Cask ale ‘helping pubs to survive’

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer

This is the fifth annual Cask Report and the fourth year in which cask has outperformed the on-trade beer market
This is the fifth annual Cask Report and the fourth year in which cask has outperformed the on-trade beer market
Cask ale drinkers are twice as likely to visit the pub as non-cask drinkers, spend more when they’re there and, most importantly, can’t switch to the supermarket to purchase their favourite drink.

These are the findings of The Cask Report 2011-12, published today. Cask continues to outperform the UK beer market and now has a 15 per cent share, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) - equating to around one in every six pints sold across the country.

Report author Pete Brown said: “Cask ale can help pubs to not only survive, but to thrive. It’s attracting new drinkers who spend more in the pub than non-cask drinkers, making them valuable customers.

“Cask is shaking off its historic ‘flat cap’ image and is instead seen by younger consumers as a ‘cool’ drink. This increasingly positive picture of cask can only be good news for the pubs who sell it.”

A total of 7.8 million people drink cask beer in the UK – an 11 per cent increase since 2007. The number of 18-24 year old cask drinkers increased for the second year running and the number of women drinkers has doubled since 2008.

Affluent drinkers

“Cask is recruiting younger, affluent drinkers, growing distribution and, as our consumer research has shown, shaking off the negative image which has misrepresented it among target consumers for some years,” added Brown.

“Despite the decline in pub visits, cask drinkers are still going to the pub, spending on food and drink when there and, frequently, bringing groups of non-cask drinkers with them - as we’ve found that it’s usually the cask drinker who chooses the pub. If there’s a product out there that’s better designed for getting people back into Britain’s pubs, I can’t think of it.”

The ranks of cask ale drinkers are set to swell further next month thanks to National Cask Ale Week, running from 1-9 October. The campaign is focusing on 'Try Before You Buy', with 7,500 pubs offering free tasters all week.

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