The Drinks List

Doom Bar leads cask ale sales in on-trade

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Plenty to choose from: the cask ale category is always hard fought (credit: Getty/ Rouzes)
Plenty to choose from: the cask ale category is always hard fought (credit: Getty/ Rouzes)

Related tags: Beer, Cask ale, Branding + marketing, Finance

There has been much discussion on how cask ale’s fortunes are potentially at a tipping point during the past few years and the closure of pubs has certainly been no help in that scenario.

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It’s a little over 25 years since Doom Bar first appeared in Bill Sharp’s small portfolio of beers brewed in Rock, north Cornwall and the achievement of becoming the UK’s No.1 cask ale in 2013 from that standing start in 1995 is a source of great pride for the Sharp’s team. The success of Doom Bar is never taken for granted at Sharp’s, in fact emblazoned on the walls of the brewery are the words “You’re only as good as your last pint” and the devotion to quality and consistency is arguably one of the biggest factors in the success of the relatively young brand. Marketing Controller, James Nicholls, says; “We are delighted that Doom Bar is at the top of the Drinks List again this year and want to thank each and every customer for their support. From our brewery in Rock, where we make over a million pints of Doom Bar a week, we will be supporting the brand in 2022 with more investment than ever before, a new consumer campaign and a major focus on helping our on trade customers to make quality beer synonymous with cask.

But only a fool would consider writing off this quintessential British beverage. The skill involved in making and serving this precious drink is light years ahead of anywhere else in the world outside the UK.

That’s not to mention the pub is the only place where you can enjoy this marvellous drink – there’s no recreating this at home​.

Yes, sales have dropped inevitably, but the big hitters are still out there swinging, such as Sharp’s Brewery with its Doom Bar ale, which has retained top spot yet again in The Drinks List - top brands to stock in 2022​, with volume sales of 83,682 hectolitres (HL) and value sales of £50.9m. This has fallen from 135,332HL last year and £80.8m, respectively.

More minor losses

Greene King IPA is in second spot with value sales a clear £20m behind Doom Bar at £30.8m, having been £48.2m last year. It’s volume sales are 49,384HL after last year’s total of 80,979HL. Third place was taken by Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, which moved up a couple of places from last year as its volume and values dropped by a comparatively minor 13% and 11% respectively, which was the brand that fared the best compared to its volume and value sales last year.

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord dropped from volume sales of 42,223HL to 36,733HL while value fell from £29.1m to £25.9m.

It is interesting to note that, although the places may have changed within the top 10 cask ales, not one has had to make way for a new entry.

The biggest loser is terms of lost volume and value sales was Greene King Abbot Ale whose volumes dropped from 43,916HL to 24,794HL this year – a fall of 43.5% while its vale plunged by 42.8% from £26.3m to £15.1m.

  • All data provided by CGA for the 12 months to 9 October 2021
DL2022web3

 

2021 rank

Brand

Volume (hl)

Value (£m)

2020 rank

Up or down

1

Sharp's Doom Bar 

83,682 

50.9 

1

Level

2

Greene King IPA

49,384 

30.8 

2

Level

3

Timothy Taylor's Landlord

36,733 

25.9

5

+2

4

Fuller's London Pride

34,995

25.3

3

-1

5

Greene King Abbot Ale

24,794 

15.1

4

-1

6

Wainwright

19,450

11.8

6

Level

7

St Austell Tribute Ale

18,979

13.1

8

+1

8

Marston's Pedigree

16,448

9.8

7

-1

9

Ruddles Best

11,251

2.7

9

Level

10

Draught Bass

9,703

5.8

10

Level

 

Related topics: Beer

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