3 reasons cask beer is declining in UK pubs, and 3 ways it can change

2. Staff aren’t serving it well enough

The overwhelming majority of respondents to the OnePlus survey said they prefer to drink beer at a pub in the summer, when they can cool off in a beer garden.

But one of the key issues is temperature, according to Paul Nunny, ad the report notes how consumer tastes have changed.

Brewers recommend serving cask beer at 11-13C, he said, but when Cask Marque inspected pubs this summer, 25% were selling beer at a higher temperature. According to the report, 70% of consumers want cask to be served cooler (6-10*C) but 70% of pubs are serving it warmer than recommended

“This adds little refreshment value and almost encourages consumers to drink other products in the summer and return to the category in winter months.”

But with pub visits already falling, summer is now a more crucial time than ever for landlords.

As well as this, many pub landlords continue to sell cask beer after its past its best, meaning consumers have distorted view of what the beer should taste like. Cask beer should generally be kept on tap between three days and a week depending on the beerResearch carried out by Vianet, who monitored the flow of beer through UK pubs, found that the majority of pubs sell less than 72 or 88 pints per tap per week, so many are being served beyond their recommended window.

And even before they reach the taps, more than a quarter of pub landlords aren’t letting their casks settle for long enough before they’re served, all leading to hit-and-miss pints.


The solution

Staff, Nunny said, should regularly check the temperature of the beer in their glass, “at least twice per week,” to ensure quality control. The industry report recommended that pubs keep their own beer thermometers on-hand to make this easier.

This not only helps staff to maintain a stable temperature, but also means they can trial serving beers at different temperatures to see if consumers really do want a cooler beer.

“That is why Cask Marque is trialling a bar staff training programme,” he said.

One Response to “3 reasons cask beer is declining in UK pubs, and 3 ways it can change”

  1. David P Woodhead says:

    The 4th reason for the decline, particularly in PubCo owned pubs; Could it be the extremely high cost to the tenant, of a firkin of ale, which in many cases can be twice the price of the same beer, direct from the brewery? SIBA take a percentage the PubCo add their “commission’ then V.A.T.

    If that is NOT the 4th reason, please explain to me why it isn’t

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