Monday, 16 February 2009

Cask Ale Week

Easter week, which will be busy for us, also contains National Cask Ale Week. I'm trying to decide what to do about this. The initiative is a combined effort by CAMRA, Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns and Cask Marque. There is also a big list of major cask producers taking part. I'm being asked to fork out £40+VAT for stuff that will promote these organisations.

We will be busy during the Easter break. It's one of our guaranteed busy times. We will get lots of customers through our doors and as normal we will gently cajole those that have not tried cask before to try it. Some we win, some we don't.

National Cask Ale Week is probably a good idea from CAMRA. Most pubs that are keen on cask, for instance those in pub company estates or other tied houses, may well benefit. I am concerned that pubs are once again being asked to fork out for things that benefit other organisations.

It is difficult for me to see how the £40 will benefit my business. It is important for every business to ensure that money is not spent unnecessarily. I have not seen the promotional material, but I'm certainly not going to risk spending my money on stuff to promote Cask Marque and the pub companies.

7 comments:

Tandleman said...

I have to say that my CAMRA branch saw the £40 charge as pretty off-putting. We couldn't come to a conclusion as to what to do about it, but as Cask Marque will be writing to all their recipients we will probably just leave them to it.
It will be discussed agin next meeting, but I personally see the £40 as rather a lot.

Tyson said...

This seems to be a retrograde step. What exactly do you get for £40? Is it because Cask Marque are involved and you are expected to promote them? This is a problem CAMRA can face when they join forces with organisations who's priorities are different.

Last year, CAMRA ran National Pubs Weeks and pubs got their promotional packs for free. I can't see why this should be any different.

Woolpack Dave said...

Well of course if CAMRA HQ were to send me one of these POS kits I would be willing to give it a fair review here. It might be worth the money.

It does have tasting glasses and "try me first" labels for pump clips. These are good ideas.

ChrisM said...

My local branch also saw the £40 charge as off-putting, and we decided not to back the campaign...

I agree the POS material is a good idea, and of course it isn't free to produce, but I can't help but feel Cask Marque are out to fleece licencees...

Paul Garrard said...

I would have thought that in these dire times those organisations that basically need pubs to maintain their own existance should dig into their pockets and give the material away!

Gill Gibson said...

My initial reaction is that the pack IS worth £40 - but mainly to pubs which DO NOT currently promote real ale, i.e. Punch and Enterprise pubs! Let them pay for it - they have the money! We will also be packed Easter (busy beer festival) and therefore do not need to join in - which is a shame, because the old version used to be a good CAMRA initiative. Our beer sales are holding up anyway! Great blog, Dave!cheers!

Woolpack Dave said...

Hello Jill,

Did you look at this post? It seems to mention a pub you might recognise.

I'm wondering about ordering it just for the PR. After all CAMRA likes a pub that suports CAMRA.