Cask ale market grows to £1.7bn a year

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Cask ale market grows to £1.7bn a year

Related tags Cask ale Beer

The cask ale category is now worth £1.7bn a year in the UK, but pubs still need to do more to raise awareness of the drink.

That’s according to the latest research from beer quality accreditation scheme Casque Mark, which found that cask now accounts for more than half the sales of all on-trade ale.

Since 2007 the number of pubs selling cask ale has risen from 23,300 (42 per cent of pubs) to 36,600 (72 per cent of pubs).

But a survey of 2,015 consumers found that more than two thirds don't think bar staff properly understand the drink.

Though 92 per cent want to learn more about the different types of beer on offer, over half said pubs don’t offer detailed enough tasting notes.

“It is clear that it’s no longer enough to be able to pour a decent pint,” said Sophie Atheron, author of the 2017 Cask Report.

“Bar staff need to demonstrate how cask ales are different from other beers; they need to be able to describe them; they need to be the ones starting the cask conversation.”

To help boost sales of the drink Casque Mark has launched a new CaskFinder app alongside the report. Staff can simply take a picture of a beer's pump clip and be provided with information about the drink.

Paul Nunny, of Casque Mark, said he hoped operators would use the app for staff training.

“From a consumer point of view it’s a hugely more satisfying experience to buy from people who understand and care about what they are selling," he said.

"Nowhere is more pertinent than the pub and nothing is more fitting than cask ale when it comes to conversation about British food and drink.” 

The cask ale industry supports 94,000 UK jobs pays a total of £1.1bn in wages, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

The Cask Report has been released to mark the start of Cask Ale ‘Week’ (22 September – 2 October), a ten-day celebration aimed at promoting the drink around the UK.

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