Cask Marque Report 2015

Cask Marque Report 2015

For the last couple of year Cask Marque have been providing an Real Ale or more modernly known as Craft Beer. The  Cask Marque Report 2015 was written by Pete Brown. A big thank you to him and Cask Marque for collecting all the information and compiling the report. Real ale has sustained growth for the third consecutive year.  A greater number of pubs are providing a larger selection of ales. In 2014, 64.6% of pubs offer 3 ales, 22.2% offer three to six and finally 11.9% are offering 7 plus.

The reason for this improving numbers of people drinking cask ale is because it cannot be authentically replicated outside of a pub environment. Where else can you witness the theatre and drama of watching your favourite ale being slowly and carefully drawn from the cask. Before being dispensed into your glass via a great looking traditional hand pull?

We know now that the average real ale beer drinker visits the pub twice as often as it non ale drinking counterparts and as a result the average money spent is around £967 per year which is close to double the average spend.

Cask Marque Report 2015 states that Cask has continued growth is remarkable; in 2015 it was 15% of trade on beer with 2015 figures growing to 17% with projected figures in 2020 being 20%. This means it is expected that 1 in 5 beers sold will be cask ale.

With the market growing that quickly, understandably there are a lot of new breweries that want to get involved in the action. In 2015 there was 1,700 breweries with the number growing by 4 per week, each of these breweries has numerous different beers and ales. It is believed that there are around 11,000 different ales currently available.

Social media

Harry Mason Ltd, Cask Marque Report 2015 and Cask Marque Report 2016 are encouraging 21st century marketing, using social media and particularly twitter to good effect. This has helped in removing the ‘old man’ image that is so often associated with real ale. Studies show that in 2015, 18 – 34 year olds made up 29% of cask ale sales. With 35 – 54 year olds having the highest share at 39%.  Perhaps most surprisingly the over 55’s sitting in the middle at 32%.

Twitter has been very important with improving people’s discovery of new ales to try. Festivals are advertised on twitter to raise awareness. This is proving to be an effective way of encouraging people to try new things. In the UK there are associations such as Cask Marque, The British Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). All these organisations help breweries and the licensed trade to serve real ale.

Camra & Cask Marque

CAMRA hosted 161 beer and ale festivals. 41% of real ale drinkers believe that beer festivals are the best place to find new ales. Festivals are also proven ways for small breweries (sometimes known as micro-breweries) to get some great publicity.

Cask ale drinkers are 61% more likely to influence their social group with what pub or bar to visit, the reason for this is that a real ale drinker has a criteria of what they require when they go for a pint of ale. They require atmosphere, a reasonable price and a  good selection.  Interestingly less importance is placed on other criteria such as food, the style of the pub and the entertainment.

However Cask Marque Report 2015 states Cask Ale has a long way to go in changing the majority of the population’s opinion. With over 42% of the drinking population having never tried it. A common reason for not drinking real ale have long been cited as it being too masculine and old fashioned. Another common reason is that customers have simply not known which brands to try.


Brown, P. (2015) The Cask Report 2015-2016. Available at: (Accessed: 12 September 2016).

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