GREENE KING’S SMALLER 4.5-GALLON CASK PIN ALLOWS VENUES TO ENHANCE THEIR CASK BEER OFFERING.

Since rolling out the new smaller-format cask pins, Greene King has seen the 4.5-gallon containers become a major hit with venues up and down the country – and it’s not hard to see why.

Cask pins help make cask ale more accessible than ever for free trade customers, allowing them to minimise or eliminate wastage, enhance their ranges and grow their profits.

Greene King’s Limited-Edition Fresh Cask Releases range is available in pins. That has greatly benefited Sam McMullan, who runs the Solihull Royal British Legion (RBL) Club bar. RBL provides financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families. A historic club at the heart of the town, Solihull RBL was originally formed in 1926 by the first President, Brigadier General Sir Walter Ludlow. Back then, it was little more than a wooden hut, but over the decades, the Club grew and evolved, eventually moving into a purpose-built clubhouse in 1968. The Club welcomes everyone, provides access to indoor and outdoor sports, hosts various events and functions, and boasts a fantastic bar.

Sam McMullan, talking in the Solihull Royal British Legion (RBL) Club with snooker tables in the background

HOW PINS TRANSFORMED CASK SALES AT SOLIHULL ROYAL BRITISH LEGION 

“When I first heard about pins, I was immediately convinced they would be brilliant for us,” explains Sam. “We do have quite a few cask drinkers, but we don’t have massive throughput because of our demographic. The traditional 9-gallon containers were just too big for us, and we often had a bit of waste. When pins came along, all of that changed overnight!

“We started using them immediately, and they work perfectly for us. The smaller 4.5-gallon format is just right for our sales volumes, so we can regularly freshen up the range. I know many venues need to stock the same ales year-round, but our audience likes to try new cask ales.

“As a result, we’ve been buying all of the Limited Edition Fresh Cask Release beers and some of the core range, and they’ve gone down a storm. We’ve had Fresh Legs, Bonkers Conkers, Fireside, Old Golden Hen, Old Speckled Hen, Deuchars IPA, you name it!

“I love the format; it works so well for us and our customers. They’ve changed how we can sell cask ale, and we’ve also seen some other drinkers have a little dabble in it for the first time, too.”

 

Two glasses of Greene King IPA A FOCUS ON FRESHNESS

Sam’s experiences vindicate Greene King’s decision to launch the half-size 36-pint containers to help venues deliver a broader range of fantastic cask-fresh beer to customers every time while also minimising wastage. As we find ourselves very much still in the teeth of the cost-of-living crisis, this investment provides Greene King customers with the opportunity and the confidence to expand the range of cask ales on their bar. This will help encourage more people to try cask ale and ultimately broaden its appeal—just as Sam found in his club.

“I would recommend pins to other venues if they haven’t tried them yet,” says Sam. “They add interest and excitement, minimise or eliminate waste, and mean my range is always fresh and new all year round.”

John Malone, Head of Brewery Engagement at Greene King, adds: “Introducing pins allows our customers to expand their range and offer seasonal ales that provide a wider choice of styles and flavours to their guests. Cask ale is at the heart of a great pub, driving footfall and guest loyalty. We aim to support our customers in serving the best range of perfect-quality beers for their bar.”

  • REDUCE WASTE
  • IMPROVE YIELD
  • DRIVE QUALITY
  • MORE PROFIT

A person making changes to the pins of kegs in a cellar

WHAT ARE PINS?

Pins are smaller containers for cask-conditioned ale. They contain 4.5 gallons of ale and are half the size of a traditional 9-gallon firkin. You only need to sell 12 pints daily to maintain quality (rather than 24 when using firkins).

 

WHY AND WHEN SHOULD YOU USE PINS?

There are three main reasons for stocking pins:

  1. To broaden your range of ales.
  2. To add cask to your lineup.
  3. To offer cask ale during quieter times of the week.
 
ARE PINS ALWAYS A BETTER OPTION?

Not necessarily. If you sell a full firkin every three days, you do not need to switch to pins. However, you could still use pins to add more choice to your range.