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‘Knowledgeable, motivated bar staff’ essential to tap into UK beer boom

As brewers and beer drinkers converge at Olympia for the Great British Beer Festival,  the Cask Matters group is urging everyone involved in serving cask beer in pubs and bars to sign up for its  Cask Beer Uncovered e-learning programme.


Some 60,000 drinkers are expected to visit GBBF, an indication of the nation’s growing thirst for cask beer. For any licensee wanting to capitalise on this buoyant market, having a knowledgeable, motivated team behind the bar is essential.

Cask Beer Uncovered is free of charge to all pubs and has registered close to 3,000 licensees and team members from 20 operators since its launch in March this year.  The programme comprises five short online films which staff can watch at any time, followed by a multiple choice test. Staff who score at least 75% across all five modules can print off a personalised Cask Beer Uncovered certificate. Delegates can complete the modules either via their operator’s training platform with CPL Online, or through the Cask Matters website.

Paul Nunny of Cask Matters, said, “We developed Cask Beer Uncovered to help operators meet their customers’ rising expectations of cask beer. Drinkers are becoming more knowledgeable about beer, and they expect to be served a great pint every time they visit a pub or bar.

“Increasingly, they also expect the person behind the bar to know about the beers on offer –ingredients, flavour and what food to match with them.  Cask Beer Uncovered aims to equip bar staff with this knowledge and enthusiasm, so that they can interact confidently with drinkers, resulting in increased beer sales and improved customer service.”

Michael Lees-Jones, head brewer at J W Lees, said, “Cask Beer Uncovered is a great way of engaging team members with cask beer, telling them everything they need to know in bite-size modules that are fun to watch and can be fitted into their working day.  We’ve had a good response from all the team members who have started the programme, and the licensees tell us they can see an immediate improvement in the customer’s cask beer experience.  We’re encouraging all our pubs and bars to sign up for the programme as soon as they can.”

Cask Beer Uncovered  is completely free of charge to retailers and their staff and represents a £2 million investment by Cask Matters,  who are aiming to put 100,000 team members through the programme in three years. Funding for the programme has come from: Adnams; Caledonian Brewing; Carlsberg UK;  Daniel Thwaites; Fuller, Smith & Turner; Greene King;  Marston’s Beer Company; Punch Partnerships; Frederic Robinson;  Shepherd Neame; St Austell; Wadworth; Charles Wells; SIBA; CAMRA and Cask Marque.

CPL Online has provided its internet platform to deliver the training.

You can view a trailer for the programme