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27th June 2014


Recent research by Cask Marque shows that 39% of Ale Pythons are not working effectively thus leading to warm beer and increased call out charges. The cause is invariably low water levels or poor water circulation problems.

The industry over the last 10 years spent over £1m in tackling the issues relating to cask ale temperature by installing Ale Python Controllers (APC). The ‘Python’ looks like a big snake but is actually insulation with beer lines running inside it. A flow and return line within the python contain cold water to maintain the beer at cellar temperature of 11-13°C. As with any equipment though, regular checks by the licensee are required to ensure the APC is working effectively.

Cask beer should be dispensed at 10-14°C and this equipment when looked after will ensure that every pint hits the temperature specification. Each week licensees should check the temperature of beer in the glass and secondly check the water levels in the Ale Python Controller in the cellar and top up if required. The equipment works on a similar principle to a car radiator by circulating water to control the temperature – if the water runs out, the car breaks down.

To help remind and highlight the equipment Cask Marque has produced a sticker to fix on the side of the APC. These stickers will be made available to all Cask Marque corporate members and licensees.

The hope is that more pints will be served in temperature spec and there will be fewer cellar service calls to fix burnt out motors thus saving the industry a considerable sum of money.

For further details contact Cask Marque on 01206 752212

Paul Nunny
Director of Cask Marque
07768 614065


Cask Marque Scheme

Currently we have over 9,000 pubs with the Cask Marque accreditation. These pubs are subject to two unannounced inspections a year by a qualified assessor who will test up to 6 cask ales on the bar checking the temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. Our assessors make over 20,000 visits a year to pubs to check cask beer quality. The plaque is now recognised by 56% of cask ale drinkers (NOP Survey 2013).

We also undertake cellar inspections for Mitchells and Butlers, Stonegate, JW Lees and a number of other pub groups and brewers.

Paul Nunny