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Sophie takes the reins as cask beer booms

Added: Wednesday, June 29th 2016

Sophie Atherton

The Cask Beer Report celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new author and a new look for 2016. Sophie Atherton, journalist and Britain’s first female beer sommelier, has been passed the authorship baton – and is already in the throes of research.

Initiated by the Cask Matters group, the Cask Report has developed significantly from the relatively small passion-project of a few notable brewers, to something much more significant. Acclaimed beer industry expert Pete Brown, who has written the r,eport for the past nine years, has built it into an authoritative analysis of the sector.

“Pete has done a brilliant job over the years,” says Paul Nunny Chair of the Cask Matters Group, “working with us to create a really valuable set of insights – and communicating them clearly and compellingly.

 “The eport has become the industry’s main reference document on trends in the ale market. It’s being increasingly used by breweries, brand owners and pub companies to inform strategy.  Licensees are also using it to review their offers on the bar.  It has also become a valuable source of information for journalists and commentators.

“We’re delighted to have secured Sophie’s support in taking the project forward. Alongside her journalism credentials, writing skills and beer knowledge, she will bring a fresh perspective and a different way of communicating things.”

The Cask Beer Report, with its new research on this buoyant part of the beer market, will be published on 21 September at the beginning of Cask Ale Week. It is fully expected to endorse the view that cask ale is playing an increasingly prominent role in the offer of pubs – to the extent that by 2020, it will make up 20% of draught beer sales.

Sophie Atherton comments, "It’s an exciting, but also challenging, time for cask beer, and the report will reflect that. This year's research is set to provide valuable insights for companies and individuals involved both in selling -- but also making -- cask beer.

“Despite the new author, what won't change is the combination of evidence combined with concise, relevant commentary to support brewers and licensees in avoiding pitfalls and maximising opportunities -- and hopefully we can all drink to that."