Marston’s Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in the world owning and brewing back to 1890. This clearly is a company steeped in history and tradition. However in 2010 they bought out a ‘game changer’ – the Marston’s FastCask. In 1947 post war they registered to join the London Stock Exchange. This enabled them stride ahead of much of the competition. Marston’s Brewery is one of the a few breweries that own pubs up and down the Country. For example, it acquired Cameron’s Brewery with its 150 pubs in the northeast. In 1999 Wolverhampton and Dudley purchased Marston’s brewery and adopted the name Marston’s. In 2002 they acquired Wizard Inns which had 63 pubs in the London region which they need to expand more into. Another large acquirement was Thwaites Brewery in Lancashire in 2015.
In 2010 Marston’s Brewery put a lot of time and resources in to develop its own Marston’s FastCask. This is a unqiue product with a patent pending. 2010 was just before the large amount of growth that Cask ale has recently gone through, so a lot of credit for encouraging publicans to offer Real ale or more recently known as Craft Beer. Marston’s FastCask made it so much easier to handle the Cask and prepare the beer for dispense that landlords were not scared of Cask which is relatively new to them. FastCask has been able to reduce the amount of time you had to leave your cask to settle. Cask beer contains live yeast which is scares some publicans from offering Real Ale or Craft Beer.
What makes the FastCask so unique is that when the beer is brewed they remove the yeast from the beer and then re-add the yeast in the barrel in the form of gel beads. The beads are naturally heavier than the beer so they start to drop to the bottom immediately when its moved or disturbed. Using this method helps the beer to continually condition. The beer continues to develop flavour and favourite characteristics. A normal 9 gallon firkin can typically take up to 48 hours to settle completely. Compared this to the seconds the Marston’s FastCask takes.
Marston’s Brewery and Pub Company currently employ around 13,000 members of staff, each one trained to pour the perfect pint. They pour the pint slowly with least amount of agitation as possible. Approximately 5% of the glass is the head of the beer and the outside of the glass is dry.
Advantages of FastCask
The major positives of using FastCask is the amount of time it needs to settle after delivery. It is reduced from 48 hours down to immediately. This also means the quantity of casks delivered can be reduced. The pub will not need to carry more stock than necessary because you do not need to have casks settling in advance.
Cask Marque Report
In a recent Cask Marque Report it states that variety is a key reason why real ale or craft beer drinkers are attracted to a particular pub. This encourages loyalty. With this in mind cellars can be very congested so to avoid any accidental agitation be extremely difficult so it immediately settling can keep it on sale which could be valuable time not to sell and finally stock rotation is so much easier now because they can move casks around the cellar and start drawing and dispensing from them.
Marston’s were so encouraged with the feedback they received they rolled out FastCask into multiple different brands and different brewery sites, such as Jennings, Wychwood, Marston’s and Brakspear.
Unfortunately there is a downside to Marston’s FastCask and that is price, the reason for this is the production process is a lot more complex than traditional brewing. However in 2010 the difference in cost was around £0.02 per pint but the positives in less stock and easier handling in the cellar.