After 13 years of existence we have nearly 8,000 accredited pubs and 99% of these are in the UK. In the early days however we had a few accredited pubs in Paris which were sponsored by Adnams. Over the years we have also accredited pubs and bars in Scandinavia:
Denmark – Charlie’s Bar, Copenhagen & The Wharf in Aarlborg
Finland – Angleterre, Gallows Bird & St Urho’s, all in Helsinki
Sweden – Akkurat & Oliver Twist in Stockholm
But now we have a Cask Marque accredited pub in the warmest location yet.
Congratulations to The Lounge on Aveneda Bonanza, Benalmadena, Malaga in becoming the first Spanish bar to gain the award. At the junction with calle de salvador rueda, The Lounge Bar is a family Sports bar with flat screen TV's showing all available live sport, and now serving a guaranteed quality pint of cask ale. Owned by Dave & Shirley for the last year, it is the home of Malaga FC British Supporters club and runs a golfing society and can organise cheap golf trips for customers.
In a survey last summer approximately 50% of non-Cask Marque accredited pubs we visited did not deliver a pint between 10-14°C, the recommended temperature specification. If pubs in the UK cannot deliver beer at the correct temperature you might ask what chance bars in Spain have of doing so when the temperatures top 40°C for much of the summer? The answer is that the casks are stored in a specially built unit which keeps the beer cool. Beer is then fed through a dedicated cooled ale python which is regularly topped up with water and finally dispensed through water jacketed beer engines and hey presto the beer comes out at the correct temperature! Admittedly they set it up so it comes out slightly cooler than over here, but given the ambient temperature it doesn’t take long to warm up and reach target temp of 11-13.
The cask beer is supplied by Saxon Brewery, a micro based in Velez Rubio, Almeria which was formed in 2008. Using Nottingham ale yeast and sourcing their malt and hops from the UK, they can produce 2,400 litres per week. Their biggest seller is Saxon Bitter which is made with Marris Otter, Chocolate, Crystal and Caramalt. Hopped with Cascade, Golding, Fuggles and Sovereign.
How do you find an assessor in Spain? Well at first I asked our current assessors if anyone fancied a trip to Spain to do some auditing. When they realised it wasn’t all expenses paid they all gave up and luckily I managed to find an ex Bass brewer who had moved out there. Steve Denny was very happy to put his experience to good use and has enjoyed visiting the brewery and bar and is looking forward to sampling more real ale in our quest for world domination.
The Lounge is the first of a number of bars which in conjunction with Saxon are hoping to gain Cask Marque on the South coast of Spain. Pub crawl in the sun anyone?