Stand Up For Cask ...
“Together we stand. Together we can reach millions with a social media crusade. Together we can boost the fortunes of cask beer. And through that, footfall into pubs.”
So says Paul Nunny, chair of the Cask Matters Group which is instigating the “Stand Up For Cask” campaign.
The campaign coincides with the changes in lockdown rules in England, which allow people to stand and chat in pubs – and crucially, to order from the bar. “The end of regulations should be the start of a comeback for our national treasure, cask ale. Cask has been all but lost during the past 18 months, and it now needs a huge injection of support if a choice of beers on the bar isn’t going to become a thing of the past,” says Nunny.
All players in the industry, from the largest pub chain to the smallest pub or brewery, are invited to join the clarion call for cask.
Members of the Cask Matters Group, which includes pub companies, breweries and industry bodies, have committed to using the #StandUpForCask and #PubFreshBeer hashtags on their social media platforms from 19th July to 1st August, the duration for the campaign.
The importance of championing cask beer has never been greater. According to a recent report by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, cask beer was responsible pre-pandemic for 72,500 jobs. Then lockdowns saw 87 million pints, worth more than £300 million, being poured down the drain. With them went a whole load of jobs across the supply chain and a huge contribution to the UK and local economies in terms of revenue and taxes.
“The thing with cask,” says Nunny, “is that it’s brewed in Britain using barley that is grown and malted here. It then goes to pubs to mature in the cellar, creating something fresh, natural and very importantly, sustainable.
“The pandemic has understandably seen an upsurge in home deliveries and click and collect. But you can’t buy pub atmosphere in a supermarket, nor get it delivered to your door. Ditto for fresh cask beer. These are two of the things that can’t be packaged up and sold as a commodity; two of the things that make pubs special.
“That’s why we are urging everyone with the slightest vested interest in cask to now be all hands to the pump and to Stand Up For Cask. Let’s together reach those millions of potential cask drinkers and remind them why they should mosey down to the local to sip, savour and enjoy a pub-fresh beer.”