Beer industry strives to get more people to sup cask ale

caskThe brewing industry is aiming to give cask ale a major makeover with a new marketing push designed to appeal to those who only drink ale occasionally while also ditching its image as the beer of choice for old men with flat caps and whippets.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) are leading the push of 17 trade bodies, brewers and pub companies and have appointed Brighton agency Ape Creative to handle the brief.

While craft ale has seen a significant boom in recent years, sales of cask ale have been steadily declining over the past decade.

Ape Creative’s activity will be centred on the key message “Drink Cask Fresh”, with an a 10-week campaign rolling out across nearly 60 pubs nationwide, 27 pilot pubs will be paired with control pubs, similar in profile and cask sales, and measuring the difference between them over the pilot period.

Half will receiving a full campaign kit, consisting of promotional hand-pull sleeves, bar runners, beer mats, posters, table talkers, T-shirts and branded glassware. The other half will not receive any campaign materials, with all participating pubs’ sales data being tracked to measure the promotion’s impact.

Ape Creative managing director Paul Spirou said: “Most beer drinkers don’t know the difference between cask ale and keg beer, or appreciate how cask beer is made and served.

“We feel there is a big opportunity to help pub goers understand that cask is the freshest beer on the bar, and that a huge amount of skill goes in to brewing and looking after it. There is an enormous variety of beer styles, and cask has strong sustainable credentials not only in its production, but with the communities connected to it.

“By reminding consumers what makes cask so special, we’ll help energise the category, support cask brewers and pubs, and have a fine time doing it. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Supported by a campaign website and social media hashtag #DrinkCaskFresh, the campaign’s main goal will be to convert occasional cask drinkers into full time fans.

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