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Should you throw a beer festival?

Beer Event Festival.JPG

The following is an extract from our The Festival Opportunity ebook, which you can download here.

Festivals mean different things to different people - it may be about trying a wide variety of ales, hanging out with friends, or all about the music on a warm day. Whatever the theme of your event, the people who attend will all have a common goal, to enjoy their time and make the most of all you can offer. Festivals can help you secure your place as a firm favourite with your regulars and visitors alike.

Special events around your beer and cider range are a great way to bring people into your pub and let people know you are serious about your offer, celebrate your range, and boost profits. It’s a great way of introducing people to new styles and educating them about the complexities of the categories. Guest products have become an increasingly more popular and important part of a good range – not only do customers enjoy exploring, but the rarity allows you to charge more, combine this with ticket prices for a bigger event, and a beer and/or cider festival can become big for your business. What sort of event should you run?

Craft Festival

The trend for quality over quantity has been more noticeable in the beer segment than any other, craft and world beers are booming. Craft sales in the UK are up 21% and now account for 10% of all beer. Craft beer drinkers tend to be younger consumers, 41% are aged 25-341. Incredibly, 80% of craft beer drinkers are more likely to choose a beer because it is something new1, making a craft beer festival ideal for attracting younger ‘experience’ driven consumers.

Cask Festival

Ale is worth £3.2 billion to the On-Trade, with 57% of ale volumes cask2. 30% more is spent by cask drinkers in the pub than by other drinkers3. Cask ale festivals show you’re serious about it, something vitally important to the typical cask customer - two in five drinkers avoiding a pub in which they are served a poor pint4. A cask festival also allows you to better understand the beers you should be stocking all year round, a pub doing 6 casks a week that does not range correctly is missing out on anything between 71 and 149 pints per week5.

Cider Festival

The cider market back in growth up 2.4%; why not make the most of this trend and broaden your cider range for a festival? From scrumpy to cloudy, hopped and flavoured, cider is always a crowd pleaser in the summer months. It’s the traditional drink of festivals, its West Country associations lend themselves nicely to an afternoon outdoors, sitting on a hay bale while listening to live music. The category has an almost equal gender split of consumers, suggesting an opportunity to attract couples. 51% of pub drinkers visit with a partner, with those from affluent households the most likely to do so2.

You can find more information about the beers we stock here. If you want to stock any of the wines mentioned, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your beer range is a success, from free menu design and print services to bespoke training.

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  • Matthew Clark Avatar


    1- Matthew Clark Bibendum Insight, Consumer Survey Jan 2017
    2 - Mintel, Pub visiting UK, May 2018
    3 - CGA Strategy, P01 2017
    4 - Morning Advertiser, 2018 Cask Report
    5 - CGA, OPMS September 2017

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