We are intelligent

The Intelligent Choice ? a newly published industry report on cask ale (copies now available)
'Ale Revival As Market Heads For Growth'
Industry experts are challenging suggestions that the much maligned cask ale market is in terminal decline, while consumer and market trends are converging to make cask the ‘intelligent choice’ for beer retailers.
Their findings are published today (26 September) in a new sector report, The Intelligent Choice, a unique alliance of industry and consumer groups.
Written by independent author Pete Brown and jointly published by the Campaign for Real Ale, the Independent Family Brewers of Britain, the Society of Independent Brewers, the Cask Marque Trust and the Why Handpull group, the report paints a bright picture of Britain’s iconic, traditional and world famous tipple.
Most notably, The Intelligent Choice presents evidence to dispel gloomy predictions that the cask ale market is in permanent decline.
Pete Brown said: “How can cask ale be suffering when we have more brewers in the UK than at any one point in the last 50 years? The number of pubs stocking cask ale is increasing, while consumer group CAMRA is boasting record membership and bumper attendances at its beer festivals.
“We have overwhelming evidence to challenge the doom and gloom merchants that take one look at market data and conclude the British beer industry is in steep terminal decline.”
The report suggests the top-line five percent decline in the ale market gives a misleading impression since most of the losses come from the ‘big four’ multinational brewers. They dominate the UK beer market and account for 56 percent of the total ale market, but are systematically withdrawing support from their cask brands.
At the same time, where regional and local brewers are enthusiastically supporting their ales the market is seeing strong volume and growth. In fact, independent and local brewers are growing by an average of 7.5 percent year on year.
Pete said: “If this trend continues cask ale is forecast to return to growth within the next few years, as the decline from the multinationals levels out.
“Wherever people are actively investing in cask ale, they are reaping the rewards. Many regional brewers are seeing sustained growth in their brands and some are starting to become national in their scope and reach.”
Additional headline findings published in The Intelligent Choice include:
- Good quality cask ale is good for pub businesses, accounting for as much as 40 percent of a pub’s beer sales where it is kept well
- The social climate is right for a cask ale revival. Consumers are becoming increasingly affluent and show an interest in different and more complex flavours
- Forget style bars, the traditional pub is back in fashion, which suits cask ale products
- Consumers are starting to favour buying local produce and cask ale clocks up far fewer ‘food miles’ than imported lager brands or wines
- The strength of the cask ale market is its diversity, from small craft brewers producing a few barrels a week, to fast growing regionals selling hundreds of thousands every year
www.caskalereport.co.uk
Reply to
eastender
I can feel my IQ growing with every pint!
I've had a quick look - not bad stuff I like the term "halo effect" to describe cask ale's impact on how a pub is perceived as better all round, simply by serving it.
Not so keen on this
"Tried and trusted brands should be stocked first, as these provide confidence to drinkers and are a point of entry for those who may be new to cask ale. Then, when a bigger range is stocked, rarer, more unusual or eclectic beers, local, specialist and seasonal guest ales, provide valuable diversity."
to me it depends on what you mean by "tried & trusted" - bland regional/natonal cask beer? - seems like you could just as easily argue that you should stock one decent popular perhaps fairly easy- drinking local microbrew to appeal to as many as possible, & also sell it on a local food miles eco angle.
still it's very good to see an intelligent examination of the cask beer market.
cheers MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
oh & I liked the typo - "It (cask beer) is drunk with respect by mire discerning drinkers."
I discern that to be a mire, of the quag- variety. MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
>I can feel my IQ growing with every pint! > > I've had a quick look - not bad stuff I like the term "halo effect" to > describe cask ale's impact on how a pub is perceived as better all > round, simply by serving it. > > Not so keen on this > > "Tried and trusted brands should be stocked first, as these provide > confidence to drinkers and are a point of entry for those > who may be new to cask ale. Then, when a bigger range is stocked, > rarer, more unusual or > eclectic beers, local, specialist and seasonal guest ales, provide > valuable diversity." > > to me it depends on what you mean by "tried & trusted" - bland > regional/natonal cask beer? - seems like you could just as easily > argue that you should stock one decent popular perhaps fairly easy- > drinking local microbrew to appeal to as many as possible, & also sell > it on a local food miles eco angle. >
Remember that one of the authors is the Why Handpull group, which consists of regionals such as GK & W&D. They obviously have an interest in pubs stocking "tried and trusted brands"-ie their own!
Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale should be renamed handpulled beer?
Reply to
Alex
In message , Alex wrote >Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale >should be renamed handpulled beer?
They use this term so they can serve keg through a false hand-pull and not fall foul of the it's not real ale brigade.
-- Alan news2006 {at} amac {dot} f2s {dot} com
--
Alan
news2006 {at} amac {dot} f2s {dot} com
Reply to
Alan
> "MikeMcG" wrote in message > news:1190811871.742564.212870@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com... > >I can feel my IQ growing with every pint! > > > > I've had a quick look - not bad stuff I like the term "halo effect" to > > describe cask ale's impact on how a pub is perceived as better all > > round, simply by serving it. > > > > Not so keen on this > > > > "Tried and trusted brands should be stocked first, as these provide > > confidence to drinkers and are a point of entry for those > > who may be new to cask ale. Then, when a bigger range is stocked, > > rarer, more unusual or > > eclectic beers, local, specialist and seasonal guest ales, provide > > valuable diversity." > > > > to me it depends on what you mean by "tried & trusted" - bland > > regional/natonal cask beer? - seems like you could just as easily > > argue that you should stock one decent popular perhaps fairly easy- > > drinking local microbrew to appeal to as many as possible, & also sell > > it on a local food miles eco angle. > > > Remember that one of the authors is the Why Handpull group, which > consists of regionals such as GK & W&D. They obviously have an interest > in pubs stocking "tried and trusted brands"-ie their own! > Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > should be renamed handpulled beer?
A bit rich coming from W&D, whose stated policy not that long ago was the total removal of all handpulls from their pubs!
-- Christine Pampling
--
Christine Pampling
Reply to
Christine
> "MikeMcG" wrote > Remember that one of the authors is the Why Handpull group, which consists > of regionals such as GK & W&D. They obviously have an interest in pubs > stocking "tried and trusted brands"-ie their own! aye - tried & trusted, GK IPA anyone? :~) I found all of the 'best practice' in cask ale advertising examples a bit crap, apart from Adnams (which I know is old-fashioned, but in a very stylish, non-jingoistic, non-sexist way, which is good IMO). The GKIPA ad was to me totally at odds with what they purported to want to get across - "the campaign demonstrates a connection between the brand personality and the characteristics of the Greene King IPA drinker, who tends to be self-assured, unpretentious and independent" if the GKIPA beer &/or drinker was all of those things it wouldn't feel the need to take the mick out of the opposing fictional beer which happened to tell people what t was made from & that it had won an award (I think it might have been a dig at NZ rugby team too - but it's just too subtle for my albeit 'intelligent' brain. (if you want to see what I'm talking about see pg 19 of the report) > Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > should be renamed handpulled beer?
I think I quite like the term - it's seems a more immediate way of identifying cask beer / real ale to the (unseasoned) drinker - the bit they can see is not the rounded barrel, tap, spile, etc in the cellar - it's the (almost always IME) the hand-pull on the bar. I think that perhaps there's also a determined move away from the term 'real ale' because of associations to the nerdier side of CAMRA?
But their (Why Handpull's) little ads (I presume intended for trade not public consumption) are off the mark to me - apparently having only one "handpull tells the consumer - token gesture; questionable qualty" wheras 2 hanpulls says "minimum acceptable"; 4 indicates "specialist beer status" & 5 handpulls "caters to niche market only".
Wheras I've been to awful chain pubs trying to stock 5+ real ales & not doing it well for any of them (all freezing cold or vinegar or flat, etc) & likewise I've been to sensible small clubs & pubs that happily sell one decent cask beer in excellent nick & despite my wish for a bit of choice, I see no real problem with that, if that is all the cask beer they can sell in a few days. cheers MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
> In message , Alex > wrote > > >Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > >should be renamed handpulled beer? > > They use this term so they can serve keg through a false hand-pull and > not fall foul of the it's not real ale brigade. > > -- > Alan > news2006 {at} amac {dot} f2s {dot} com
I don't believe that for a minute - the bad PR of doing that just wouldn't be worth it.
Isn't there a trading standards issue about this?
have you any proof that this is what anyone is proposing to do?
MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
Alan (junk_reply@amac.f2s.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying : >>Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale >>should be renamed handpulled beer? > They use this term so they can serve keg through a false hand-pull and > not fall foul of the it's not real ale brigade.
I can see why they'd want to do so - the implication is that "non-real ale" is somehow "false ale". Which isn't exactly going to help sales...
(but those of us who did Maths to A-level or above may find the other implication - that non-real ale is "imaginary" quite a pleasing prospect)
Fine. So let's call it "live ale" or "live beer". Oh, wait - that's got the implication that the alternative is "dead"... Mmmm...
Reply to
Adrian
> >> Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale >> should be renamed handpulled beer? > > I think I quite like the term - it's seems a more immediate way of > identifying cask beer / real ale to the (unseasoned) drinker - the bit > they can see is not the rounded barrel, tap, spile, etc in the cellar > - it's the (almost always IME) the hand-pull on the bar. I think that > perhaps there's also a determined move away from the term 'real ale' > because of associations to the nerdier side of CAMRA? I can almost see a need for the term but what about gravity dispensed real ale? -- Andy Leighton => andyl@azaal.plus.com "The Lord is my shepherd, but we still lost the sheep dog trials" - Robert Rankin, _They Came And Ate Us_
--
Andy Leighton => andyl@azaal.plus.com
"The Lord is my shepherd, but we still lost the sheep dog trials" 
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Reply to
Andy Leighton
> Alan (junk_re...@amac.f2s.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they > were saying : > > >>Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > >>should be renamed handpulled beer? > > They use this term so they can serve keg through a false hand-pull and > > not fall foul of the it's not real ale brigade. > > I can see why they'd want to do so - the implication is that "non-real > ale" is somehow "false ale". Which isn't exactly going to help sales... > > (but those of us who did Maths to A-level or above may find the other > implication - that non-real ale is "imaginary" quite a pleasing prospect) > > Fine. So let's call it "live ale" or "live beer". Oh, wait - that's > got the implication that the alternative is "dead"... Mmmm...
as much as they may also not want to associate their other (ahem) excellent keg & lager products with the term 'dead', I do think that these regionals are also perhaps reacting to an image problem that the term 'real ale' suffers from - beards, bellies, blokes, sandals, jumpers, crass beer names, etc. & I don't blame them - as we all here know, at it's best cask beer (call it what you will, I think *we* know what we mean :~) is a truly premium product (not stronger as the word 'premium' seems to have come to mean to beer marketers) & as such might need to be sold to people in such a way as that status is somehow conferred. MikeMcG.
Reply to
MikeMcG
> > >> Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > >> should be renamed handpulled beer? > > > I think I quite like the term - it's seems a more immediate way of > > identifying cask beer / real ale to the (unseasoned) drinker - the bit > > they can see is not the rounded barrel, tap, spile, etc in the cellar > > - it's the (almost always IME) the hand-pull on the bar. I think that > > perhaps there's also a determined move away from the term 'real ale' > > because of associations to the nerdier side of CAMRA? > > I can almost see a need for the term but what about gravity dispensed > real ale?
good point (ditto for Scots air dispense & electric metered dispense, etc) but I still like it & think it might in the main be a useful term - if the term 'handpull' gets people into decent beer then they might go to a beer fest (or Scottish pub, or other venue) where perhaps they can ask someone if this is the same sort of stuff they've come to enjoy?
