As Cask Ale Week gets under way (running from today until 3rd October), the World’s Biggest Ale Trail has recorded a major milestone.
“10,000 people who are members of the World’s Biggest Ale Trail have between them reached the million [pub visits] mark,” said Paul Nunny, of Cask Marque. “And every visit they have made is in pursuit of the only pub-fresh beer: cask-conditioned ale.”
The CaskFinder App, where people register to join in The World’s Biggest Ale Trail, records QR code scans made by ale trailers. They can each scan any single pub only once: an encouragement to head out for numerous pub and beer adventures over time. Eight indomitable app users have racked up 4,000 different pubs each.
“Cask ale is the freshest drink on the bar,” said Paul. “It’s natural, unpasteurised, and fresh, and has the shortest shelf life: just three days. It takes the skills of both brewer and licensee to produce, as the brewing process actually completes in the pub cellar.
“The thing about cask beer is that you can’t buy it in the supermarket or get it delivered to your front door. To drink it, you have to go to the pub. It is unique to the pub — and to this country. This is the only place in the world where handpumps on the bar, indicating fresh beer, are the norm.”
‘ Cask Ale Week is this year more important than ever’
As a result of the pandemic, the doors of 2,000 of the country’s 47,000 pubs had already been permanently closed by March this year, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.
“That’s why Cask Ale Week is this year more important than ever,” said Paul. “Cask can play a huge role in encouraging people out of their homes and into the sociable atmosphere of the pub. It helps keep pubs open — especially those pubs that are the centres of communities.”
Cask Ale Week activities range from beer weeks, beer festivals, and brewery tours to competitions, beer quizzes, and free pint promotions. Breweries, pub companies, and pubs from all over the country are taking part. Details can be found at caskaleweek.co.uk/activities-2021/ and via @caskaleweek on social media platforms.
Anyone can join The World’s Biggest Ale Trail, which offers prizes for points collected, by downloading the free CaskFinder app. There are additional prizes, such as a t-shirt for 12 pubs visited, and mini trails especially for Cask Ale Week.