Castle Rock fights cask ale pub ‘stereotyping’

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Social rock: the industry must fight back against negative stereotypes and sing pubs’ praises, Castle Rock Brewery has said (image: Dave Hitchborne, Geograph)
Social rock: the industry must fight back against negative stereotypes and sing pubs’ praises, Castle Rock Brewery has said (image: Dave Hitchborne, Geograph)

Related tags: Brewery

Castle Rock Brewery wants to promote the positive impacts of the pub and brewing industries on society after it spoke out against media representation of cask.
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The Nottingham-based brewery wrote an open letter to BBC East Midlands claiming its use of an image of one of its pours was an example of how pubs were “tarred with the same brush and demonised via association with binge drinking”.

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It received national and trade media attention alongside messages of support from across the industry.

Lewis Townsend, the brewery’s head of marketing told The Morning Advertiser​ the issue was greater than the BBC’s programme and he wanted to focus on the social benefits of the trade. 

He explained: “We obviously run pubs, we have a whole host of really hard-working staff and we run a brewery. I see, first hand, how hard everyone works on new brews and creative recipes so to see good pubs and well-run breweries tarred with this brush of binge-drinking is just upsetting.

“Good, well-run pubs and breweries are places where people try new beers, they explore and tick off new beers.

“They're not spaces where people go to neck eight or 10 pints of beer.”

Hell of an impact

He added: “The pub is a safe space, a social hub, a place to relax, a place to catch up with friends and it’s a place of solace. 

“We have people coming into our pubs and that may be their only social interaction for that entire day so pubs serve more than just beer. 

“They have a hell of an impact on people and good pubs have a positive effect on people and local communities.”

The letter struck a chord with publicans and brewers who appreciated the brewery speaking out, Townsend said of the letter’s online attention.

He said: “I didn't expect it to be shared and seen by that many people. People like it when a business makes commentary on something more societal.”

The brewery started a hashtag #MyLocalIs​ to encourage Dry January​ participants to still visit pubs, which it plans to do again next year.

He explained: “It was an exploration of what our customers thought about their local and what did it mean to them. Very few of them really involved alcohol.”

The brewery heard from the BBC the day it published the letter, and had a productive conversation about how it would visualise alcohol abuse in future.

Related topics: Beer, Marketing

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