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"... lockdowns saw 87 million pints, worth more than £300 million, being poured down the drain. With them went a whole load of jobs across the supply chain and a huge contribution to the UK and local economies in terms of revenue and taxes."

The Cask Matters Group has launched a welcome new initiative to help cask ale get back on its feet after long months being hit by COVID-19. Many cask ale brewers are currently running with production volumes a fraction of what they were prepandemic.

The initiative is aimed at reaching pub companies and publicans to promote cask ale both in the pub and on social media, but, now we can go back to the pub and properly socialise again, everyone who enjoys cask should give it support and spread the word on the joy of cask ale.

"Together we stand. Together we can reach millions with a social media crusade. Together we can boost the fortunes of cask beer. And through that, footfall into pubs.”

So says Paul Nunny, chair of the Cask Matters Group which is instigating the “Stand Up For Cask” campaign.

The social media campaign coincides with the changes in lockdown rules in England, which allow people to stand and chat in pubs – and crucially, to order from the bar.

“The end of regulations should be the start of a comeback for our national treasure, cask ale. Cask has been all but lost during the past 18 months, and it now needs a huge injection of support if a choice of beers on the bar isn’t going to become a thing of the past,” says Nunny.

All players in the industry, from the largest pub chain to the smallest pub or brewery, are invited to join the clarion call for cask.

Members of the Cask Matters Group, which includes pub companies, breweries and industry bodies, have committed to using the #StandUpForCask and #PubFreshBeer hashtags on their social media platforms from 19th July to 1st August, the duration for the campaign.

tent planners for the 2 weeks can also be found there.

The importance of championing cask beer has never been greater. According to a recent report by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, cask beer was responsible pre-pandemic for 72,500 jobs. Then lockdowns saw 87 million pints, worth more than £300 million, being poured down the drain. With them went a whole load of jobs across the supply chain and a huge contribution to the UK and local economies in terms of revenue and taxes.The thing with cask,” says Nunny, “is that it’s brewed in Britain using barley that is grown and malted here. It then goes to pubs to mature in the cellar, creating something fresh, natural and very importantly, sustainable.

“The pandemic has understandably seen an upsurge in home deliveries and click and collect. But you can’t buy pub atmosphere in a supermarket, nor get it delivered to your door. Ditto for fresh cask beer. These are two of the things that can’t be packaged up and sold as a commodity; two of the things that make pubs special.

“That’s why we are urging everyone with the slightest vested interest in cask to now be all hands to the pump and to Stand Up For Cask. Let’s together reach those millions of potential cask drinkers and remind them why they should mosey down to the local to sip, savour and enjoy a pub-fresh beer.”

Suggestions to pubs, pubcos and breweries for their social media activity around the Stand Up For Cask campaign include:-

  • Use of #StandUpForCask and #PubFreshBeer

  • Why your pub / pubco / brewery / organisation is supporting the campaign

  • Calls to action by drinkers / pubgoers – to drink cask, but also to post their support on social platforms

  • Backing from you own brands (beer or pub)

  • Enlisting support of key contacts – particularly celebrities, social media influencers and local VIPs whose voices will reach a wide audience

  • Use of team members – crowd shots of everyone standing up for cask maybe with hand-written boards with campaign slogan

  • Asking members of the team to post campaign messages on their social platforms.

Cask Marque is helping co-ordinate the campaign and has had pledges of support from a wide range of companies and organisations. A few examples:-

  • SIBA has been particularly pro-active, encouraging its independent brewery members and associate suppliers to add their voices, loud and clear. This support will help in getting through to many different beer-loving audiences

  • JD Wetherspoon is using the Stand Up For Cask logo and will be promoting 3 local ales in each of their pubs

  • Butcombe Brewery is asking James May to support the campaign with reasons why his favourite drink is cask ale – and why the pub is important

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