Cask Report says pubs need culture change to capitalise on ‘beer revolution’

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cask ale Beer Pete brown

Cask ale growth is outperforming the wider on-trade beer market
Cask ale growth is outperforming the wider on-trade beer market
The annual Cask Report has called on the pub trade to abandon ‘outdated stereotypes’ about ale drinkers and end the war with craft beer.

The report, published today (Thursday) to coincide with Cask Ale Week celebrates rapid growth of the sector, which now outperforms the on-trade beer market by 4.5%.

However, author Pete Brown says publicans need to change their perceptions of cask ale drinkers if they want to capitalise on this burgeoning category.

Brown said: “While the profile of real ale drinkers is changing, publicans’ perceptions aren’t always keeping pace.”

43% of publicans agreed with the statement ‘Most cask ale drinkers are middle aged men with beards and sandals’ and 41% agreed with the statement ‘Women don’t like cask ale’, while only a fraction of that number of drinkers agreed.


“These are outdated stereotypes that need to be consigned to the proverbial slop bucket,” Brown said. “And as the beer revolution and the real savouring of taste continues, no doubt they will be.”

The report also criticises the stark gap in price between craft beers on keg and cask ale.

Brown said: “Cask ale and craft beer are not the same, but they are joined at the hip, inseparable and overlapping. The price differential between cask ale and ‘craft keg’ beer damages both the image of the former and the sales of the latter.

“The sooner the trade realises that most cask ale is craft beer and vice versa, and prices, promotes and talks about them accordingly, the more drinkers will understand and enjoy flavourful beer in all formats, and the more pubs will benefit from it.”

The report reveals there are now over 18,000 different beers available each year in Britain, the majority of which are cask conditioned or ‘real’ ale and three breweries are opening every week in the UK.


Brown said:  “A beer revolution is sweeping across the country. Local and regional craft brewers may be guiding this revolution, but the support received from ordinary pub-goers is what makes the movement so powerful.

“Men and women from all walks of life are trying cask ale for the first time – and relishing the experience.  Urban trend-setters, rural foodies, and a whole new generation of people who prefer flavoursome, naturally-produced food and drink are turning in growing numbers to the hand-pulled pint.”

Pub activities for Cask Ale Week, which runs until 5 October, range from tutored beer tastings and free pint offers to beer quizzes and beer festivals. Many breweries have produced special brews to mark the Week, and others are opening their doors to the public for tours and tastings. To find out more go to

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