- Despite a 7.8% drop in overall on-trade beer sales, cask sustained only an estimated 2% drop. This disparity helps explain the fact that cask actually increased its share of the on-trade market to 15%.
- Cask ale is more widely available than ever. A 4% increase in distribution in 2010 led it to being available in an additional 2500 outlets.
The report contains some interesting statistics: 69% of cask drinkers now fall within the ABC1 demographic. So perhaps Tony Blair was right after all and we are all middle class now? There’s also an attempt to clear up some of the still prevailing myths: cask drinkers aren’t set in their ways, and numbers of young drinkers of cask are growing.
Quality is also rightly seen as a key issue and research seems to back my belief that 3-4 handpulls is generally the ideal. It wisely avoids getting down bogged down in price issues, as it did last year, but there are still some abnormalities; “46% of cask drinkers recognise the Cask Marque as an indicator of quality”. Er, doesn’t that mean 54% don’t?
On a personal note, one of my haunts: the Black Bull, makes it into the report demonstrating the potential that cask can have. However, modesty prevents me from claiming all the responsibility for the 1737% increase in sales since they reintroduced cask into the pub...