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Cask Ale sales booming for TCG

Managed pub and bar group TCG is seeing sustained growth in sales of cask beer following its focus on improving quality and range across the business.

Cask sales were up by more than 40 per cent year-on-year across the business in the three months to the end of June, with the uplift generated by TCG’s latest Proud of our Ale campaign in April and May continuing beyond the official end of the promotion.

TCG chief operating officer Nigel Wright said:  ““Cask ale is Britain’s national drink and a product that can only be enjoyed at the pub. We have a very diverse range of pubs in the business, and we’re demonstrating that there are no barriers to serving great beer, with many more customers recognising that our pubs and bars are the best place locally to enjoy a pint of cask, every day of the year.”

The latest Proud of our Ale promotion saw TCG sites stock a range of beers from  Brains, Black Sheep and Adnams, as well as from local brewers via the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) DDS scheme. Beer quality accreditor Cask Marque and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) also supported the campaign.

During the promotion:

  • More than 100 different cask beers were served across the TCG business
  • More than 1,100 customers claimed a free seventh pint on a Proud of our Ale loyalty card
  • More than 5,000 CAMRA members claimed a discount by showing their membership card

Among the venues reaping the benefits is the Steam Passage in Islington, London, which has increased the number of cask ales it serves from three to five following the installation of new cask dispense equipment by Brains last year.  Assistant manager Mike Rowland champions cask beer at the pub, which has built up a following for its cask beer among staff at the nearby Business Design Centre.

 

“We have a group of customers who come in to try new ales after work,” says Mike. In an area popular with visitors to London, TCG’s Beer Tapas, serving three different beers in third-of-a-pint glasses, is also a big seller. “Tourists are keen to try British cask beer, but they’re not sure which they’ll prefer, so they love the Beer Tapas.”

 

As well as enabling pubs to grow their existing sales, TCG’s focus on cask has also seen ales introduced at venues which previously didn’t stock it at all, including Henry’s Café Bars. Jo Thorp, deputy manager at Henry’s Piccadilly, said, “The Proud of our Ales promotion really helped to put Henry’s Piccadilly on the map as somewhere to enjoy cask ale.

 

“Local customers know that we serve a good pint and offer a range of ales, which we vary regularly to keep it interesting. As a result, we have a good, steady trade of ale drinkers in the bar now, mainly at lunchtimes. And we’re one of only three TCG sites to get Brains Dark, which says a lot about our reputation for cask ale.”

 

Brains has been working with TCG to develop cask sales.  David Llewellyn, national accounts – regional development manager for the Welsh brewer says: “We’ve helped TCG significantly grow the cask category via installation of new handpulls, cask training, and developing many new-to-cask accounts like the Henry’s outlets, as well as our involvement with the Proud of Our Ale Campaign.

 

“It’s in everyone’s interest to ensure that staff are enthusiastic, confident and knowledgeable when talking about the beer range.”

 

TCG’s next Proud of our Ale promotion will coincide with Cask Beer Week 2012, which runs from September 28 to October 7. TCG pubs and bars will feature an even wider range of cask beer, with beer festivals at selected venues, right through October.

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Issued on behalf of:    TCG

By:                               ShielPorter Communications

Further information:    Ros Shiel: ros@shielporter.com / 07841 694137

John Porter: john@shielporter.com  / 07734 054389

Notes to editors: 

  • TCG operates a diverse estate of around 90 managed pubs and bars nationwide.
  • The business has a strong foothold in London, with high-profile sites such as the flagship Tattershall Castle floating bar and restaurant on the Embankment.
  • The estate stretches across the country from Aberdeen to Newquay, and from Cardiff to Norwich.  It includes late night bars, community and sports locals, student venues and quality town centre pubs, as well as a number of trading formats, such as the Henry’s Café Bar brand, Eerie Pubs and the King’s Feast food concept.
  • For more information visit the company website at www.the1440.co.uk .