Responding to a question about the severity of the dip in sales over the past year (a 3.8% decline), Nunny said: “The trend down is concerning. The trend down in pubs is concerning as well. We need to show pubs that if they do some trade on cask, even though there might be a decline, actually they will improve their business."
Turn a negative into a positive
He continued: “There's a lot of minus figures in the industry but we need to build on the pluses both for the consumer and for pubs, so they can make the most of the opportunity that cask brings. You've got to try and turn a negative into a positive.”
On the subject of why smaller craft breweries were turning their backs on cask as a dispense method, Nunny said: “A lot of the smaller brewers are going into the keg market because the cask market is just so competitive. The opportunity for new entrants is therefore smaller.
“Some 76% of production from members of SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) is still cask, so it's still important, but yes [breweries turning away from cask] is happening. I can see that, but I think it is more to do with the marketplace.”
'Beautiful Beer' programme
Meanwhile, Cask Marque has announced details of a new scheme aimed at recognising pubs that provide “the whole beer experience”.
The ‘Beautiful Beer’ programme will seek to recognise pubs that have made significant efforts to promote quality beer and will run alongside the organisation’s existing Cask Marque accreditation programme, which is now featured in more than 10,000 pubs in the UK.
Cask Marque has not yet revealed full details about what pubs will need to do to achieve the accreditation, but it is thought that the scheme will be judged on more than just a pub’s selection and quality of cask ales.