Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Craft Beer vs Cask Ale ... who cares as long as it sells by the shed-load!

(Many thanks to Cooking Lager for pointing out on Pub Curmudgeon's blog that the above headline might give the impression that I condone irresponsible retailing ... I would just like to point out that this is not the intention of the header, the piece below or my stance on responsible retailing ... 22:20hrs 9/2/12)

For a long time there has been (at times) a quite visceral argument waged by the proponents of Craft Beer and the old guard at CAMRA over the relative merits of craft beer and cask ale.

It seems to me that the figures speak for themselves, this article in the Huffington Post is proof enough and if you don't believe all you read in the press then here is the information direct from the horse's  brewer's mouth.

(courtesy and with the permission of the Brewers'Association  - thank you kindly peeps)

 If cask ale has been the saviour of the British brewing industry and by dint of association the British pub trade (or at least help keeping it afloat) then craft beer is the next "big thing" that will help struggling pubs win new customers and keep existing customers using their businesses.

If the growth in the US market (right) can be achieved then we as a trade can keep ahead of the trend if we stop the squabbling and start promoting these varied and exciting beers.

The "talking points" that apply to the US market should be just as valid here:
  • Craft seasonal & variety packages are in the top 5 in total U.S. scan data. Your shopper wants a better beer experience!
  • Cross merchandising opportunities—there are almost too many to count! Cheese, meat, fish, deli, chocolate, & even bakery departments present great opportunities.
  • A point of differentiation—a craft tasting offers you the opportunity to communicate directly with your shopper AND your shopper wants to speak to you!
So stop the squabbling and get behind British pubs and let's all support British craft brewers and traditional British cask brewers and celebrate the wealth and diversity of brewing history this country has to offer ... whether it's in a cask, a keg or a bottle!

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