The Cask Report 2018 has shown there is an appetite among consumers for cask beer served at a lower temperature.

It is one of several measures recommended for boosting cask sales, which continue to decline faster than on-trade beer sakes overall.

Figure from the report show that in the year to July cask was down 6.8% in volume with the wider on-trade beer market declining 1.6%. Certain categories continue to show growth, including premium lager which saw volumes rise 2.2%.

Despite the slowdown, one in seven pints of beer sold remains cask and at £1.6bn it is double the size of gin in the on-trade (£0.77bn). The top 10 cask brands continue to generally outperform the market.

On temperature, the report shows that two-thirds of cask drinkers would prefer cask to be served at a cooler temperature than the recommended 11-13°C. More than half (56%) who say cask is their favourite beer style say they would prefer it served cooler than 11°C, while only 29% say they prefer it at the recommended serving temperature of 11-13°C.

The report also shows:

  • · More people ARE including cask in their repertoires – but they drink it less frequently
  • · Those aged under 30 are least likely to have tried cask
  • · Loyal cask drinkers tend to be at the upper end of age demographics
  • · In the minds of many consumers there is an overlap between cask and ‘craft’ beer but craft potentially repositions cask as old fashioned and out of touch
  • · There is a gap between the customer’s perception of quality and that of the licensee. Many customers do not return pints they are unhappy with
  • · Half of committed cask drinkers believe it is the same price as mainstream lager, indicating cask could be undervalued on the bar
  • · Many pubs have too many handpumps for the amount of cask they can sell