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Making a success of cask – the Robinsons’ model

Cheshire family brewers, Robinsons, say they are driving beer growth in their 330+ tenanted pubs by giving the customers what they want!

The perfect Range  

It’s important to have a good selection of cask ales, 4 being the magic number. But quality is vital to ensure success with cask. Help achieve this by making sure your throughput is high enough to maintain fresh product – make sure you have the optimum number of ales available to meet your volume requirements. This chart, which you can download, Robinsons Guide to number of handpulls shows the recommended number of pumps that its pubs should have pouring, based on their volume expectations.

Once you have decided the number of ales required it’s important to get the right balance. There are many different flavour and colour profiles within our cask ale range, so make sure your ales complement each other and offer variation. It’s important to have a mix of familiar and less familiar brands so if you can make sure you take our seasonal beers that will help.  If customers are reassured by the quality of a recognised brand such as Unicorn or Dizzy Blonde they are more likely to try new and different ales. The on trade review identifies 56% of total cask volume is drunk by people who stick to beers they know and 44% is drunk by people who like to experiment and try new things. So it’s really important to cater for both parties by choosing your ale range carefully.

Our Range We are committed to providing customers with a range of cask ales to ensure there is something for everyone, all year round. From OLD TOM to 1892 and everything in-between, our state-of-the-art new Steineker Brew House can produce some of the world’s best, and tastiest, beers. Our range consists of 9 permanent beers that run throughout the year and 6 seasonal ales that change every 2 months.

Education and Training  Robinsons believe that training is very important – our training gives licensees the skills and knowledge required to run a successful pub; from cellar management, legal obligations, marketing and promotions, along with food training and wine knowledge.


robinsons tasting-dizzy-blondeTo help staff learn about our beers and make educated recommendations to customers, we have included Cyclops tastings notes on all of our products. Above you can see the Cyclops tasting notes for Dizzy Blonde which shows what the beer looks, smells and tastes like and how bitter and sweet it is. In additionRobinsons has signed up to provide unit information to their on-trade customers under the Responsibility Deal. Whilst many companies have sought to provide information on units in a variety of ways including through posters, menus and tent cards on tables Robinsons decided to use the opportunity of a major rebrand of their beers to incorporate the units onto their pump clips. All their pump clips now have units per pint on the pump clip displayed in a prominent form.

The striking pump clips encompass a similar ‘tab system’ throughout, which enables the customer to identify what the beer is going to taste and look like along with the variety of hops that are infused within the beer. The ABV of the product is also displayed on the pump clip. The pump clips have been well received by consumers and have been an important aspect of Robinsons’ commitment to provide more information and to promote responsible drinking.