The Cask Marque scheme is operated by an independent body called Cask Marque Trust which is a limited company, limited by guarantee, and a non profit making organisation. The company is run by a management committee elected by its members. The members who pay a subscription include representatives from brewers, retailers, trade bodies and consumer groups.
Pubs that join the scheme are visited unannounced by an independent assessor at least twice a year. In the first year they are visited twice in the first three months and in subsequent years they are visited once in the summer and once in the winter.
The assessor checks all cask ales on sale for – temperature, appearance, aroma and taste.
All the beers must reach the required standard for the pub to pass and it then receives a plaque, framed certificate and merchandising material to inform its customers of the award and their rights.
Consumers are encouraged to comment independently on the quality of cask ale in the pub to the Cask Marque organisation and further visits are made if required.
WHAT IS CASK MARQUE
The ‘Cask Marque’ is an award for pubs which serve great quality cask ale.
Cask Marque is an independent company funded by brewers, pub groups and trade bodies (see below) with the aim of improving beer quality through an accreditation scheme.
Qualified assessors make over 20,000 visits a year to over 9,000 pubs which hold the award. They test for temperature (to score full marks the beer should be between 10 – 14 degrees), appearance, aroma and taste. All beers must make the grade to pass the visit.
Accredited pubs are then promoted through the CaskFinder App, CaskFinder Online and through the plaque and point of sale at the pub. Recent independent research by Cardinal for the 2014 Cask Report identified that 71% of beer drinkers recognised the Cask Marque plaque as a badge of quality.