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Ale Trailers’ make million milestone as Cask Ale Week begins

Cask Ale Week runs from today, 23rd September to 3rd October. Just as events, activities and promotions get under way, attracting more people into pubs, The World’s Biggest Ale Trail records a major milestone.

It has generated a million pub visits. “10,000 people who are members of The World’s Biggest Ale Trail have between them reached the million mark,” says Paul Nunny of Cask Marque. “And every visit they have made is in pursuit of the only pub-fresh beer: cask-conditioned ale.”

The CaskFinder App, where people register to join in The World’s Biggest Ale Trail, records QR code scans made by ale trailers. They can each scan any single pub only once: an encouragement to head out for numerous pub and beer adventures over time. Eight indomitable App users have racked up 4,000 different pubs each.

Proof, if further proof were needed, of fascination with, and dedication to, cask beer, is the membership of the Campaign for Real Ale. 165,000 people pay their CAMRA subs each year to support this drink. No other food and drink category attracts support at this level. What is it then, that makes people so passionate about it – and that gets breweries and pubs working together in Cask Ale Week to out the spotlight on it?

“Cask ale is the freshest drink on the bar,” says Nunny. “It’s natural, unpasteurised and fresh, and has the shortest shelf-life: just three days. It takes the skills of both brewer and licensee to produce – as the brewing process actually completes in the pub cellar.

“The thing about cask beer is that you can’t buy it in the supermarket or get it delivered to your front door. To drink it, you have to go to the pub. It is unique to the pub – and to this country. This is the only place in the world where hand pumps on the bar, indicating fresh beer, are the norm.”

As a result of the pandemic, the doors of 2,000 of the country’s 47,000 pubs had already been permanently closed by March this year, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

“That’s why Cask Ale Week is this year more important than ever,” says Nunny. “Cask can play a huge role in encouraging people out of their homes and into the sociable atmosphere of the pub. It helps keep pubs open – especially those pubs that are the centres of communities.”

In the seven years from 2012 to 2019, the number of breweries in Britain rose 80% from 1,080 to 1,950 [Statista]. By buying cask ale, Nunny says that drinkers are helping to keep many of those breweries open and are – crucially, for those in search of flavour and variety – contributing to choice of beers on the bar.

Cask Ale Week activities range from beer weeks, beer festivals and brewery tours to competitions, beer quizzes and free pint promotions. Breweries, pub companies and pubs from all over the country are taking place. Details can be found here https://caskaleweek.co.uk/activities-2021/ and via @caskaleweek on social media platforms.

Anyone can join The World’s Biggest Ale Trail, which offers prizes for points collected, by downloading the free CaskFinder app. There are additional prizes, such as a T shirt for 12 pubs visited, and mini trails especially for Cask Ale Week.

Beer of the Day: Ten prominent members of the British Guild of Beer Writers and the CEO of UK Hospitality were each asked to choose a Beer of the Day for Cask Ale Week. They are as follows:

23.09.21 Matthew Curtis Mallinson’s, Citra
24.09.21 Tom Stapley Steam Town, Stoke Extra Pale
25.09.21 Roger Protz Farr Brew, Our Best Bitter
26.09.21 Adrian Tierney-Jones Thornbridge, Jaipur
27.09.21 Jess Mason Abyss Brewing, The Future (West Coast IPA)
28.09.21 Jonny Garrett Hook Norton Brewery, Old Hooky
29.09.21 Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality Thwaites, Wainwright Golden
30.09.21 Emma Inch St Austell, Proper Job
01.10.21 Pete Brown Fuller’s, ESB
02.10.21 Melissa Cole Big Smoke, Solaris
03.10.21 Marverine Cole Sarah Hughes, Dark Ruby Mild

 

  • Ends –

Notes to the editor

  • Cask beer is produced with barley grown and malted in this country, keeping ingredient ‘food miles’ to a minimum. It creates jobs in the farming, malting, brewing and pub sectors, bringing benefit to local and national economies throughout the supply chain.
  • Off trade sales of beer 4,451,500,000 pints (BBPA MAT Dec 2019) – and UK fails to recycle 48% of aluminium packaging (Gov UK Stats on Waste 2021) and fails to recycle 32% of glass. By contrast, cask beer containers used for real ale in the pub can be re-used over and over again, for up to 30 years. The environmental case for drinking in the pub is clear from this alone.
  • There were 54,800 pubs in 2009 (Statista) and 47,200 in 2019 (Statista) -14% in 10 years
  • Pub market value was £23bn in 2019 and £9bn in 2020 (Big Hospitality)

Cask Marque which was formed as a non-profit making organisation in 1998 to promote beer quality and in particular, cask, facilitates Cask Ale Week for the pub and Beer industry. Pubs and Breweries do not have to be members of Cask Marque to join in. They are all welcome to get involved.


