The Price of Cask, a suggestion for a SIBA survey

The #AskSIBA question I posed was answered in a roundabout way, in the style of a politician, I can’t help but think of a certain comedian when hearing Mike Benner’s voice but can’t quite recall the specific comic.

I started thinking, having recently filled in the yearly members survey, maybe there was a section missing.

A price of Cask survey.

The First question would be, “What size of brewery are you?” (10BBL brewing 3 times per week etc)

Free Trade: (Doing a couple of different ABV ranges so we can see a rough average for up-to 4% and over 4%, maybe a 5%+ range too)

  1. For a beer between 3.5% – 3.9% Cask beer how much to you charge?
  2. For the same beer how much does that cost you to produce, including all fixed costs, wages, ingredients, duty etc etc?

Ask the same questions for selling to Wholesalers and include rental casks and Palletization / Transport costs, ask the same for sales to JDW, ask the same for sales via Beerflex.

Lets not include any other parts of a ‘Varied Portfolio’ like bottles or keg and stick with Cask Beer, but lets pose questions like:

  • Do you consider sales to ‘X’ to be Profitable? Yes or No
  • Do you sell to ‘X’ as simply a form of marketing and accept that it doesn’t make you any money? Yes or No
  • If you sold your beers to include the FULL Duty rate in your pricing do you think you would sell enough beer to make a profit?  Yes or No

I’m sure their are SIBA members out there that can add to what might be pertinent questions to ask the membership so we might have real world view of the brewing industry.

In the coming months SIBA will produce their annual report, it will be glossy and positive as is the way with commercial reporting telling the members where growth is and how good certain aspects are. The bits I would like to see is the negatives, give us some balance to all the polished graphs and stats with what is actually happening for brewers, I get the impression there is a lot of discontent in the membership so brutal honest black and white may be helpful.

And finally, I keep hearing things about the ‘low wholesale price of beer’, meaning the mass-market lagers that get sold to chain pubs and JDW, this skews the market price for beer from the ground up so what can be done to loosen the grip of the multinationals and put more business in the hands of us small independent local brewers?