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In this blog, we’re going to champion cask beer

Cask Ale Week 2023 logo with the dates 21st of September to the 1st October

If you think that’s biased, well, it is. That’s because many of our malts, Maris Otter in particular, are widely used by brewers in their cask offerings.

And although cask beer is now a comparatively small part of the overall beer market in Britain, it is still hugely important to pubs. If it’s important to pubs, it’s important to (most) craft brewers. If it’s important to (most) craft brewers, it’s important to us.

So we’re supporters of anything that promotes this rather wonderful accomplishment of brewing. Including Cask Ale Week? Of course. Bring it on.

Why not jump on the bandwagon yourself?

It’s open to all pubs and breweries to get involved; there’s no fee; it supports the category; and of course, you can use it to promote your beers.

“But getting involved takes time,” you riposte. And you’re right: there is indeed a bit of effort needed. Thinking of what to do; discussing with the team; getting an activity together; shouting about it so people know it’s happening.

Given that those are the kinds of thing you – or members of your team – do all the time, getting involved in Cask Ale Week shouldn’t represent too much of a challenge. In case you want a few ideas, we’ve included some at the end (just scroll down). You can adapt the obvious ones to create something different, quirky and attention-grabbing.

If you felt like using the Week to educate drinkers about cask beer, that sounds a good plan. And if you used it to talk not just about your brewing practices, but also about your ingredients – especially your malt – we’re 100% behind that. Obviously. If you need any more info from us to help in this enterprise, just let us know!

Does cask matter?


It matters to drinkers (no other food or drink fan base gets anywhere near the size and scale of CAMRA).

It matters to pubs (a pub without cask beer doesn’t really feel like a pub at all: a bar, maybe, but not a pub, not a proper pub anyway).

It matters to most craft brewers (53% of the beer brewed by SIBA members is cask beer).

And, as we might have already mentioned, it matters to us.

Cask beer is part of Britain’s heritage and tradition. But it’s much more than that.

For starters, it’s fresh. There’s a consumer campaign Drink Cask Fresh, which is worth checking out As you’ll see, there’s some useful stuff on there.

Next up, it’s probably the most sustainable beer you can brew or drink. A cask container can last 20 to 30 years. It doesn’t need to be pasteurised, nor have gas added to it, given that the carbon dioxide is produced naturally. Furthermore, cask needs to be taken down to a mere 110 – 130C compared with lager and keg bitters’ 50 – 80C – and it uses a lot of energy to reduce the temperature of liquids!

On the subject of sustainability, just about every cask beer brewed in Britain uses barley grown and malted in this country. As maltsters, we’re pretty keen on that, as you can imagine…

And lastly (for the moment anyway), a great cask beer represents the pinnacle in terms of skill and artisanship. It is a combined enterprise in craft. It is the work of both brewer and publican. It involves process, procedure, and technical expertise, and, as with anything live, it involves judgement.

A few suggestions for Cask Ale Week activity

Pint of beer on a tableWell, if you have a tap room – and it seems 40% of SIBA members do – use it.

  • Have a party to celebrate cask ale
  • Put on a special tutored tasting focussing on cask
  • Use the malt flavour wheel for any notes
  • Invite the community
  • Hold a blind-tasting competition
  • Run a quiz

You know what works best for you, and you know that the most profitable way for you to sell beer is through your own premises. And if you don’t have a tap room, offer yourself, or a colleague, up to do tutored tastings away from the brewery. Hold a social media competition.

Just focus whatever you’re doing around cask beer for the 11 day ‘Week’, Thursday 21st September to Sunday 1st October.

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