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How to Make Money from Cask

The following are some of our top tips for pubs to maximise the profit they can make from selling great cask beer:

  1. Get your quality right

One poor quality pint of cask ale can damage your reputation as a cask retailer. Check it’s stored and served at the correct temperature (10 – 14 degrees centigrade), make sure it’s crystal clear, and ensure you sell each container of cask within 3 days. After that period of time, the beer will taste flat and stale.

  1. Get your standards right

Cellar and bar hygiene, glassware, temperature and stock rotation are all key to making sure cask goes across the bar in perfect condition. Cask is a fresh, unpasteurised product: let your standards slip in any of these areas, and cask ale sales will fall.

  1. Get your pricing right

This is where a lot of publicans go wrong: they calculate the retail price of a pint based on getting a full 72 pints out of each container. This is impossible with cask because it contains sediment, so allow for 2 pints wastage per container. Instead, work out the retail price based on the cost price of the container divided by 70 multiplied by margin %.

  1. Get your range right

Choose a diverse range of colours, strengths and styles so you offer choice to all your drinkers. Keep an eye on the market and stock bestsellers and nationally recognised brands. Keep a permanent beer on at all times and rotate guest ales around this.

  1. Get your marketing right

If customers don’t know you stock cask, they won’t buy it. Make cask as visible as possible through the use of point of sale, chalkboards, table talkers and menus. Make it policy that Try Before You Buy samples are offered to customers, and match beers up with your food offering.

  1. Get your training right

Make sure staff know how to serve cask correctly, and can describe what the beer is: what it tastes like, what colour it is, where it comes from and what strength it is. Personal recommendations from staff are very powerful.

For more information on all of our training courses to help with looking after cask ale, please visit our training pages.

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