Press release from Cask Ale Week

Further info: Frances Brace frances@redflamecommunications.co.uk  07432 692309


Key Activities: Cask Ale Week 2021

Pub Companies

NICHOLSON’S PUBS – Free pint of Nicholson’s Pale Ale with the purchase of food.   An exclusive Cask Ale Week offer for our new and registered Nicholson’s app users.

CITY TAVERNS – Check out the Doom Bar QR code in the pub to enter a competition to WIN a Staycation to Cornwall.

CLASSIC INNS – Buy 5 pints of Doom Bar, get the 6th free + head over to their social media during Cask Ale Week when they’re running a competition to win Doom Bar goodies.

PROPER PUBS – Pick up a scratch card with your pint of Doom Bar, and be in with the chance of winning a staycation in Cornwall for two!

TOWN PUB & KITCHEN – Check out the Doom Bar QR code in the pub to enter a competition to WIN a Staycation to Cornwall.

SHELDON INNS – During Cask Ale week, Sheldon Inns pubs are offering 50p off per pint on selected cask ales.  There will also be pie offers, beer festivals, BBQ’s and rotating ales.

THWAITES – Thwaites are relaunching Dark Mild for Cask Ale Week.  Look out for their competition on social media to WIN some of their beer, too!

GREENE KING FLAMING GRILL & PROPER PUBS – Buy 5 pints and get your 6th free at selected Flaming Grill & Proper Pubs.

Breweries

‘An Evening with Paul Theakston’ at Black Sheep Brewery – In celebration of Cask Ale Week, Black Sheep Brewery are hosting an evening with founder Paul Theakston on Tuesday 28th September from 7pm.  Speak to their iconic founder in-person and find out why cask ale means so much to the British brewing landscape.  Tickets available to book by emailing events@blacksheep.co.uk

Brewpoint Brewery, Bedford – Beer & Snack Tasting Event – To celebrate Cask Ale Week, Wells & Co’s newest brewery will be hosting this great event on the 28th February (7pm-9pm).  For more info visit their website.

Doncaster Brewery & Tap – During Cask Ale Week, the Doncaster Brewery & Tap will be celebrating with a variety of cask ale as well as guest beers sourced from local breweries.  Throughout the festival, there will be Yorkshire cheeseboards supplied by Neil’s Cheeseboard and pork pies by Wilkinson Butchers.  On Saturday 25th September, there will be an Open Folk Session in the Bar and a Day of Dance featuring the Green Oak Morris Men.

 East London Brewing Company – On Thursday 30th September, there will be a Cask Launch of Walthamstow Beer – a green-hopped Pale Ale that was brewed using the hops grown from the garden, plots, and allotments of local residents! This is the 8th year of the Walthamstow Hop Project and there have been more growers and hops than ever before!  The cask launch will take place at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown, 53 Hoe Street, E17 4SA, from 7pm onwards. Walthamstow Beer will also be available in bottle at a later date, and will be announced in due course.

Grain Brewery, Alburgh, Harleston – On Saturday 25 September, The Grain Brewery Taproom Bar will be re-opening!  There will be plenty of fun to go alongside a wide range of cask and keg beers!  There will also be live music, hotdogs served throughout, plus, a Brewery Tour.

Green Hop Thanet Brewery Trail – On Saturday 2nd October, Wantsum Brewery will be offering a FREE shuttle service between 3pm – 9pm going between Wantsum Brewery, Shivering Sands, Northdown Brewery & Xylo Brewing.

Purple Moose Brewery, Porthmadog – During Cask Ale Week, Purple Moose Brewery will be giving customers a Moose token for every pint of cask ale they buy at their Brewery Tap, The Australia, in Porthmadog. Collect 5 Moose tokens and receive a pint of cask ale for FREE!

Robinsons Brewery – Robinsons Brewery is set to give away 50,000 free pints in support of its community pubs. From 23rd September, customers can visit the 100 participating Robinsons’ pubs, ask for a collection card and get their 5th pint for free. There are 500 pints to give away in each pub.

Pubs

Brains Tap Takeover at the Garden House, Norwich – On Tuesday 28th September, Brains Brewery will be taking over the taps at The Garden House in Norwich.  There will be lots of beers, merch and fun! SA, SA Gold, Rev James & Dark will all be pouring whilst stocks last.

Hot Spot Quiz at the Urmston pub, Manchester – On Thursday 30th September, the Hot Spot Quiz Company will be hosting a Cask Ale Smartphone quiz at The Urmston, as part of their weekly Thursday night quiz events.  It’s free entry and there will be prize giveaways.  It is a SpeedQuizzing Smartphone Quiz so Quiz Teams will need to download on their phone the SpeedQuizzing APP from any APP store.  The event will get underway from 8:30pm and end at approx 11pm / Midnight.

