Arkell’s Brewery is urging customers to ‘try before you buy’ during this year’s national ‘Cask Ale Week’ which runs from 29 March to 5 April. At selected Arkell’s pubs during that week, customers can taste the brewery’s range of cask ales behind the bar before deciding which pint to buy.
Brewery director, George Arkell, said: “Those of us who have been drinking real ale since we were old enough to buy a pint appreciate the huge diversity of tastes and flavours available in cask ales. Others haven’t yet taken the plunge into this deeply delicious world so we thought we would help.”
Customers at participating Arkell’s pubs will be able to taste the Arkell’s cask ales on tap during the week, before selecting the one they like the most.
The brewery will also be producing an extra brew of its award-winning Bees Organic Ale in casks.
“For real ale novices, our Bees Organic is probably the most accessible of our cask ales,” says George. “It’s lighter and sweeter than our more regular brews such as 3Bs, Kingsdown and even Moonlight, so it will be the perfect introduction to real ale for many, including those who are more used to drinking lager.”
Sales of real ales are on the rise with more cask ale being sold in Britain’s pubs last year than for decades, according to Cask Marque which awards its ‘marque’ for excellence in the service of cask ale.
Pictured right: head brewer Don Bracher, with George and Alex Arkell
Pubs wishing to join the Cask Marque scheme are visited unannounced by an independent assessor twice a year. In the first year they will be visited twice in the first three months and in subsequent years they will be visited once in the Summer and once in the Winter. The assessor will check all cask ales on sale for – temperature, appearance, aroma and taste before deciding whether the landlord’s expertise is up to scratch.
George Arkell added: “Cask Ale Week is a great excuse for people to get out over the Easter Weekend and taste Britain’s Best Beers – as if any of us needed an excuse to enjoy ourselves.”
Arkell’s Cask Ale Week participating pubs: (We’ll be adding pubs right up to the week so contact Arkell’s Brewery for an up to date list)
The Bear Hotel, Wantage
Boundary House, Moredon, Swindon
Crown Inn, Stratton, Swindon
GW Bar, Swindon
The Jovial Monk, St Andrew’s Ridge, Swindon
The Kings Arms, Chipping Norton
Kingsdown Inn, Stratton, Swindon
The Lansdowne Strand, Calne
The Manor, Cheney Manor, Swindon
The New Inn, Stratton, Swindon
The Punchbowl Inn, Woodstock
The Riverside, Lechlade
The Running Horse, Wootton Bassett Road, Swindon
The Saracens Head, Highworth
White Hart, Oxford Road, Swindon
The White Hart Hotel, Whitchurch, Hampshire