Not perfect I know, but a thought. MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
> > > > > > > "MikeMcG" wrote in message > >news:1190811871.742564.212870@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com... > > >I can feel my IQ growing with every pint! > > > > I've had a quick look - not bad stuff I like the term "halo effect" to > > > describe cask ale's impact on how a pub is perceived as better all > > > round, simply by serving it. > > > > Not so keen on this > > > > "Tried and trusted brands should be stocked first, as these provide > > > confidence to drinkers and are a point of entry for those > > > who may be new to cask ale. Then, when a bigger range is stocked, > > > rarer, more unusual or > > > eclectic beers, local, specialist and seasonal guest ales, provide > > > valuable diversity." > > > > to me it depends on what you mean by "tried & trusted" - bland > > > regional/natonal cask beer? - seems like you could just as easily > > > argue that you should stock one decent popular perhaps fairly easy- > > > drinking local microbrew to appeal to as many as possible, & also sell > > > it on a local food miles eco angle. > > > Remember that one of the authors is the Why Handpull group, which > > consists of regionals such as GK & W&D. They obviously have an interest > > in pubs stocking "tried and trusted brands"-ie their own! > > Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > > should be renamed handpulled beer? > > A bit rich coming from W&D, whose stated policy not that long ago was the > total removal of all handpulls from their pubs! > > -- > Christine Pampling
even elephants can change their spots you know :~) (paraphrasing a malapropistic friend of my parents) MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
> > as much as they may also not want to associate their other (ahem) > excellent keg & lager products with the term 'dead', I do think that > these regionals are also perhaps reacting to an image problem that the > term 'real ale' suffers from - beards, bellies, blokes, sandals, > jumpers, crass beer names, etc. & I don't blame them - as we all here > know, at it's best cask beer (call it what you will, I think *we* know > what we mean :~) is a truly premium product (not stronger as the word > 'premium' seems to have come to mean to beer marketers) & as such > might need to be sold to people in such a way as that status is > somehow conferred. > MikeMcG.
If I've understood correctly, the term "real ale" was coined at the formation of CAMRA, and CAMRA define what is and isn't acceptable as "real ale" [cask breathers, blanket pressure and brewery conditioned casks being issues they have argued over in the past] so this smells suspiciously like the brewers trying to shift public attention onto their own definition of what real ale is. And CAMRA obviously think that there is more to it than handpumps alone.
Reply to
4208fm
> > as much as they may also not want to associate their other (ahem) > > excellent keg & lager products with the term 'dead', I do think that > > these regionals are also perhaps reacting to an image problem that the > > term 'real ale' suffers from - beards, bellies, blokes, sandals, > > jumpers, crass beer names, etc. & I don't blame them - as we all here > > know, at it's best cask beer (call it what you will, I think *we* know > > what we mean :~) is a truly premium product (not stronger as the word > > 'premium' seems to have come to mean to beer marketers) & as such > > might need to be sold to people in such a way as that status is > > somehow conferred. > > MikeMcG. > If I've understood correctly, the term "real ale" was coined at the > formation of CAMRA, and CAMRA define what is and isn't acceptable as > "real ale" [cask breathers, blanket pressure and brewery conditioned > casks being issues they have argued over in the past] so this smells > suspiciously like the brewers trying to shift public attention onto > their own definition of what real ale is. And CAMRA obviously think > that there is more to it than handpumps alone.
personally I don't really believe this argument - as those pubs/ brewers who want to use cask breathers (blanket pressure) seem to have continued to do so regardless of CAMRA's aversions (IIRC despite CAMRA's own tech committee's inability to spot any difference apart from extended shelf-life)
I don't remember hearing of anyone putting 'brewery conditioned' beer into casks though?
as to the nefarious motives of some brewers, at least as far as this report shows, there seems to be little to suggest anything very untoward as far as I can see, though elsewhere I read this from W&D/ Marstons/Ringwood/etc's Alistair Darby - "We think there is a lot of rubbish spoken about handpulled beer by people who have no consumer insight,"
yeah, biggest consumer organisation in the world IIRC, what would CAMRA know? :~) & the people who have consumer insight? - why the big conglomerate brewing companies of course!
"It is governed too much by anecdote rather than science and we want to debunk a lot of the mythology." perhaps there's some misinformation out there, but in the small article I read he gave no insight as to what wisdom pearls might be dropped down to us. MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
> > > > >> Talking of the WH group, what do people make of their idea that real ale > > >> should be renamed handpulled beer? > > > > > I think I quite like the term - it's seems a more immediate way of > > > identifying cask beer / real ale to the (unseasoned) drinker - the bit > > > they can see is not the rounded barrel, tap, spile, etc in the cellar > > > - it's the (almost always IME) the hand-pull on the bar. I think that > > > perhaps there's also a determined move away from the term 'real ale' > > > because of associations to the nerdier side of CAMRA? > > > > I can almost see a need for the term but what about gravity dispensed > > real ale? > good point (ditto for Scots air dispense & electric metered dispense, > etc) but I still like it & think it might in the main be a useful term > - if the term 'handpull' gets people into decent beer then they might > go to a beer fest (or Scottish pub, or other venue) where perhaps they > can ask someone if this is the same sort of stuff they've come to > enjoy?
