“Drink Cask Fresh”, a cross-industry campaign to literally refresh the image of cask ale launches in selected pubs this week.
“Drink Cask Fresh” seeks to make cask ale more relevant and attractive to younger drinkers by positioning it as the freshest drink on the bar. Younger drinkers, who are currently less likely to drink cask, claim freshness is very important to them when choosing what to drink. But they’re less likely to associate freshness with cask than with almost any other drink. In fact, well-kept cask ale is only on the bar for a maximum of four days.
Writer and consultant Pete Brown, who took over the coordination of the campaign from co-founder Katie Wiles last month, said, “For years, all the research on cask ale shows that few people totally reject it – they just don’t have a reason to choose it more often than they currently do when there are so many choices at the bar. We know what discerning young drinkers want when they go the pub. This pilot study will show that when we make cask more visible and relevant to younger drinkers, they’ll start drinking more of it.”
Campaign kits developed by agency Ape Creative include bright wraps to fit around pump clips, branded glassware and bar runners, and beer mats with different messages about cask ale that link through to a website – https://www.drinkcaskfresh.co.uk/ – where they can learn more about how cask ale is not only the freshest beer on the bar, but also has a variety of flavours, is skilfully brewed and kept, and has strong sustainability stories.
The pilot campaign runs for ten weeks, with the intention of winning more backing from the beer and pub industry for a national roll-out later in the year.
The campaign will be evaluated by comparing 27 pilot pubs with a paired control pub, similar in profile and cask sales, and measuring the difference between them over the pilot period As well as examining sales data, qualitative market research will be undertaken with pub staff and with drinkers, to understand exactly how the campaign is working.