The Cask Report 2018

Punters won't come back for bad beer

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Hot topic: some 60% of drinkers are annoyed when served beer in a warm glass
Hot topic: some 60% of drinkers are annoyed when served beer in a warm glass

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Close to half of drinkers will steer clear of a pub where they have been served a poor pint of ale, according to new data.

The stats from The Cask Report 2018​ showed that 40% of drinkers would ditch pubs serving poor quality pints, highlighting the importance of getting beer quality right and investing in staff training.

The data also revealed that 71% of customers say they have been served a bad pint, with far-reaching consequences for the pub and the trade’s profitability as a whole.

Variety of beer styles

While drinkers have never had so much choice to explore when it comes to beer styles, 60% would rather pubs offered a smaller range of well-served products than let quality suffer because of too much range and stocking lines with low throughput.

Care and attention is required to ensure to ensure cask is served at peak condition and the report claims this can give pubs a point of difference.

However, just one third of customers think staff have a knowledge of cask ale, which shows there is a significant shortfall between consumer expectation and their on-trade experiences.

The report also stated that getting the basics right is just as important as learning about conditioning, temperature and cellar management, and first impressions are often just as strong a measure of quality for consumers.

Warm glass

For example, almost two thirds (60%) of drinkers are annoyed when they are served beer in a warm pint glass, which customers will see as poor service, potentially causing customers to go elsewhere and, therefore, harming the business in reducing footfall.

The report’s director Paul Nunny outlined what consumers really think about cask and keg beer​ earlier this month at The Morning Advertiser​’s MA500 business club meeting in Edinburgh.

He said: “The consumer thinks that more than 50% of cask ale is craft and they only think 8% of keg is craft.

“They also think small batch (producing unique products) and local defines craft. This was similar to the licensees’ definition. We came up with ‘all cask is craft but not all craft is cask’.”

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