If the people contributing here stop and look back at the history of campaigning for better beer they would note that the organisation now known as CAMRA was the campaign for the re-vitalisation of ale when the then fresh faced founders first grumbled in a smokey pub that things were not what they used to be.
CAMRA and the term "Real Ale" came a bit later. The term Real Ale was a talking point since most licensees always insist the other stuff isn't imaginary and a conversational opening has been made.
Real Ale covers anything CAMRA needs it to cover, rather easy to say since the dictionary definition was written by CAMRA in the first place.
Perhaps someone should point GK et al toward a handpull preservation society. That's *REAL* handpulls of course, not imitations designed to serve plastic imitation beer.
--
Steve Pampling
--

Steve Pampling
Reply to
Steven Pampling
> > I don't remember hearing of anyone putting 'brewery conditioned' beer > into casks though?
ISTR the matter being debated in What's Brewing or another CAMRA publication, perhaps 10 years ago or more. It was suggested that the art of cellarmanship was being taken out of the hands of the cellarman, and that tank-conditioned beer was being racked, a token amount of live yeast added to satisfy the need for "realness" and the beer sent on its merry way to the pub for it to drop bright in a day and go straight on sale. That's not really "cask conditioned" but it could be argued it's "real ale"!
Reply to
4208fm
> > I don't remember hearing of anyone putting 'brewery conditioned' beer > > into casks though? > > ISTR the matter being debated in What's Brewing or another CAMRA > publication, perhaps 10 years ago or more. It was suggested that the > art of cellarmanship was being taken out of the hands of the > cellarman, and that tank-conditioned beer was being racked, a token > amount of live yeast added to satisfy the need for "realness" and the > beer sent on its merry way to the pub for it to drop bright in a day > and go straight on sale. > That's not really "cask conditioned" but it could be argued it's "real > ale"!
ah, OK, I think see what you mean. IME "brewery conditioned" normally refers to filtered carbonated draught beer, but 'racked bright beer' is just real ale with its yeast settled out (i.e. unpasteurised, unfiltered, but fined / cold-sedimented). I've heard of a couple of bigger brewers occasionally doing this - I think one used a centrifuge to remove some or all of the yeast from their cask beer & I worked at a regional brewery a few years ago that was trying to brew a veggie cask beer (no isinglass) so our tank/racking department rough-filtered out the yeast & added a tiny amount back for cask-conditioning.
But IME many many (micro, regional & national) brewers do brew beers that are kind of as you describe i.e. they *could* be dropped bright in a day (or less!) & on sale the next because the yeast count is low enough to do it (& the yeast 'behaves well') it is IMO however the responsibility of a decent landlord to look after the conditioning of the beer, regardless of how difficult/easy the beer is.
I had a recent chat with a brewer/microbrewery manufacturer who IIRC said that overseeing the conditioning process now isn't & shouldn't be the landlord's responsibility, but instead it is the brewers job to ensure that the delivered beer has OK carbonation already in cask. I didn't quite work out why he thought this - whether it stemmed from him seeing cellar skills diminishing in the trade, or if it came from landlords telling him that they're so busy that they can't wait for beer to settle, or haven't the time to hard & soft peg, etc?
Either way I still think that the difference that decent cellar-work can make to a pint is very much worth the effort! cheers MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
> > Either way I still think that the difference that decent cellar-work > can make to a pint is very much worth the effort! > cheers > MikeMcG
This and Mr Pampling's earlier comments reinforce why I suspect the brewers' motives for shifting the focus away from CAMRA's agenda and setting their own. Not all handpulled ale is the same.
Reply to
4208fm
> > > Either way I still think that the difference that decent cellar-work > > can make to a pint is very much worth the effort! > > cheers > > MikeMcG > > This and Mr Pampling's earlier comments reinforce why I suspect the > brewers' motives for shifting the focus away from CAMRA's agenda and > setting their own. Not all handpulled ale is the same.
but IMO that's been true in some ways for many years (perhaps alwaysr?) i.e. that Courage Best & Thornbridge Jaipur might both fit the 'real ale' criteria, but I know which one I'd really rather drink.
& re Steve P's comments, I've heard nothing to suggest GK or anyone else (esp those involved in 'WhyHandpull') has plans to promote the use of fake handpumps. cheers MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG

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