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  • Ale Trail

    Become part of the World's Biggest Ale Trail using the free CaskFinder app. Every Cask Marque pub should be displaying a certificate with a QR code on it.

    Register using the app and then scan these codes. The more you scan, the more prizes you win!

    Read More
  • Free Caskfinder App

    Available free for iPhone and Android phones, CaskFinder has been downloaded by over 80,000 people and is used over 50,000 times each month to find Cask Marque pubs selling great quality real ale. 

    View tasting notes for over 1,400 cask ales, brewed by over 200 British breweries, as well as details of beer festivals around the country and more.

    Read More
  • The Independent Award for pubs serving great quality cask ale

    Since 1997 Cask Marque has been ensuring that the real ale you drink in pubs in the UK has been in perfect condition. Our 45 qualified assessors make over 18,000 visits to pubs in England, Scotland, Wales and even Europe to check the temperature, appearance, aroma and taste of Britain's favourite drink.

    Visit a Cask Marque accredited pub and you are guaranteed to receive a great pint of cask ale.

    Read More
  • Find Cask Marque Pubs

    Find real ale pubs with our easy to use pub finder. There are over 8,000 to choose from so why not see which pubs near you are serving great quality cask ale?

    You can see who owns pubs and find similar pubs from a chain, or even see what beers were on sale when we last visited. All pubs are regularly visited by our qualified assessors to ensure you are guaranteed a great pint, every time.

    Read More
  • NOP-Survey

    In a recent NOP Survey, 57% of cask ale drinkers recognised the Cask Marque plaque and 62% related the sign to beer quality.

    Interestingly, awareness is higher; 67% in the 21 to 44yr old category, which must in some part be due to the CaskFinder app, which is used over 60,000 times per month to find Cask Marque Pubs.

    Read More
  • Beer is the most profitable part of your business, but do you know that 34% of customers would not return if the quality of the pint served was poor?

    The Award in Beer and Cellar Quality is a Bii accredited training course and is designed to help you improve yields (by up to 7%), increase sales (3%) and decrease wastage.

    Cask Marque are the UK’s No 1 provider of Cellar Management Training with a team of experienced trainers passionate about getting beer quality right, first time.

    Read More

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Charters and Standards

Beer festivals offer customers a great opportunity to taste a variety of different beers. Cask Ale Week is a great opportunity to run a Beer Festival and allows you to

raise awareness of your pub in your local area and attract new customers and maximise sales opportunities.

beer festivalPreparation

Preparation is key to the success of your event. Ensure you consider the following points when planning your Beer Festival:

