The Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator’s Fresh Cask Releases calendar promises to offer pubs a variety of styles and flavours during the next 12 months.
This year’s seasonal calendar includes 13 limited-edition beers available at key times of the year and kicks off with Fireside, its 4.5% ABV ruby winter ale that will ward off the January chills. Greene King said the winter ale offers a mellow fruity finish and grapefruit and lemon citrus characters. The addition of black malt is said to add to the flavour, “creating the perfect balance of warmth and refreshment”.
Making a return for February is the sport-inspired Scrumdown. The 4.1% ABV golden ale is claimed to be a fragrant and easy drinking ale and a “game-changer” for guests enjoying the live rugby in the pub. Pubs will be able to stock the beer throughout February and into March for the period of the Six Nations competition.
Rugby drives sales growth
Greene King said CGA data shows the annual rugby tournament drives significant sales growth in the on-trade for beer and, in particular, cask ale saw a 56% increase in value rate of sale versus the national average last year for the opening weekend games.
Greene King said: “Having a bespoke cask beer that celebrates the competition can offer even further excitement and engagement for the category.”
Each of the seasonal cask beers in the calendar, excluding Christmas tipple Rocking Rudolph, will also be available in pins (36-pint units) following the launch of this format by Greene King last summer.
The launch of pins has also proven to have had a great impact on growing cask stockists, with overall stockists of the calendar up 20% versus the previous year.
“Pins provides a great opportunity for pubs,” the brewery claimed, “that may not have that large footfall for ale they once did, [which is] a chance to still offer rotating styles and regrow interest for the category.
The Fresh Cask Releases calendar also includes returning seasonal favourites, such as Spring Break and Hopping Special, as well as new collaborations and new creations.
Greene King Brewery head brewer Jack Palmer said: “At Greene King, our heritage is embedded in the craft of cask beer, and we continue to celebrate and take pride in the beer and drive its uniqueness.
“We’re really excited to launch the new seasonal calendar for cask this year, with our carefully created selection of styles and flavours that have been allocated to suit the time of year, pubs can be confident that it’s something their guests will enjoy.”