Demand for private beer cask delivery service doubles in a year

Helen Williams with one of the Stewart Brewing's home casks. Picture Neil Hanna
Helen Williams with one of the Stewart Brewing's home casks. Picture Neil Hanna
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A FIRM which delivers cask beer directly to private homes is expanding after demand in the Capital more than doubled in only a year.

Midlothian-based Stewart Brewing said drinkers using its Rent A Cask service were guzzling their way through 20 casks – or 1500 pints – of home-delivered craft beer every week, up from just eight casks last year.

Company bosses today revealed they expect weekly beer volumes to double again next year after they open 
a huge new brewing and 
production site in the spring. Director Steve Stewart said: “In terms of quantity of beer supplied, we’re up more than 100 per cent on where we were at this point last year.

“If you’re having a party at home, you can order a keg and we’ll deliver.”

As well as home deliveries, Mr Stewart said his firm would also set up and collect casks and barrels and provide beer glasses for hire.

Mr Stewart admitted that, at around £1.30, the cost of a home-delivered artisan pint from Stewart Brewing is much less than buying on tap. But he insisted his firm’s service had nothing to do with encouraging drinkers to binge and would not undermine the pub trade.

“We do work out cheaper but you can still buy beer for a lot less in the supermarket,” he said. “I think people are fed up with mainstream beer and there’s a great interest in craft beer at the moment. Scotland is fast becoming a hot-bed of brewing talent – we’re just trying to tap into that.

“When our new site opens, we’ll be investing a lot to expand the brewery shop and there’ll be a brew-it-yourself facility where you’ll learn how to make beer, as well as bottle and label it for giving to family and friends.”

Mr Stewart said the 
Capital’s army of students had provided an enthusiastic and fast-growing market for the service, which features 20 of his firm’s independent brands.

But he said orders had come from a wide range of customers and added that the cask delivery service was proving popular with the Capital’s professionals.

He said: “One of the city’s well-known law firms is often supplied by us when they host friends and colleagues – as well as food, they’ll put some top-quality beer on for something different.”

The firm’s growth plans were welcomed by Capital beer expert Rich Taylor, who runs the BeerCast blog and website.

He said: “Rent A Cask is a great idea and it’s great news they’re expanding. People are moving out of pubs for various reasons and are drinking more at home. You can either get your beer from the supermarket or do something a bit different – and this is definitely a bit different. I can’t think of any other breweries that deliver direct. What this company is doing is pretty unique.”