Engaging the next generation with cask beer
The future of cask beer quality and dispense has received a massive boost with the launch of Cask Beer Uncovered, a new e-learning programme targeted at staff in the hospitality industry.
Cask Beer Uncovered has been developed by Cask Matters, a partnership of industry and consumer organisations, brewers and retailers who care about the future of our national drink. The goal is to put 100,000 bar staff through the programme over the next three years. The course is completely free of charge to retailers and their staff and represents a £2 million investment by Cask Matters.
Industry response to Cask Beer Uncovered has been overwhelmingly positive. A pre-launch trial with Punch Taverns has provided encouraging feedback and already a significant number of operators have committed to build it into their staff training.
Cask Beer Uncovered comprises five short online films which guide the viewer through every aspect of cask beer, with content delivered by brewers, publicans, bar staff and beer drinkers. Each film lasts around five minutes and is followed by a multiple choice test. Staff who score at least 75% across all five modules can print off a personalised Cask Beer Uncovered certificate. The films cover:
- – Ingredients and their impact on beer flavour, the brewing process
- – Cask beer conditioning in the pub cellar
- – Choosing the right range of cask beers and the importance of throughput and quality
- – Serving the perfect pint of cask beer
- – Advice on promoting cask beer to customers and matching beer with food
At the launch of Cask Beer Uncovered, Community Pubs Minister Kris Hopkins said: “The Great British Pint might be at least 9 pence cheaper under this Government but I can tell you now, having visited several breweries and pubs to see first hand the innovation underway in this great sector, our beer has never tasted better.
“The Great British Pub is renowned across the world for serving well-kept pints of beer. Initiatives like this one are important and will help preserve this reputation while boosting the skills and confidence of bar staff to retain them within the industry.”
Paul Nunny, speaking on behalf of the Cask Matters Group said, “Cask Beer Uncovered is a new way of engaging bar staff with cask beer, telling them everything they need to know about serving a great pint, in an entertaining way that will make learning about our national drink a lot of fun. The course will help bar staff to communicate with their customers in a more confident manner about beer, leading to increased sales and better customer service.
“This new training programme has generated excellent take up among younger members of staff, who live their lives online and appreciate the flexibility offered by e-learning. If we can embed knowledge and passion about cask beer in this next generation of licensees, our investment in Cask Beer Uncovered will have been worth every penny.”
Stephen Martin, category manager – drinks, at Punch Taverns, said, “Well-trained, motivated staff are key to the success of any pub. The Cask Beer Uncovered training will help thousands of bar staff to improve their cask beer knowledge and skills and, most importantly, enable them to deliver outstanding product and service to their customers. This in turn should deliver additional cask beer sales for everyone and ensure a bright future for our national drink.”
Lee Woolley, head of learning & development at Stonegate Pub Company said, “The new Cask Beer Uncovered e-learning module is a superb vehicle, not just for staff who are new to cask beer, but also those who need a refresher or even to be challenged on what they think they know. From how it is made, to why cask is a USP for pubs and consumer drinking habits, the inventively made videos take the user from the brewing process to keeping, ranging and selling. We will be using Cask Beer Uncovered in Stonegate for all those new to cask, management teams in cask sites and as a pre-runner to our cask workshops.”
Pub companies who have already committed to running Cask Beer Uncovered include: Carlsberg UK, Enterprise Inns, Fuller Smith & Turner, Hydes, J W Lees, Marston’s, Punch Taverns, Spirit Pub Company, Shepherd Neame, Harveys, St Austell, Star Pubs & Bars, Stonegate Pub Company, Daniel Thwaites, Wadworth and Charles Wells Pubs.
Cask Beer Uncovered is open to all retailers, free of charge. Funding for the programme has come from: Adnams; Caledonian Brewing; Carlsberg UK; Daniel Thwaites; Fuller, Smith & Turner; Greene King; Marston’s Beer Company; Punch Partnerships; Frederic Robinson; Shepherd Neame; St Austell; Wadworth; Charles Wells; SIBA; CAMRA and Cask Marque. CPL Online has provided its internet platform to deliver the training.
For more detail and to register: http://caskmarque.cple-learning.co.uk/registration.aspx