Real Ale can offer a "lifeline" for operators during the recession
Real Ale is the only beer to show sales growth in the past year in an otherwise declining beer market, a new report has revealed.
The Cask Report
The number of women who drink cask has more than doubled in the past year despite its reputation as a "man's drink". Around 400,000 people have tried cask beer for the first time in the last 12 months and the total number of cask drinkers currently stands at 8.5 million in the UK.
"Cask Ale's growth is good news for pubs as well as cask brewers," said Pete Brown, the report's author, adding: "With closures at an all-time high of 52 a week, many pubs are fighting to stay open and cask ale has turned out to be one of their most powerful weapons," he said.
Some 3,000 new pubs have added cask ale on tap in the past 12 months and 42% of licensees name cask as the drink that's outperforming everything else on the bar.
Cask ale drinkers also tend to be bigger spenders than other beer drinkers with 40% visiting the pub at least once a week, compared to just 23% of non-cask drinkers. A further 70% of cask drinkers dine out in pubs at least once a month compared to 60% of non-cask drinkers.
"Higher-spending customers who drink more beer, go to pubs more often and spend more while they're there, make cask beer a vital asset for struggling pubs," said Brown.
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By Emma White
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