I think it was Woolpack Dave that suggested that cask is a premium, hand crafted product - or words to that effect - and as such should command a premium price. I am pretty sure it was Curmudgeon that suggested to Dave that until we always have premium quality, expecting the punter to pay top dollar was being a bit previous. Cask at its best is brilliant and at its worst, is bloody awful. Too often it is a losing ticket in a lottery.
When we arrived back in E1 from Brussels I fancied a good old British pint to refresh me. The pub chosen for once will not be named as I am just illustrating a point. In a highly rated GBG pub, this is the pint I was served. Inviting isn't it? Flat as a pancake and warm. If you look at it though, you'll see it is clear as a bell and it certainly didn't taste off, but it was pretty hard to drink. Something had happened to the beer between brewery and pub I'd say. This was a well known beer from a respected brewery. I know they don't send out beer that won't condition.
Until a pub can guarantee consistency, charging over the odds for cask just isn't on. If your beer is always good - and it can be if you know your stuff - go ahead and charge a premium. The customer will feel less cheated than paying "normal" prices for a poor pint.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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