In January, the Bury St Edmunds brewer announced it would become the UK’s first major brewer to launch cask pins with a seven-figure investment.
Greene King believes the introduction of pins will reinvigorate the sector by helping licensees deliver fresh cask beer to customers, engaging lapsed and new drinkers while minimising wastage.
Greene King said offering the smaller unit will give operators the ability to manage a lower throughput at quieter times of the week, meaning less waste from unsold beer.
However, another key solution pins will bring is the opportunity to ensure operators have more control in providing a good-quality pint during lower footfall. Pins contain approximately 36 pints of ale, meaning operators will only need to serve 12 pints a day to maintain quality cask beer rather than 24 pints a day when using firkins, Greene King explained.
The brewer confirmed firkins, which hold 72 pints, will still very much have a place in the cellar in circumstances when operators have busier periods and are selling more cask ale while pins can offer an additional seasonal cask ale on the bar at the same time.
Greene King head of brewery engagement John Malone said: “We continue to invest and innovate within the cask beer sector and, as such, are excited to launch pins this July.
“Pins will help us address some of the key challenges serving this unique product can bring and provide operators with support to serve our fabulous beers in perfect condition while also maximising profits and minimising wastage.”
Cask is part of heritage
He continued: “We believe pins will provide three things: more choice, less waste and better quality, which is just what the category needs. Whether operators want to expand their range and offer seasonal ale or need that lower throughput at quieter times of the week, pins can provide that support to ensure it’s a quality pint being served to the customer.
“Cask ale is part of our heritage and is the heart of any great pub and we remain passionate in investing in the category for the future.”
Pins will be distributed to all managed, leased & tenanted and free trade customers this July with its seasonal cask beers calendar, Fresh Cask Releases. The first seasonal beers to be available in pins will be Ale Fresco, a smooth golden ale, and New Tricks, the latest collaboration with Nethergate Brewery.
Greene King also offers free-trade customers its Cask Iron Guarantee, which is a pledge to refund or credit Greene King casks that go out of date ahead of them being sold through.