Real Ale has been having a rough ride. The beer style – also known as cask-conditioned beer or just cask ale – can be consumed only on draught in pubs and it was hammered by the Covid pandemic and the forced closure of pubs and bars during lockdown.

Consumers were forced to drink at home and many have not returned to pubs as a result. They switched to lager and packaged ales and have lost the cask habit.

Industry analysis shows that sales of cask beer have fallen by around 20 per cent, which is bad news for both brewers of the style and pubs with the famous “policeman’s truncheon” hand pumps on their bars.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Timothy Taylor in West Yorkshire, brewer of the award-winning Landlord premium bitter, says its sales are strong and Landlord has leapfrogged other beers to become the second biggest selling cask ale after Doom Bar.

Similarly, Hogs Back Brewery in Surrey, whose TEA – Traditional English Ale – has a strong national following, reports that sales have recovered to pre-Covid levels.

But closer to home, Wells & Co at Brewpoint in Bedford says cask sales are down by some 10 per cent and it has replaced its three real ales with just one new beer called Anchorman. Wells has two pubs in St Albans, the Goat and the Jolly Sailor, with the Silver Cup in Harpenden.

Real Ale will receive a much-needed boost this month with the annual Cask Ale Week promotion. The promotion is needed because this type of beer is unique to Britain.

No other country produces large amounts of beer that leave the brewery in unfinished form and have a second fermentation in cask in the pub cellar. It’s the Champagne of the beer world and it deserves to be not only enjoyed but also admired, loved and cherished.

Cask Ale Week runs from September 21 to October 1. The interest aroused can be measured by last year’s promotion when it reached 15.8 million people on social media. The initiative is staged by Cask Marque and Cask Matters and they have the backing of leading brewers and pub companies.

Holly Smith, communications manager at Greene King, based in Bury St Edmunds, is one of the country’s biggest brewers and pub companies and owners of the Speckled Hen on Hatfield Road, says: "To celebrate and drive awareness of cask, Greene King will launch several activities with consumers and the trade press.

"We will be working with a number of influencers to visit Greene King pubs and share what makes cask great and the reasons to get to the pub for a pint."

Last month, the brewery won a top award for Abbot Ale in the Champion Beer of Britain competition.

Among pub companies, Punch Taverns will send Cask Ale Week merchandising kits to its licensees: its local pubs include the Green Man in Sandridge.

Trust Taverns have special kits to give away while Admiral Taverns will help its licensees to stage pub beer festivals during the week.

Cask Marque will encourage consumers to use its Cask Finder app to visit 12 new pubs during the week. Drinkers will win a limited edition T-shirt.

Last year more than six thousand pubs were visited for the first time by supporters of Cask Ale Week. Visit for a map of activities and pubs to visit.

▪By happy coincidence, St Albans Beer Festival, run by the Campaign for Real Ale, will be held during Cask Ale Week, in the Alban Arena from 27-30 September.

I will write a more detailed report next week but make a note in your diary of this major local event with more than 100 beers from all parts of the country but focussing on beers from local breweries.

I will hold a beer talk and tasting on the opening night and there are a few tickets remaining: