From today (18 August) customers in the south-east of England will be able to buy cask beer from Tiny Rebel brewery direct from the distributor, as well as equipment and advice on serving the product.
The distributor will launch a similar service with Cave Direct West in the next few weeks, and in its northern warehouses by the end of the year.
It also hopes to include imported cask and a greater range of British cask beer in “the next few years”.
Unique drinking culture
“We’ve always loved cask but, being predominately an importing business, we’ve not really had the chance to get involved in it,” Cave Direct marketing manager Jonny Garrett told The Morning Advertiser. “Real ale makes our drinking culture unique throughout the world and we’ve always wanted to support it.
“With the amazing British breweries we’ve started working with in recent years the opportunity came up, but we wanted to do it right. Cask quality is a huge issue in the UK – at it’s best it’s the ultimate way to serve beer, but it’s so rarely cared for right."
“While cask beer is by no means in decline, it hasn’t received the attention that new keg beers have from either the drinker or the publican,” he continued. “As a result, quality has taken a dip and we want to do something to arrest that.
“In taking on a line of cask from Tiny Rebel we’re hoping to help raise the quality of the sector as a whole. With this in mind all our casks will be cold-stored in our warehouse and we’re offering a manual to all the accounts that buy cask, along with free equipment to look after it and serve it right.”
“We are also pricing it in line with our other products to help promote the right pricing for cask beer, which we feel undervalues such a hard-to-care-for product.”
At last week’s Great British Beer Festival, cask breweries including Tiny Rebel gave their views on the biggest trends and threats to the industry.