Guild member Will Ridgard shadowed a Cask Marque assessor for the day and shares his experience. Find an excerpt below and the full article here:
Tasting beer for a living has to be one of Britain’s best jobs.
Getting paid to sample and test beer really fits the ‘living the dream’ stereotype.
I was recently lucky enough to follow in the footsteps of a Cask Marque assessor – who does exactly that. All while making sure while licensees and publicans across the country are selling the best beer possible to thirsty customers.
OK. We didn’t just booze our way through a host of Suffolk pubs. In fact, I’d say we didn’t even consume three quarters of a pint over the course of the day. But it was equally fun, interesting and educational as I experienced first-hand what well-kept, quality cask ale should smell, taste and look like.
Improving beer quality is one of Cask Marque’s main aims. There are around 10,000 Cask Marque accredited outlets in the UK – which are all part of the World’s Biggest Ale Trail. Most of these are pubs, but there are also hotels, bars, and holiday parks. Take a quick search on the CaskFinder App’s interactive map – and you’ll be overawed with the number and variety of places across the country that serve a good quality pint.
Born and raised in Suffolk, it made perfect sense for Ipswich, via a spontaneous trip to the Felixstowe seaside, to be the chosen location on a day I labelled as ‘learning about beer’ in my diary.
Our plan was to audit three pubs – and hopefully award them enough marks to retain their Cask Marque status. Pubs undergo two independent quality checks per year: one in the summer, one in the winter.
Before I reveal our pathway for the day, I thought it might be beneficial to have some more context into the background of the challenge – and beauty – that is cask ale, alongside the assessment process.
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NOTES FOR EDITOR
For more information on all things cask ale, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAXJmZYrvJ-sGO5HFFnJf7w
If you’d like further information on the ‘Cask Marque visit’, click here: https://cask-marque.co.uk/happens-cask-marque-visit-2/
If your pub is interested in and looking to get Cask Marque accredited, visit: https://cask-marque.co.uk/join/
To download the CaskFinder App, visit: https://cask-marque.co.uk/cask-finder/