The Cask Project

Importance of Cask Ale Week highlighted by GK and Shepherd Neame

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Greene King and Shepherd Neame join Cask Ale Week

Related tags Cask ale Beer Cellar management Brewing Finance

Cask ale brewers Greene King and Shepherd Neame are focusing current efforts on ensuring Cask Ale Week is a success for pubs across the UK.

Both businesses, which operates pubs as well, are also keen to ensure cask stay front-of-mind for its customers so this great drink remains at the heart of pub culture for years to come.

Greene King stated it wants to build for the future by engaging outlets and team members – and driving experimentation with consumers.


On beer quality, Greene King said: “It’s no surprise quality is a key focus for a brewer passionate about driving cask ale and it’s clear the relationship between pub and brewer has evolved since the times of taverns and alehouses.

“Like any artisanal product, cask beer is best served at its freshest, however, due to various circumstances not all pubs can still get through the same volumes of cask that they once did. This has led to pubs either taking cask off the bar, losing on sales with waste or selling beer that’s quality has deteriorated, and this is something we really need to change as brewers. 

“Greene King has launched a way to tackle this via the 4.5-gallon pin so pubs can manage a lower throughput at quieter times. This investment means that by offering a smaller unit for operators, cask can have its rightful place on the bar even at quieter drinking periods.”

Get staff excited for cask

The brewer added there is a need to make selling cask to drinkers as easy as possible for team members in pubs and this means getting them excited about it as an interesting product.

With an idea of making memorable information about products short and easy to remember, Greene King now provides knowledge packs for each of its seasonal cask beers, including tasting notes.

It also wants consumers, especially the younger demographic, to choose cask and said: “Some people aren’t aware cask beer has so many styles and flavours and showing [consumers] that range is a sure way to break down that barrier.”


For September and October, Fresh Legs, its latest seasonal cask beer, which is a golden 4% ABV ale will be available during the Rugby World Cup while returning beer, Bonkers Conkers, which uses five hop varieties, will also be available with a refreshed pump clip for September only.

Meanwhile, Kent-based Shepherd Neame is inviting drinkers to celebrate Cask Ale Week and Kent Green Hop Season with a free pint of its cask ale for customers who sign up to the company’s database.

Cask Ale Week celebrations kicked off across the country on Thursday (September 21) and run until Sunday 1 October.

Green hops season

Kent Green Hop Season also launched on Friday (September 22), inviting drinkers to taste newly released beers made from just-harvested hops produced by more than 30 Kent brewers including Shepherd Neame’s limited edition green hop ale Hop Pocket (4.5% ABV).

Brands marketing manager Rose Davis said: “We really wanted to do something special to mark this year’s Cask Ale Week event, and also to encourage drinkers to join in the Kent Green Hop Season celebrations.

“We are passionate advocates for cask ale, which is why we launched our Cask Club range of experimental, innovative ales back in 2019 to encourage people to enjoy what we believe is one of the best drinks in the world.”


She continued: “We hope that this offer will prove a great incentive for people to experience and try new beers, and perhaps result in a new-found passion for cask.”

Greene King Brewery managing director Matt Starbuck concluded: “For cask-conditioned beers to remain relevant, we must attend to both the needs of the trade as well as the consumer.

“This isn’t a wholesale restoration plan but rather ensuring that drinkers’ interest is captured and magnified at a time when overall volume occasions may be subdued. That means optimising choice, as well as developing to new taste preferences, delivered in the right sized containers that sustain great dispense quality and taste for the drinker and lower wastage for operators.”

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