Date
  • If possible try and run the Beer Festival during Cask Ale Week timeframe
  • It is normally held over two Bank Holidays so you can hold a four day festival to maximise footfall
What / How Many Ales to stock
  • The number of ales that you decide to stock will be dependent upon the length of your festival, the size of your outlet and the expected number of customers that you expect to attend.
  • As a guide, approximately 20 ales should be stocked, based on a festival of between 2 and 5 days.
  • Try to order a varied range of ABVs, colours and different styles of ale (eg, milds, porters, blonde ales, strong ales) to suit every palate
  • Speak to your suppliers to discuss their range of Cask Ales. Alternatively, if you are able, order directly from local breweries.
  • Get hold of a copy of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide to help you select the most suitable range for your festival
  • Remember your festival does not have to be limited to handpull beers only. Why not include bottled beers of the world? Speak to your supplier to discuss real ciders or their range of bottled beers.
  • Decide whether your festival should have a theme, eg, 'Yorkshire Beers Festival' or 'Flavoured Beers Festival'
  • Why not have a beer request book on the bar 4 weeks prior to the festival and let customers write in it what beers they would like to see at the festival.
Pricing
  • If you decide to have one flat price across all products you should give careful consideration to the varying profit margins as each beer will undoubtedly be priced differently
  • .
  • Alternatively have a three tier system based on ABV. These can be colour coded to help your customers choose on both strength and price. Eg:
    Red – below 4%
    Green – between 4.1% and 4.9%
    Blue – anything above 5%
Location (indoors / outdoors)
  • The weather is often unpredictable so deciding whether to hold your event indoors or outdoors can be tricky.
  • If you do decide to hold your event outdoors make sure you have a marquee or sheltered area to ensure your event can still go ahead if the weather is bad.
Equipment
  • Stillaging can be constructed from scaffolding. However there are specialist companies that hire out complete cooling and dispense kits for festivals
  • Hand pulls are the best way to dispense cask ale, but if you do not have any spare, cask can be served 'gravity fed' through a tap
  • Alternatively, invest in some 'Cask Widge' kits. These enable the beer to be dispensed upright. Details can be found at www.caskwidge.com
  • Cooling: consider the fact that if the cask ales are being kept outside, or in the bar area itself, the containers will need to be insulated to maintain the temperature. Cooling jackets can be obtained from a variety of suppliers
Food Offering
  • Offering food can encourage customers to enjoy beer with food and also enhance your profit margins on the day. For more tips and hints on matching food with beer check out the Beautiful Beer Website www.beautifulbeer.com.
  • Keep your offering simple, i.e. BBQ, finger foods etc.
Entertainment
  • Entertainment can be a great way to encourage customers to attend your event; staying for longer and spending more money in your outlet.
  • Make sure you cater for your audience. If you want the festival to be a family event you could hire a bouncy castle and face painters to keep the children entertained. You could also hold quizzes and competitions throughout the day to engage your customers with giveaways, i.e. a free meal for the winner in your outlet, to be redeemed within the next month.
Staff
  • Ensure you have an adequate number of staff on the day. How many customers do you expect to attend? Staff accordingly to ensure excellent service throughout your event.
  • Ensure your staff are fully trained and confident speaking about and selling each of the beers available. Why not book a cask ale training course in your outlet to make sure everyone is up to speed. View our training courses for details of cask ale training in your area
  • Great tasting notes can be found on over 1000 beers at www.cyclopsbeer.co.uk/
Promoting your Event
  • Promote internally through the use of posters, chalkboards and banners. Make sure you let your customers know the date and time of your event and what products, foods and entertainment will be available on the day.
  • Register for Cask Ale Week by logging on to www.caskaleweek.co.uk if appropriate. This will enable you to list details of your festival on a national website
  • Update your website, Myspace and Facebook pages with the event details. Why not give customers the opportunity to nominate ales to be included in the beer festival? Ask customers to include their email addresses / mobile numbers when making their nominations to help you build a database of consumer information.
  • Promote externally to help attract new customers. Why not consider advertising in your local press or creating your own direct mail campaign to target surrounding areas and keep them updated with your quarterly calendar of events. Think about other services your customers may use and target these businesses directly, eg, taxi firms, sports clubs, local societies, takeaway food outlets, bus services.
  • Media Relations – create a press release about your beer festival and contact your local paper and radio station. They are always looking for good stories so if you can put a unique angle on your story it is more likely to get printed, eg, one ale named after your pub, 20 ales from within a 10 mile radius, Vote for Your Favourite Festival Beer competition etc
  • Some tips and ideas for promoting your event on social media are Promote your beer festival using social media
Evaluation
  • It is always important to evaluate the success of any event you hold. This can be done through staff and customer feedback. Ensure you have some customer comment cards printed, and always capture telephone number and email address of the customer. You can offer an incentive, eg, prize draw, for customers who take the time to fill the cards in
  • You will also need to compare costs against revenues generated. This will allow you to gauge whether the event was a success and whether you want to hold a similar event again in the future / on an annual basis.
What’s the problem?
Licensees are under immense cost pressures, with competition from
other leisure activities and increasing consumption of alcohol in the
home. Increasingly, outlets are being targeted by seemingly attractive
offers from non-reputable suppliers of dispense gas. However, do not
be tempted as the consequences of this are:
One cylinder of bad dispense gas will ruin up to 10 kegs of beer.
You will lose customers through poor beer quality.
Your supplier will refuse compensation claims.
You will be at risk of prosecution for being in breach of several
laws.
- Health and Safety at Work Act
- Food Regulations
- Carriage of Dangerous Goods (CDG) Regulations
And last but not least - you may kill someone!

gas-cylindersLicensees are under immense cost pressures, with competition from other leisure activities and increasing consumption of alcohol in the home.

Increasingly, outlets are being targeted by seemingly attractive offers from non-reputable suppliers of dispense gas.

However, do not be tempted as the consequences of this are:

  • One cylinder of bad dispense gas will ruin up to 10 kegs of beer.
  • You will lose customers through poor beer quality. 
  • Your supplier will refuse compensation claims. 
  • You will be at risk of prosecution for being in breach of several laws. 
  •     - Health and Safety at Work Act  
  •     - Food Regulations
  •     - Carriage of Dangerous Goods (CDG) Regulations
  • And last but not least - you may kill someone!

gas_leaflet_front_coverDownload the British Compressed Gases Association's guide to gas to find out how to check that your gas cylinders have been given a proper safety check, are legal and in date, and other best practice tips and advice.



 

When pubs apply for the Cask Marque Award we test unannounced the temperature, appearance, aroma and taste of each cask beer on sale. Brewers recommend 11-13°C and we allow a tolerance of 1°C each side in order to be able to score full marks. 90% of the pubs which fail our assessment do so on temperature, and this is often despite having dedicated equipment already installed in the cellar.

These series of documents below are designed to help pubs look after the equipment they already have in the cellar. If things get complicated we always recommend contacting technical service, but many problems can be resolved without this cost by doing some simple maintenance as set out in the main Ale Python Charter. There are also some accompanying documents which look at specific models and makes of ale pythons. The principles remain pretty similar across most models but please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have a model which we have not covered and perhaps we could get a document created.

Ale Python Charter
Download (3mb)
Cornelius Classic 1000 Guide - Used as an ale remote
Download (400kb)
cornelius-1000-used-as-ale-remote
Cornelius Ale Python Guide - wall mounted
Download (1.3mb)
cornelius-apc-wall
MF Ale Remote Guide - floor standing
Download (900kb)
mf-ale-remote-floor
MF Ale Remote Guide - wall mounted
Download (900kb)
mf-ale-remote-wall
Scotsman Ale Python Guide - wall mounted
Download (900kb)
scotsman-apc
Whitledge Ale Python Guide - wall mounted
Download (800kb)
whitledge-apc