By Gillian McKenzie
The latest Cask Report, published last week, underlined the buoyancy of the sector, claiming that cask ale accounts for 16% of all on-trade beer sales and that 57% of pubs now stock cask beer, up from 53% in 2009.
And the positive outlook doesn’t end there.
Cask ale is said to have ‘outgrown’ its traditional base, appealing to more women and younger drinkers – and attracting new consumers, with one in five cask ale drinkers having tried it for the first time in the last four years.
Craft keg beers have no doubt played a part in appealing to new drinkers.
And, while there has been some keg v cask debate in forums and blogs, it seems both have a role to play.
As Pete Brown, author of The Cask Report, points out, recent interest in ‘craft beer’ as a whole is driving awareness and appreciation of cask.
Consumers are also said to be willing to pay more for what they consider to be a higher quality beer – whether from a cask, keg or bottle.
With no shortage of new and interesting brews being produced by Scotland’s creative microbrewers, it seems the future remains bright for craft beer.