Cask Ale Week (19-29 September), organised by Cask Marque, is a celebration of Britain’s national drink. It represents a great opportunity for pubs and bars to put themselves on the beer drinker’s map, so get involved!
• Sign up – go to caskaleweek.co.uk and fill in the on-line registration form. You’ll be added to their ‘Cask Ale Week Pubfinder’ database, be added to a venue list and be able to add your own news, offers and events for free. This year Cask Marque are working in partnership with useyourlocal.com, so sign up with them too. You’ll be able to update all your details on their site for free, making it easy for people to find you.
• Help is at hand – the Cask Ale Week website has lots of resources to make your life easier. Check out what pubs and bars did last year, get advice and even request pub quiz questions and answer sheets.
• Size of your event – participating in the event doesn’t need huge amounts of planning. What you do can be as sophisticated as running a full blown beer festival, down to simply having an offer on your cask ales to encourage drinkers to try something new. It really is down to you.
What to do
• Bring in a guest ale or ales and tell customers about the beer’s provenance, characteristics and what foods to eat with it.
• Offer beer tasting flights.
• Host promotions – happy hours, beer and snack deals and buy one get one free are a sure fire way to drive footfall.
• Run competitions – darts, dominoes, pool, skittles – they’re all traditional pub games that encourage drinkers to stay and enjoy the atmosphere and if the winners’ awards are towards the end of the evening, people will hang around.
• Have a charity draw and support a good local cause in the process. Your local press will be interested to hear what you’re doing, which is great free publicity.
• If you sell food, match beers to your menu and run promotions.
Spread the word
Remember to tell the world that you’re involved with the week through:
• Point of sale
• Social media
• Signage inside and outside your premises
• Tell customers what you are doing