces of support to encourage people to try Cask Ale:

  • Sample Platter : A pack that includes a sample tray which holds three 20cl sample glasses (24 provided) and posters and font wobblers. Three x 20cl samples can be sold as 1 pint. We suggest you set this price the same as your highest priced cask ale.
  • Try Before you buy: This includes 24 x 20cl sample glasses, and posters and font wobblers. This is a giveaway promotion where you can allow customers a 20cl sample before they buy the beer to see if they like it. Whilst this could be seen as giving beer away, you should understand that this may bring new customers into your pub, if you gain a reputation for serving a good range of good quality cask ales.

Both of these are available from your BDM.

What are the important things about keeping good Cask Ale?

Although Cask ale takes a little more time and care to look after than keg beer, it's not as difficult as some people may make out.

Many regional brewers offer training, and Marston's, along with CaskMarque are at the forefront of this.

Marston's has run the CaskForce initiative for the last three years, where over 4,000 people in 1,500 pubs have received training in their own cellar, and have qualified for the ABCQ Award in Beer and Cellar Quality. We are committed to raising the quality of Cask Ale served in the UK, and you can contact us to arrange training.

We also know that people demand quality at all levels, so it is paramount that you serve Cask Ale in a branded glass, which we can supply for all of our brands.