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Top Marques for Cask Ale

Cask ale is the only beer category which shows a growing market share in the UK. While we let this startling fact settle for one moment, read on to discover why joining Cask Marque can make all the difference to sales…

What’s the big pull?

The real bonus for licensees is that cask ale is a premium experience which cannot be replicated at home. Research shows that cask drinkers are affluent and they visit pubs more often. So that makes them the ideal customer, right?

The facts and figures speak for themselves:

  • 61% of cask drinkers are from the demographic group ABC1 and spend £967 a year in pubs
  • They’re more than twice as likely to get to the pub once a week or more
  • 71% are prepared to pay more for a great quality beer
  • The value of the cask ale market is a whopping £1.8 billion – and it’s estimated that it will be worth £2.3 billion by 2020*

A sign of quality

Cask Marque is an independent accreditation scheme, which recognises pubs selling great quality cask conditioned ale. The Marque is awarded to licensees rather than the brewery and displaying the plaque outside your premises, on your menus or on advertising says straight away that you mean business when it comes to beer.

How do I gain the award?

Once you’ve completed the application form, an independent assessor will come and test your ales on sale. Each will be marked on temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. If all is well in your cellar, you’ll get a Cask Marque plaque, framed certificate and point of sale materials. Your pub details will also appear on Caskfinder, a free iPhone/Android app which lets tens of thousands of customers find you on the move.

Get social

We all know the power of social media and so do cask ale drinkers. Tell the world how proud you are, not just on Facebook and Twitter but in the more traditional areas such as chalkboards and fliers. Taster notes add gravitas to your offering as does Try Before You Buy – preferably with bespoke sampling glasses.

88.6% of licensees said having the award has helped increase sales

Celebrate your success!

One of the best ways to involve those who might not have considered cask, is to hold a beer festival – see our feature on page 52 for information and tips on this. This encourages trial and lets people see that the pub really is the only place to be when it comes to cask ale.

*YouGov survey for the Cask Report July 2015

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