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Posted by on in Cask Marque Blog

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

Posted by on in Cask Marque Blog

For those of you lucky enough to have an iPhone or Android powered smartphone, a new version of our CaskFinder app was released today. So this seemed like a good time to tell you what has changed and how we have worked to address some of the valuable feedback we have received from our app users since the last release.

What's new?

- The most requested item for a new release was the facility to tell the difference between pubs which you have scanned on your ale trail, and those which you have not previously visited. These are now differentiated on the Pub Map by red logos if you have visited, blue if you are still due to visit.

- If you change phones you can now restore your ale trail scans to your new phone. Just reinstall the app on the new phone and go to ale trail. It will ask you to register but will give you the opportunity to enter your username and password. If you can remember your email address then you can reset your password if you have forgotten it. If you can't remember which email address you registered with then please contact us and we can find out for you.

- If you visit a pub or drink a beer you like you can now add them to a favourites list, so you can remember what they were in the morning!

- You can rate pubs when you visit them on the pub details page. Let us know about beer quality, the welcome you received and whether you had the option to 'try before you buy'. It's a chance to have your say!app-beers-2013

- Also on the pub details page, you can let us know if you had problems scanning a certificate during the ale trail. We will then add the certificate manually to your ale trail. It saves you time contacting us by email.

- Beer festivals are now displayed on a map as well as in list form. This should help you see what is happening near you. (Currently iPhone only).

- Lots more bottled beer codes have been added to the list so if you are in a supermarket you can scan a beer using the 'beer codes' button and view the tasting notes. There are now over 300 beers on this list.

Further update

There will be a second update coming out in the next month or so which will allow you to:

- Share on Twitter and Facebook when you have visited a pub, drunk a great beer or scanned a certificate - great for building a community with other like minded people

- Search for pubs with WiFi so you can go and enjoy a beer whilst playing on your laptop

How many people are using the app?

The app is used over 50,000 times each month and we now have well over 9,500 people registered for the ale trail.

I don't have an iPhone or Android phoneapp-festivals-2013

Some people have requested the app on Blackberrys and Windows phones. At the moment we do not have any plans to release the app on either of these formats. It is not because we don't want to, we would just rather make sure the iPhone/Android version is as good as it can be, rather than spending some of the money making a mediocre app on all different formats.

Pubs Not Displaying Certificates

One of the biggest frustrations for ale trail users (and us) is pubs not displaying their certificates. All pubs are sent certificates with a letter explaining why they should display it. Some however choose not to put them up even though they know it may frustrate some customers. If you let us know where you have experienced a problem using the link on the pub's page then we will send them another certificate. Our assessors also explain to the pubs about how the app works when they do their visits to check the beer quality. Please continue to ask the staff where their certificate is and hopefully this will push them to display it!

Using the Ratings Information

If you rate a pub we will use this information to speak to the pubs to let them know public opinion. We cannot act immediately on every rating, but will gather information over a period of time and then target the bottom percentage to see if we can help them improve.

Love the app? Then shout about it!

And finally, if you enjoy using our app please can you rate it for us on either iTunes or Android Play Store? If you have negative feedback we would rather you contacted us directly so we can address it - on these sites we are not able to respond to each comment.

We hope you have lots of fun with the app, please let us know what you think!

How do I download the app?

Visit either the iTunes App Store or the Android Play Store and search for "CaskFinder". Alternatively find it directly from https://www.cask-marque.co.uk/find-real-ale-pubs/mobile-phone-app