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A Cambridgeshire man has become to first to visit 1,000 pubs as part of Cask Marque’s World’s Biggest Ale Trail.

The Ale Trail is one of the features of the Cask Marque phone app (CaskFinder), which pinpoints cask ale pubs across the country.  Users can ‘scan’ the Cask Marque certificate in pubs across the country where they will automatically be entered onto a leaderboard.
 
Jean-Paul Russek, who resides in Huntingdon and works for Punch Taverns as an area manager covering 40 pubs across the South East, was thrilled to have reached so far in the trail: “I scanned my first certificate in May 5th  2012 in Reading and I can’t believe how far I’ve come – and how many pubs I’ve visited – in just under a year.

“I started visiting pubs on the app, partly out of research for my role at Punch as well as a genuine love of cask ale. From then, it has escalated, taking me across the country to visit so many different types of pubs from Devon to as north as Edinburgh – I really have scoured the country!

 “At Punch, we encourage our pubs to serve cask ale and gain Cask Marque accreditation as we believe that cask ale represents what is really unique about the authentic, British pub experience. By using this app, it is a great way to get out, try some real ale and discover some exceptional pubs, full of character and quality ale.”

Paul Nunny, Director of Cask Marque presented Jean-Paul with a framed certificate at Punch Taverns-owned pub, the Boot at Histon on 30th April.

Paul Nunny said: “The Cask Finder app is a great tool for real-ale lovers, or those who want to try it for the first time, to search for cask-marque accredited pubs nationwide. The app lists 8348 pubs and as it is viewed in real-time so users can see their nearest pub.

“Since we began 15 months ago, 11,000 people have registered for the ‘Ale Trail’ and over 60,000 scans have been recorded.  The app has grown in popularity and the trail feature is extremely competitive amongst users, currently seeing over 2,000 scans per week.

“Around a quarter of Punch pubs are cask-marque accredited, with Kevin and Renata Bridges at the Boot, as prime examples of publicans who recognise the importance of the cask ale in pubs today.  

 “Jean-Paul has been a great supporter of the World’s Biggest Ale Trail and it is a great achievement to become the first person to reach 1,000 pubs. The app’s popularity has exceeded our expectations, and we look to see if anyone goes on to beat his score.”
 
A new version of the app now locates beer festivals by area and allows users to record their favourite beers and share it with friends on other social networking sites.  
Readers can join in and download the free Cask Marque iPhone or Android app by searching for ‘Cask Finder’ on your smart phone’s app store. Alternatively, visit www.cask-marque.co.uk/app