Ossett Tap Takeover at the Tavern Fayre, Bolton – On Friday 24th September, the Ossett Brewery team will be heading over to join Tavern Fayre for a tap takeover. White Rat will feature on the bar along with a couple more great Ossett beers! 

The Adelphi in Leeds will have a range of cask beers including Tetley’s Original, Leeds Pale Ale, and big names like Jaipur from Thornbridge Brewery to local breweries such as Kirkstall Brewery and Ilkley Brewery.  The Adelphi is situated right next door to the old Tetley’s Brewery and Touch of Frost was also filmed in this pub!  

The Albion, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington – During Cask Ale Week, The Albion will be donating 10p from every pint of ‘Hub of Hops’ sold to Chasing the Stigma (a charity helping to normalise and humanise mental health).

The Barley Mow, Wolverhampton – Over the first weekend in October (1st – 3rd October) there will be lots of ale and live music in celebration to the pub cat Rantipole turning 10!!  You’ll find their giant marquee turned into a giant beer hall full of scrumptious real ale for you to enjoy.  Visit their Facebook page for more info.

The Cock & Greyhound, Whitchurch – Celebrating all things CASK! In conjunction with CASK ALE WEEK and OKTOBERFEST, The Cock & Greyhound are putting on their very own mini cask ale ‘shindig’! They will be Offering a wide variety of Cask Ales, great food, including some Oktoberfest inspired dishes, live solo music artists on the Thursday and Friday, followed by a full live band on Saturday night. Indoor and outdoor bars with heated marquee to fend off any unwated weather! There’s also a chance to WIN Black Sheep Brewery Tour tickets! Cask line-up will be confirmed nearer the time, but Black Sheep, Timothy Taylor’s, Titanic Brewery, Oakham Ales and St. Austell are already in the mix.

The Dukes Umbrella, Glasgow – During Cask Ale Week, The Dukes Umbrella will be running a special promotion with cask ale and one of their homemade pies!!  The pub will be rotating Williams Bros, Cromarty and Stewart Brewing beers.

The Errigle Inn, Belfast – Beer From the Wood NI are supporting Cask Ale Week by having an afternoon on the 25th September, in the Oak Lounge with a big THANK YOU to the members for staying with them.

The Rumsey Wells, Norwich – On Friday 1st October the Rumsey Wells will be hosting a ‘Meet The Brewer’ event with some of the best young brewers from Adnams Brewery coming to talk all things beer.

Thornbridge Brewery Tap Takeover at The Denbigh Castle, Liverpool – Join The Denbigh Castle on Thursday 30th September from 7pm for a Thornbridge Tap Takeover during Cask Ale Week.  Tickets are £20 per person, which includes tasting of 7 beers & nibbles. Predominately cask with a couple of craft and surprise bottles too! Booking essential – email info@thedenbighcastle.co.uk or call 0151 236 8558.

Ye Olde Vic, Stockport – From 23rd September, the Ye Olde Vic in Stockport will be showcasing single-hopped beers for Stockport Beer Week. 

Beer Festivals

Ascot Beer Festival, Ascot Racecourse – The festival is taking place on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October.  You’ll find 160 different real ales, real ciders and perries, There will also be some top class flat racing and the chance to have a flutter if you fancy, plus live music. https://ascotbeerfest.org.uk

Chadlington Beer Festival, Chadlington Memorial Hall, Chipping Norton – 2021 sees the 17th annual Chadlington Beer Festival.  Taking place on Saturday 25th September, you can expect great beers from Chadlington Brewery, Loose Cannon Brewery, Little Oxbrew, Turpin Brewery and Hook Norton Brewery.  Adult Admission: £10 Including a glass, 2 tokens & programme. https://chadlingtonbeerfestival.co.uk

Fullerians RFC Beer Festival, Watford – The annual Beer Festival returns over the weekend of 24th – 26th September. With 20 cracking ales and 10 lovely ciders, as well as live music, you’ll be spoilt for choice! https://www.fullerians.co.uk/news/beer-gin–cider-festival–1-week-to-go-2647933.html

 Hitchin Beer and Cider Festival – tickets now sold out

Rivington Brewing Co. Tap, Chorley Rivington Brewing Co. presents Farm Trip 2021! The will have 50+ different beers (cask + keg included) from breweries across the UK, plus brand new beer releases and food stalls, too. Breweries featured include Track Brewing Co. Heist Brewing Co. Marble Brewery, Overtone Brewing Co. Thornbridge Brewery, and many more. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rivington-brewing-co-presents-farm-trip-2021-tickets-168936885773 

