Q: Who can join in?
A: All breweries who produce cask ale – and all pubs that sell it. All we ask is that you use the Cask Ale Week logo and inform us of your plans via the Cask Ale Week website.
Q:Is it free?
A: Yes. We provide the platform. You provide the content. We all work together to make the biggest possible impact.
Q:What are the benefits to my pub?
A: Of course that depends on the activity you undertake, but here is the key incentive. Cask ale drinkers are twice as likely to go the pub as other drinkers – and spend almost double what others spend there over the course of the year. So clearly, keeping your cask-drinking customers loyal and attracting in new ones makes absolute sense.
Your activities can be featured on the Cask Ale Week website and our Facebook page. We’ll retweet your tweets that include @caskaleweek. 23,000 of our Ale Trailers are being incentivised to visit different pubs during Cask Ale Week. If your pub has Cask Marque accreditation, you can be one of the beneficiaries.
Using the Cask Ale Week platform could help you gain additional sales, generate social and local media coverage. It is the reason for drinkers to engage. You can gain the benefit if you build on the opportunity.
Q:What is the key piece of advice?
A: Be clear about your objectives. Decide, for example, who you are targetting. Then construct a cunning plan that captures the buzz around the Week and really does address the interests of your target audience.
Q:In my pub, every week is cask ale week – so why would I get involved?
A: It’s an opportunity to shout about your beers and get your pub name about. It’s a chance to reward your loyal drinkers and attract new ones in. It’s a designated week – well, ten days! – during which time, press, radio and drinkers are on the look-out for beery things to do and stories to tell. Why would you not get involved?
Q:What if we’ve already got loads of stuff going on that week?
A: Perfect! Add value by putting them under our umbrella. Brand your event or promotion with the Cask Ale Week logo. Include your information on our website http://caskaleweek.co.uk/ Everybody loves the ‘big occasion’, and your pub can make people feel part of this national celebration. Packaging your activity with Cask Ale Week can add significant value to stuff you were doing anyway.
So to give a few ideas…
• Run a beer festival
• Change your range for the Week – maybe giving it a theme
• Run an “introduce a friend” promotion or three third pint promotion
• Train your staff to actively promote ‘Try Before You Buy’
• Run a cask-themed competition
• Ask your suppliers to run a ‘Meet the Brewer’ Tutoring Tasting at your venue
• Invite a local MP to the pub for a photo opportunity
• Link with a local food producer to organise a beer and food event
• Match food on your menu with beers on your bar
• Organise a beer quiz
• Offer yourself to local radio to talk about why cask ale is so important to pubs and why it’s gone through such a resurgence in recent times. They are more likely to take this up as a local angle on a nationwide event (Cask Ale Week) than at any other time
• Think photos: create a great picture using the Cask Ale Week logo and your team pub or beers – and create a narrative around it for local and social media.
Q: Does Cask Ale Week have a good social media presence?
A: Yep: join in our conversations, post your activities on our Facebook page and use our @caskaleweek Twitter handle. And, just a reminder, add your event to the regional map on our website http://caskaleweek.co.uk/add-event/ Journalists, pub-goers and beer drinkers use the site as a source of information – so your activities will get added exposure by being there.
Paul Nunny is Chief Executive of Cask Marque and coordinator of Cask Ale Week.