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Thread: Where Has All The Ale Gone?

  1. #41
    Palookaville hondo's Avatar
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    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    That's a very good analysis of the current situation ,and I agree with the main points about where cask needs to go in future.
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  3. #43
    Between pubs sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Interesting point about pricing of cask ales.

    "There is a perception that it should be lower on the pricing ladder than other categories, and the average price of a pint of cask is now £3.62 — 20p below the draught beer average. But lower price points can damage customers’ perceptions of quality, which is dangerous at a time when quality is growing in importance as a choice factor. Raising price points can drive up perceptions of quality, and they are justified by the level of care and attention that goes into brewing, conditioning, and serving*."



    *I would add potential wastage as well
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Interesting point about pricing of cask ales.

    "There is a perception that it should be lower on the pricing ladder than other categories, and the average price of a pint of cask is now £3.62 — 20p below the draught beer average. But lower price points can damage customers’ perceptions of quality, which is dangerous at a time when quality is growing in importance as a choice factor. Raising price points can drive up perceptions of quality, and they are justified by the level of care and attention that goes into brewing, conditioning, and serving*."



    *I would add potential wastage as well
    The price of cask beer in London has been raised and i dont think it makes me feel like cask is a quality product.In fact it has closed the gap pricewise between cask and keg and in the last 2 months i have drank about 40%cask and 60% keg.

  5. #45
    Between pubs sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    The price of cask beer in London has been raised and I dont think it makes me feel like cask is a quality product.
    If I stop and think about it, I don't think the *price* makes me feel like cask is a quality product. What makes me feel that way is when the pub (i.e. the management and staff and the ethos of the whole place) behaves as though it is. A couple of examples:

    At the Victoria, Paddington the person who served me spotted that my beer hadn't cleared as expected and went down to the cellar, noticed that the beer was lower in the barrel than they had thought, dashed back up and told me not to drink it! The manager meanwhile had also gone down to the cellar, poured me a glass straight from the barrel before starting to pull it through to the bar (presumably after cleaning the pipes!). This was the beer that some people refer to by a mangled version of its name, which is actually Fullers London Pride. On the way out of the pub, I noticed again the A-board which stands on the pavement near the entrance: "The freshest cask beers" it proudly proclaims, above a list of the beers available on tap. And now you know that it's true: a Fullers pub proud to sell beer in the best condition.

    Another: At the Sheffield Tap they brew their own beers (Tapped Brewery) and when pubs reopened (outdoors) in April these were all that was available. By having control of the supply chain they were able to make sure that the beer was available when they needed it and to condition it so that it was in the best condition. As things opened up a little in May and finally in July, they introduced more beers. At first these were only their own as in April, but as trade improved (train travel was also increasing, which helped with throughput) they introduced a few guests. By this strategy they were able to ensure the best quality of the beer on the bar. Six months later they are now back to having the full row of hand pumps with (approximately) nine or ten guests and one or two from Tapped. This, it seems to me, is treating their wares with the seriousness of a premium product, making sure that only cask ale guaranteed to be in tip top condition is being served to their customers. (The 3.6% pale ale or bitter, Mojo, is now selling at £3.80 instead of £3.60, but I don't see this as a problem.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Interesting point about pricing of cask ales.

    "There is a perception that it should be lower on the pricing ladder than other categories, and the average price of a pint of cask is now £3.62 — 20p below the draught beer average. But lower price points can damage customers’ perceptions of quality, which is dangerous at a time when quality is growing in importance as a choice factor. Raising price points can drive up perceptions of quality, and they are justified by the level of care and attention that goes into brewing, conditioning, and serving."
    About 30 years ago I was secretary of our work social club. We dealt with, amongst others, Charles Wells, who held the licence to brew Red Stripe lager, which was becoming trendy at the time. I remember chatting with the rep one day and he said some West End nightclub was complaining it wasn't selling, they'd tried discounting, happy hours, all of that, and were going to pull the account.

    He suggested that they put their prices up in line with their super-premium beers and hey presto it was suddenly flying off the shelves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickDavies View Post
    He suggested that they put their prices up in line with their super-premium beers and hey presto it was suddenly flying off the shelves.
    This is quite an old trick - you put the price up and customers believe they're buying something superior. Remember the Jean de Florette-inspired ads from the 1980s for Stella Artois?

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    (The 3.6% pale ale or bitter, Mojo, is now selling at £3.80 instead of £3.60, but I don't see this as a problem.)
    £3.80 a pint is certainly not a problem in my neck of the woods.
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    Not convinced that cask beer is a quality product.Can be yes,but in general not in London as far as i can see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    Not convinced that cask beer is a quality product.Can be yes,but in general not in London as far as i can see.
    I think it can certainly be a quality product, but one which can be ruined by poor handling, which quite common here.

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