ST AUSTELL CHAMPIONS CASK ALE WEEK
PUBLISHED: 10:37 27 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:36 30 August 2017
St Austell Brewery is celebrating National Cask Ale week in style this year as the company’s successful Small Batch Brewery venture sets up for its third season of new ale varieties and flavours to delight the taste buds of beer lovers across the South West.
Running until October 2nd, Cask Ale week is a national event celebrating the UK’s favourite drink. Organised by Cask Marque, arbiters of quality ale in every local pub, the week is supported by breweries and pub companies across the country.
St Austell Brewery has long championed cask ale, testament to which is the fact that every single one of the company’s managed estate of pubs and hotels is Cask Marque accredited. A stringent assessment involving training programs both in the cellar and in the storage and serving of cask ale, this accreditation is the guarantee of a perfect pint anywhere you see the Cask Marque sign.
This year’s event, however, is extra special for the Brewery, as it coincides with the company’s biggest year to date in terms of ale sales. A staggering 118,000 Brewers barrels came out of the main brewhouse in the last 12 months (nearly 3.5 million pints), 18% up on last year’s record-breaking tally of 100,000. Bucking the national trend, this rapid increase was recognised by the brewing industry as St Austell was voted Best Regional Brewer for the fourth year in success by publicans across the country, based on service, support and the quality of the ales.
Since the Small Batch came on line a year ago, 24 new cask ales have been created and despatched across the South West, with over 16 new bottled lines made available through the company’s popular Visitor centre shop and online store – that’s well over 120,000 pints to add to the tally as the first of the third season’s brews goes into the mash tun this week.
If that weren’t enough, the Brewery’s commitment to quality both in the cask and in the bottle has led to Proper Job becoming the UK’s best-selling bottle conditioned ale and the best –selling UK ale in France - a country not traditionally known for its love of native tipples – as the company’s Cornish-brewed, award-winning ales continue to blaze a trail in export markets around the world.
With over £1 million invested locally in enhancing the production lines at St Austell and the promise of a multi-million pound investment in the recently-acquired Bath Ales headquarters, the company continues to grow its workforce of local talent, now stretching beyond the 1,500 mark across its office and distribution bases and managed estate.
Not surprising then, that St Austell Brewery has recently been shortlisted for British Beer and Pub Association’s prestigious 2016 Beer Champions award. As Head Brewer Roger Ryman commented, “After such an amazing year for the company, being hailed as Beer Champions really would be the icing on the cake. The award epitomizes everything that we invest so much time and energy into – innovation, quality and, of course, a passion for the end product itself. Cask Ale Week is a great time for all of us in the industry to celebrate but I hope many others will come along to the Beer Festival later in the year to celebrate with us and share the fruits of our labour.”
As the company’s flagship ale Tribute continues to go from strength to strength, there will indeed be plenty to celebrate at this year’s Celtic Beer festival in November, which promises an epic selection of some 170 different ales as well as a proper Cornish night out to remember.