the cask project

Greene King to launch cask pins

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Smaller serving units for cask beer from Greene King

Related tags Cask ale Cellar management Training

Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has claimed to be the first major cask brewer to launch cask pins – a 4.5-gallon unit container – to market this summer following a seven-figure investment.

As the cost-of-living crisis and the after-effects of the pandemic leading consumers drinking out less frequently, Greene King said the introduction of pins, which contain 36 pints per unit (half the size of the industry standard 9-gallon container), will reinvigorate the sector by helping licensees deliver a range of cask-fresh beer to customers while minimising wastage.

The brewer will be rolling out the cask pins to all managed, lease and tenanted and free trade customers this summer with its seasonal cask beers calendar – Fresh Cask Releases – which is a rolling portfolio of cask styles and flavours tailored to specific points in the year.

It is hoped the new investment will provide customers with the opportunity to expand the range of cask ales on their bar, encouraging more people to try cask and broaden its appeal.

Fresh Cask Releases

Fresh Cask Releases consists of a combination of returning favourites, key calendar creations, collaborations and new ales, inspired by legendary stories of the people and places associated with beer.

With the introduction of pins, customers will have the ability to manage a lower throughput at quieter times of the week, meaning less waste or risk of serving beer past its best quality. During busier times, cask pins offer the customer the opportunity to provide a seasonal cask ale, providing a wider choice on the bar.

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Greene King’s brewery in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Greene King cited CGA data reports that showed cask drinkers are happy to pay more for a great quality pint and the brewer believes using pins is another step in positioning cask ale as the premium product on the bar.

Greene King head of brewery engagement John Malone said: “The launch of pins within our business is one of many ways we are investing in the cask beer sector and in the industry.

“We have addressed the challenges serving this unique product can bring and we believe the introduction of pins will help our customers serve our fabulous beers in perfect condition every time, while minimising wastage and maximising profits.”

Chance to expand range 

He continued: “Introducing pins will also provide our customer with the opportunity to expand their range and offer seasonal ales that provide a wider choice of styles and flavours to their guests.

“Cask ale is at the heart of a great pub, driving footfall and guest loyalty. We aim to support our customers in serving the best range of perfect quality beers for their bar.”

Greene King added it is passionate about the future of cask and, as part of many other support tools for customers, offers full cellar training and guidance for pubs to ensure they have all the knowledge and support to sell quality cask beer.

Last year, the brewer also launched its Cask Iron Guarantee​, a pledge that entitles all free-trade customers a full refund for un-broached volume and a credit for remaining volume on broached Greene King casks that go out of date ahead of them being sold through.

Related topics The Cask Project

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