The Drinks List: Top Brands to Stock 2017

The Drinks List: Top Cask Ales

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Top show: biggest-selling cask ales
Top show: biggest-selling cask ales

Related tags Beer

Cask is in decline, but the importance of the category to the pub is widely recognised, with many in the sector keen to point out it can’t be replicated anywhere else.

That said, this year’s Cask Report, published by Cask Marque, acknowledged sales were down 3.8%​ for the past 12 months. Over the past six years that decline reaches 5%.

Doom Bar pump clip

Cask’s figures, however, aren’t as striking as keg beer’s and lager’s, which have declined by 25% and 11% respectively.

Yet, there are slivers of hope for the category, with 69% of consumers hailing the choice of cask ale on offer and 65% of pubs claiming to have seen a rise in cask-ale sales.

Furthermore, 81% of consumers questioned for the Cask Report said they would be willing to pay up to 20% more for a quality pint of real ale, compared with 40% of consumers who would avoid a pub where they had been served a substandard pint.

Sharp's Doom Bar:

Just last month, Molson Coors-owned Sharp’s announced more investment for its Doom Bar-producing brewery in Cornwall. Like last year, Doom Bar remains the most popular cask ale in the on-trade this year, with value and volume sales significantly outweighing its rivals in the category.

The brewery, which produced around 60m pints last year, has grown hugely as a result of Doom Bar’s popularity.

Marston's Pedigree:

Historic Burton-on-Trent brewer Marston’s has had quite an exciting 12 months, launching a major rebrand of its core beers last year and acquiring Charles Wells in 2017.

Pedigree is the sixth most popular cask ale in the on-trade and was the main beer at the centre of Marston’s £1m brand overhaul at the end of last year.

Last year’s Drinks List: Top 100 Brands ranked Pedigree in 24th position when merging consumer perceptions and sales data.

Thwaites Wainwright:

Marston’s-owned Wainwright Golden Beer was announced the winner of the Best Integrated Campaign at this year’s Beer and Cider Marketing Awards.

The brand falls just behind sister brew Pedigree in the most popular cask variants in the on-trade, but puts in a strong performance, with not much in the way of di erence when it comes to value and volume sales between the pair.


Volume sales (HL)

Value sales (£m)

1) ​Doom Bar



2) ​Greene King IPA



3) ​London Pride



4) ​Abbot Ale



5) ​Deuchars IPA



6) ​Pedigree



7) ​Wainwright



8) ​Timothy Taylor's Landlord



9) ​Tribute



10) ​Old Speckled Hen



  • All data supplied by CGA OPMS, MAT to 12/08/17, ranked in volume and covering total brand sales (unless specified otherwise)

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