Cask is BACK, so back CASK

New campaign is launched after five million pints poured away over last year

CAMRA has joined industry bodies to launch a new campaign called “Cask is BACK, so back CASK” as sales of hand-pulled cask beer have been hit hard by Coronavirus restrictions. Sales of cask ale were down 70% over the last twelve months, so CAMRA is joining the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and Cask Marque to champion Britain’s National drink, and the reason why CAMRA came into existence 50 years ago.

Tom Stainer, Chief Executive of CAMRA, said: “What makes the Great British pub so unique is delicious, fresh cask beer. It’s a drink you can only enjoy in the pub and which millions of people across the UK have not been able to enjoy for much of the last twelve months. So when pubs reopen next week, I’d like to invite you to join me in making our first pint down the pub a fresh cask beer from a local brewery. You’ll not only get a great tasting beer but you’ll be supporting local independent breweries and our struggling pub-industry.” 

James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive, added: “Cask beer and pubs go hand-in-hand and are an important part of our national identity. Because cask beer can only be enjoyed in the pub it’s the drink millions of beer lovers across the UK have missed most during lockdown. Whether you’re a real ale enthusiast or sometimes beer drinker, we’re asking everyone to support their local independent breweries and opt for their first pint back in the pub to be some delicious local cask beer. For publicans, those pubs that do cask and do it well will reap the rewards so we’re encouraging all in the pub trade to prioritise cask and ensure that first pint back is in tip-top condition. The message is simple – cask is back, so back cask!” 

Steven Alton, CEO of the BII, says this: “Cask ale is a unique attribute to UK pubs and a key point of difference to many BII members, who run professional independent, drink-led venues in our local towns, high streets and communities.  Our pubs need ongoing support to recover their businesses and support fantastic local brewers that make our pubs so special. The BII continues to support members through this critical reopening and long road to recovery of their pubs, as well as the key supply chain businesses that help make the Great British Pub part of our nation’s heritage.” 

During lockdown, some five million pints of cask beer from small independent breweries had to be poured away, with the brewers who made it left to foot the bill. Those same breweries have been ramping production back up ahead of pubs re-opening, so by buying a pint of cask beer, you’re not only supporting your local pub, but helping out small independent breweries too.

Heartbreaking….. five million pints of cask poured away in last 12 months

Why should we care about cask beer?

  • You can only get cask beer in the pub – and pubs have been shut for majority of the year.
  • 80% of revenue for small independent breweries comes from pubs and the vast majority (around 70%) of that beer is cask. By choosing cask you are supporting local independent businesses.
  • Small independent breweries create local jobs more than other styles of beer from global breweries. Pubs and breweries also employ a higher percentage of young people than other sectors.
  • With a limited shelf-life compared to lager from the global beer companies (which is heavily filtered and pasteurised before being put into a keg), cask beer is the freshest beer available and a uniquely British product.
  • Hand-pulled cask ale is the original “craft beer” and deserves our protection and promotion. Alongside traditional beers from Belgium and the rest of Europe it inspired a generation of brewers in the US and across the globe, and without cask beer we wouldn’t have craft beer!