The UK’s biggest ever celebration of cask ale starts next week. When I posted about it a few weeks ago people were a bit, “um, what’s the point?” So here’s a bit more detail.
Cask ale is the best performing sector of the British market, and the work in our Intelligent Choice report shows why. It gives pubs a point of difference over supermarkets. If it’s kept well, it speaks volumes about quality standards in the rest of the pub. It attracts an older, more affluent clientele. So that’s why it’s being promoted. It’s the first time all Britain’s major cask ale brewers have pulled together to do something like this.
Things kick off with a press launch at St Pancras station at 10am on Monday 6th, where Melanie Sykes will kick things off and, perhaps unfortunately, Oz Clarke and James May will also be in attendance. From noon till 7pm, thousands of samples of cask ale will be handed out to commuters – only 35% of people have ever tried it, but when people do 40% of them switch to drinking it. If you write about beer and you’re nearby, it’s worth popping along.
On Wednesday there’s a big push to get women to try cask ale, because only 16% of British women have ever tried it.
On Thursday there’s a big push to get ale drinkers to introduce a friend to it.
On Friday and Saturday, hundreds of breweries will be throwing open their doors to the public for tours.
And on Sunday, they’re going to attempt the world’s biggest toast, getting thousands of people in pubs up and down the country to raise a glass at the same time, monitored by the Guinness Book of Records.
Your local pub should have some interesting guest ales on. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to have a few pints and maybe try to convert a friend. I’m sure it won’t be perfect as an event, but it deserves to succeed and it can only be in any beer lover’s interest that it does.