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28th September 2023

Cask ale revealed as the core of today’s UK pub culture

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  • Brewing expert outlines the importance of cask ale, following research revealing 80% of drinkers see it as essential to UK pub culture
  • A pint of cask ale labelled the freshest drink to enjoy among drinkers
  • Pub and brewing company hosts cask ale festival to encourage pub goers to try something new

Cask ale is seen as essential to the UK’s pub culture by four in five (80%) UK drinkers, according to a new survey.

The study, conducted by Greene King Brewery in support of Cask Ale Week, showed that despite the rise in prominence of alternative drinks such as lagers and ciders, the vast majority of British beer fans still believe cask ale plays a vital role in the UK pub landscape.

Not only that, but almost half of respondents (43%) believe that a pint of cask ale is the freshest drink you can order at the bar, more so than a pint of lager (36%) and notably more than a cold pint of coke (14%).

Cask Ale Week is the annual celebration of the brewing of real ales, with pubs and brewery companies from right across the country engaging in activity to support the cask ale industry and encouraging its customers to try and promote real ale.

Beer fans are certainly open to trying new drinks, with the enjoyment of discovering something new and enjoyable to drink the most popular reason for trying cask ales, according to almost a third of UK beer drinkers (30%).

Aside from wanting to expand their choice of drinks, almost three in ten (27%) respondents drink cask ale because they value the brands that brew it, while more than a quarter (26%) enjoy drinking cask because of its superior taste.

Cask Ale Week runs from Thursday 21st September – Sunday 1st October, with Greene King, a brewer of a large range of cask ales itself, heavily involved in the celebrations.

The pub and brewing company is running its Cask, Craft and Cider Festival during Cask Ale Week (Monday 18th September – Thursday 5th November) with a range of activities and promotions taking place in over 400 of its pubs in the UK to encourage customers to try something new.

Jack Palmer, Head Brewer at Greene King, said: “You could be forgiven for thinking that cask and real ales are declining in popularity, but it’s extremely refreshing to drinkers showing how popular they still are among UK beer, lager and cider fans.

“The process that goes into making a cask ale is extensive to ensure the best flavours are maximised and it’s great to see the art of brewing such ales is still so well supported in the community.

“At Greene King, we have years of experience in the industry and pride ourselves of providing customers with a huge range of top quality styles of cask ales, including a seasonal range, with something for everyone to enjoy.

“We’d highly recommend heading down to one of our pubs during Cask Ale Week to celebrate this industry and maybe uncover a new favourite style in the process.”

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Notes to editors

Study conducted by Prolific of 2,000 UK craft beer, lager, ale and cider drinkers, August 2023.

About Greene King:

Greene King is the country’s leading pub company and brewer with c.2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.

At Greene King we are passionate about delivering our purpose to ‘pour happiness into lives’. That’s for our customers, our team, our pub partners, our suppliers and the communities in which we live, operate and serve. Founded in 1799 with offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire we employ around 39,000 people across the group with four divisions: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnership and Ventures, and Brewing & Brands.

  • Greene King pubs are located where people and communities come together; pubs enjoyed in cities, towns and villages throughout the country
  • Destination Brands is a mixture of food and drink-led brands including Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer, Wacky Warehouse, and Pub & Carvery, Pub & Dining and Pub & Grill
  • Partnerships & Ventures which includes our tenanted and leased pubs and Hive Franchise pubs under Pub Partners and our Ventures Brands which is made up of Metropolitan Pub Company, Hickory’s, Hotels Group and Crafted Pubs
  • Brewing & Brands covers the brewing sides of the business. Quality ales are brewed at the Westgate brewery in Bury St Edmunds and the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar. Our industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best with a range of additional premium beers and seasonal ale

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