Appreciating ale

November 26, 2010, 1:00 AM GMT+0

A YouGov SixthSense report into the cask ale market has revealed that when choosing a boozer, over three quarters (76%) of cask drinkers appreciate pubs offering new, seasonal or ‘guest’ ales to try.

In addition to a variety of ales, cask drinkers appreciate the advice of knowledgeable bar staff – 57% cite this as a reason for opting for a particular watering hole.

  • Cask ale consumers represent 31% of UK alcohol drinkers
  • 29% of whom drink the barreled beverage once or twice a week
  • A further 32% turn to the likes of Shepherd Neame, Wells and Young’s and Greene King less than once a week but more than once a month
  • Of those with a taste for the musty stuff, 53% say that they consume 1-2 pints in a sitting
  • 1 in 5 state they routinely imbibe 2-5 pints
  • In pubs where cask ales are not available the most popular alternatives for aficionados are lager (30%), smooth/keg ale (27%) and Guinness (23%)
  • 56% of cask ale drinkers are loyal to one brand, citing taste (24% of drinkers) and quality (32%) as reason for continued consumption
  • It would appear, however, that loyalty may momentarily waver when consumers encounter a new product. 4 in 5 YouGov respondents who drink cask ales say that when they see something new they ‘generally give it a go’.

Speaking on the findings, Research Director for YouGov SixthSense, James McCoy, said, ‘The ale drinker may be loyal to his/her brand but that doesn’t prevent them from being adventurous once and a while. Seasonal ales lend an even greater sense of occasion to holiday drinking and many cask ale consumers are willing to break from entrenched pub habits to sample something festive.’