Research has suggested that 70% of consumers asked said they wanted cask ale served cooler than the recommended cellar temperature.
The temperature of cask ale is one of the main challenges the segment faces, which experienced a 6.8% volume decline in the past 12 months, according to the recently published Cask Report.
Sharp’s Doom Bar Extra Chilled has been created to appeal to younger drinkers who have shied away from cask, which they perceive to be warm, flat beer.
Cask ale sales slump
Over the past five years, cask ale sales have plummeted by 20%, CGA figures in The Cask Report showed, which also labelled Doom Bar as the UK’s best-selling cask ale.
In a bid to reverse the significant decline, Sharp’s is aiming to reinvigorate the category, with its chilled variant being used to help this, and so help secure the future of cask.
The new variant will be served at 8°C, which is the average temperature of a premium lager, and will be served from the same cask as the standard variant.
Sharp’s Brewery senior brand manager James Nicholls said: “Doom Bar Extra Chilled is an exciting opportunity for us to respond to changing consumer trends, and appeal to both traditional Ale drinkers as well as new audiences."
Turn perception on its head
Nicholls added: “Cask is an iconic part of the great British pub and it is worth more than gin and golden/dark rum combined.
“We want to turn the current perception on its head, challenging understanding and ensuring consistent quality.
“Our position as the market leader and unique insights allows us to innovate with our leading products to meet new demands, without compromising on our quality and consistency.”
The brew has already been trialled in eight outlets as part of a partnership with Mitchells & Butlers.
This is not the first time a brewer has chilled a cask ale, several years ago Fuller’s did so with its Discovery beer.