Shropshire Oktoberfest, The Quarry, Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury’s biggest beer festival is set to return on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October.  Shropshire Oktoberfest is set to come back to the Quarry with a bang! You’ll find up to 150 real ales by independent brewers from the region and beyond! There will also be live music (including a silent disco), comedy and even a gin and wine tent. https://www.shropshireoktoberfest.co.uk

Spa Valley Railway 10th Real Ale & Cider Festival, Tunbridge Wells – The South East’s original Railway Beer Festival is back this October with over 200 Real Ales and 40 Ciders perfectly complemented by live entertainment, a range of food stalls and of course our steam and heritage diesel trains! This is the 10th Real Ale & Cider Festival to be held at the Spa Valley Railway in conjunction with a group of local real ale loving enthusiasts and we’re pulling out all the stops to make up for losing 2020 and celebrating 10yrs too!  https://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/product.php/280/10th-real-ale-cider-festival

St Albans Beer & Pubs Festival – Don’t miss the new-style festival for 2021 – a collection of pub trails and events across the city in collaboration with local publicans. https://stalbansbeerfestival.org.uk

The Big Mash Up at Steam Machine Brewing Co. (Newton Aycliffe) – Steam Machine Brewing Co. plays host to its annual beer festival at the brewery.  From the 30th September to 2nd October, expect great beer, food, music, and good times. https://www.facebook.com/steammachinebrew

Woolston Beer Festival, Pear Tree Church Hall in Southampton – This will be the 11th annual event and three sessions will run from Friday 1st to Saturday 2nd October.https://www.woolstonbeerfestival.org.uk

Brewery Tours

Brewery Tours at Adnams Brewery, Southwold – Led by their experienced Tour Guides, you will be immersed in all things Adnams and given an insight into what makes their brews so special.

FREE Brewery Tours at Black Sheep Brewery – Free tours for everyone! For the duration of Cask Ale Week, Black Sheep will be offering their popular brewery tours to the public absolutely FREE! If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about cask beer and the history of Black Sheep, now is the time!  For more info and to book, email events@blacksheep.co.uk

Other Events

Harrogate Beer Week –  Running from 20 – 26 September 2021, Harrogate Beer Week will present an inclusive, week-long, town-wide celebration of Harrogate beer, local brewing heritage, and beer in the community, inviting pubs, breweries, artists, musicians, cafes and restaurants to celebrate all things beer.  https://www.harrogatebeerweek.co.uk/programme

Leeds Heritage Brewery Tours – Explore the history of beer in Leeds, visit heritage pubs & enjoy great cask beer! https://www.leedsbeertours.co.uk/leeds-heritage-beer-tour

Nottingham Ale Trail – The Nottingham Ale Trail is a month long celebration of local pubs, breweries and cask ale.  This year the trails will take place from Friday 3rd September until Sunday 3rd October. There’s brand new themed trails to explore, with collectable pin badges available for completed trails, as well as a new commemorative T-shirt for the triumphant souls who complete them all. https://www.itsinnottingham.com/ideas-inspiration/ale-trails

Stockport Beer Week – An exciting array of events will be happening during Stockport Beer Week, from local ale trails, to beer and food tasting. http://www.ssmcamra.co.uk/BeerWeek.htm

The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz at the Hen & Chicken Studio, Bristol – Returning with a BRAND NEW SHOW. The hilarious, award-winning drinks experts, ‘The Thinking Drinkers’, host history’s greatest ever pub quiz packed with loads of funny, fascinating facts and FIVE free discerning drinks for every audience member. You’ll learn a lot and you’ll laugh a lot as answers to life’s most important and unusual questions appear at the bottom of your glass.

The Sun Inn, Swindon – Join the Sun Inn on Wednesday 29th September for a Cask Ale Quiz Night, with co-host Alex Arkell (Head Brewer at Arkells Brewery). Blind taste refreshing cask ale. 1st prize brewery tour for the winning team, 2nd prize mini keg for each team member, and 3rd prize a pint voucher & pint glass for each team member.  Starts 7.30pm – book a table by email: thesuninn@arkells.com

Virtual Events

THEAKSTONS PRESENTS ‘Ale together now’ –  Hosted by The Morning Advertiser editor, Ed Bedington, join Simon Theakston and a panel of beer experts for an exclusive virtual event held on Friday 1st October at 6pm.  In celebration of Cask Ale Week, this light-hearted panel discussion will explore what the two camps of cask ale and modern craft beer can learn from each other, it’s definitely not one to be missed!  You can submit your questions for the panellists before Friday 24th September by tweeting @Theakston1827, or messaging Theakston on Facebook or Instagram.

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