“ Connor - great post and I agree wholeheartedly with the majority of what you've written up. A couple of points:
Turnover in trade runs at about 110% - getting bar staff to consistently serve lager correctly (right glassware, right pour - not swirling it around to get a head etc.) doesn't happen (roughly 80% of mystery guest visits fail). Beyond the initial proposed education of brewers and landlords - there's a massive hill to climb to get the rest of the trade on board with getting Cask right.
Duty is a killer to the trade - but realistically the best we can hope for is a reduction in the annual increase, rather than a reduction. As you flag above, life in general is more expensive and expenditures for pubs will only go up. Accordingly the actual cost of the beer only makes up a proportion of the price of a pint. Increases in the cost of energy, rent, sky/ BT will only cause the cost of pints to go up quicker.
Interesting to hear your view that Cask is a working man's drink - it's particularly middle aged and middle class in London (and I imagine the most of the south).
Related to that, I've always been really impressed with how Craft Beer Co & The Draught House have remained steadfastedly supportive of Cask. Particularly that they've
got a customer base who are willing to pay parity for keg and cask beers. As particularly well run chains, with clued up staff and managers - this reinforces for me your suggestion that greater education is the road forward. ”