Marston’s operates 22 managed sites in Scotland and will be ripping cask lines from all but the Lockards Farm in Dumfries, following a review of volume sales.
The review, The Morning Advertiser understands, did not focus only on Scotland, but following the process it was noted cask ale sales were not high enough to maintain quality in the country’s pubs.
Cask ales to freehouses
Marston’s will, however, continue to supply its cask beers to freehouses in Scotland and will be replacing cask ales in its managed sites with keg varieties such as Pedigree and Hobgoblin IPA.
Marston’s director of pub operations Andrew Carlill said: “The cask ale policy for our pubs in Scotland is no different to anywhere else in the UK.
“Our criteria is set by throughput to ensure we maintain the quality control expected by our customers. We will continue to sell cask ale in the pubs where there is a demand that matches this.”
Sales of cask have been sliding for years, with the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) 2018 report showing a volume sales slump of 6.8%.
While sales of cask are down, which has been attributed to pub closures, CAMRA criticised the decision by Marston’s to pull ale from its pubs, saying consumers were being denied choice.
“As you will be aware, CAMRA is a consumer group that campaigns on behalf of beer drinkers and pubgoers. In Scotland, there are over 5,000 CAMRA members with a strong record of campaigning for quality real ale, community pubs and the rights of pubgoers and real ale drinkers.
“Our members have been extremely concerned at reports that cask ale will no longer be available in any of Marston’s 22 pubs in Scotland as of this month,” said CAMRA Scotland director Sarah Crawford in an open letter to Marston’s.