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1st March 2013


·      Marston’s releases Cask Ale Report 2013

·      Cask ale continues to outperform the declining UK beer market to deliver its sixth consecutive year of distribution and market share gain

·      Cask ale now has a 15% share of all on-trade beer, increasing distribution by 1.6% to 56% of all on-trade venues in the last year

·      Outlets with a cask ale offer are more resistant to closure across all trading formats

·      Cask ale is recruiting more drinkers looking for a quality experience on their beer drinking occasions with appeal driven by enhanced flavour, craft credentials and brewer provenance

·      Marston’s beer style analysis reveals that lighter golden beers are increasingly popular with younger drinkers


Marston’s has released its latest Cask Ale Report, which outlines the opportunity for retailers to develop their cask offer and boost category growth.


The role of cask ale has never been more crucial, providing a unique reason to visit the pub. The category has seen sustained growth whilst the UK beer market declines and has experienced its sixth consecutive year of distribution and market share gain.


The report also details how outlets offering cask ale are more resistant to closure and are benefiting from a new generation of consumers drinking cask ale, drawn by its appeal to deliver more flavour, craft credentials and brewer provenance than other types of beer.


James Coyle, Marston’s sales director says: “Cask ale is becoming increasingly popular and is attracting new drinkers looking for a more premium experience on their beer drinking occasions.


“Consumers are rejecting beers that have been commoditised by cheap supermarket pricing and are looking for a more rewarding drinking experience when they visit a pub or restaurant.”


“This represents a great opportunity for the on trade as cask ale is a unique experience that cannot be replicated at home. Some retailers are daunted by the perception of cask ale being more complex, but that’s where we can help, with our report delivering straightforward advice and support.”


The report details recommendations for retailers on developing their cask ale offer across three key areas:

1.       Delivering a perfect pint with a dedication to quality from cellar to glass

2.      Ranging to suit their customers’ needs

3.      Sales & serve tactics to build a reputation & differentiate your offer


James adds: “With new drinkers continually recruited to cask ale, we have never had a better opportunity to drive category growth. Both brewers and retailers must grasp the chance to ensure that these drinkers receive a quality experience and help them to find the style of beer that they will enjoy.”


The report reveals with over 1,000 different brewers producing beers, the diversity of beer styles on offer to UK consumers has never been greater. This has led Marston’s to segment beer styles into three broad colour categories of Golden, Amber and Dark with flavour attributes revealed through their drinker survey.


Although the amber style is most popular with 46% of loyal cask drinkers, golden beers are most popular with younger ‘occasionalist’ cask drinkers.


James adds “We see the simple segmentation and communication of beer styles as vital for category development. It delivers a simple framework to help consumers and customers navigate through the myriad of choice open to them.”




Copies of the report are available on request and a pdf can be downloaded from


For further information please contact:


Kimberley Owen, Vital on 07973 333965 or Justin Way, Marston’s on 07790 018964


Editors Notes:

·         The Marston’s Cask Ale Report 2013 is compiled with independent market data from the BBPA, CGA Strategy and SIBA together with Marston’s own drinker insight survey and testimonials from their customers.

·         Marston’s are the UKs leading brewer of premium cask and bottled ale with flagship brands Marston’s Pedigree and Wychwood Hobgoblin.

·         1 in 5 bottles or pints of premium ale are brewed by Marston’s.

·         Marston’s operate 5 different regional brewers from Jennings in the lake district, Marston’s and Banks’s in the Midlands, Wychwood/Brakspear in Witney, Oxfordshire and Ringwood in Hampshire

·         Marston’s fastcask™ format of cask ale (drops bright instantly) has now sold over 50 million pints since launch 2 years ago.