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If ever cask ale had a significant role to play in the pub industry, it is now. While other drinks can be bought online or at supermarkets, cask ale matures in the pub cellar and is sold fresh, natural and bursting with flavour, across the bar.
In short, to drink cask ale, you need to visit the pub. And that is exactly what Cask Ale Week is all about. Encouraging people to go to the pub – in whatever way is safe and the regulations allow – and try some of the extraordinary cask beers on offer.
“Breweries, pubs and pub groups have responded brilliantly to Cask Ale Week this year,” says Paul Nunny of Cask Marque. “Considering the circumstances, they’ve managed to pull some fantastic activity together. And it’s still not too late for pubs or breweries to get involved.”
There is already a lot planned in different parts of the country for the Week, which runs from Thursday 24th September to Sunday 4th October. This ranges from special offers and new beers to competitions and beer quizzes.
Nunny urges pubs to, at the very minimum, use the Week to educate their staff about their unique selling point - cask ale. “All members of the team should know how it’s different from other beers; how it should look, smell and taste; how they should serve it; and how they should talk about it. Beyond that, there’s loads that publicans can do to get customers excited about cask ale, and to get the word out that their venue is participating in the Week.”
Nunny says that the new strapline, Fresh Pub Beer, has been widely welcomed and that it can be used well beyond Cask Ale Week itself. “For too long there have been too many messages about cask ale, not all of which resonate with pub-goers. These three simple words get the message across clearly and powerfully, the more they are used, the greater the impact will be.”
Several brewers have new brews for the Week, but in any case, you don’t have to travel far to find something different to sip and savour. Publicans and bar staff can play a key role in encouraging people to be adventurous with their beer in the same way as they are with food. As Nunny says, “The range of cask beers on offer, in terms of colour, strength, style, flavour and aroma means there’s something for everyone - even those who didn’t know they liked beer.”
A list of highlighted pub and brewery activities are on the following sheets. You can also find a full list of activity via the Cask Ale Week website: https://caskaleweek.co.uk/activities-2020/