Cask Marque’s qualified assessors only give the award to establishments who, in their words, serve cask ale in ‘perfect condition’, and therefore have very strict assessment requirements which aren’t the easiest to meet. This goes to shows just how big of an achievement receiving the award is! Criteria which is assessed includes temperature, appearance, aroma and taste.
The assessors sample up to 6 different ales, including the slowest selling beer. They first test the temperature which has to be within 11-13 degrees Celsius, with a 1 degree tolerance on either side. This is the temperature considered by professionals to be the most cool and refreshing. During the course of drinking a pint the temperature can rise by 2 or 3 degrees, so to ensure the pint is enjoyable from first sip till last, it’s important that it’s poured at exactly the right temperature.
The next step is to look at the appearance, either holding it up to a bright light or shining a torch through the glass. If the beer is hazy or there are visible impurities, it doesn’t pass the test.
After this, the assessors test the aroma of the beers, which should be rich and pleasant. If the beer is cooled too much, some of these smells can be lost.
Finally, the beer is then tasted (by this point we’re beginning to wonder if being a Cask Marque assessor is possibly the best job in the world). A small sip is all they need to tell if the flavours which should be present are there, or if there are any which are present that shouldn’t be.
We’d like to recognise the tremendous effort of our staff who have worked hard during their training on cellar and product quality, with all managers undergoing a certified Cellar Management course. Thanks to them, you’re guaranteed to receive a great pint of cask ale with every visit!