What is BEER MARQUE about and how can you get involved?



The process of accreditation is an art that we’ve refined over the past 25 years.



Why would you want to gain the Beer Marque accreditation?

What is Beer Marque?

An accreditation scheme that awards outlets for serving great quality draught beer and cider.

Who owns and runs the Beer Marque?

The Beer Marque scheme is owned and run by Cask Marque.

Cask Marque is an industry accreditation body founded in 1998 with the aim of improving the quality of cask ale.

Why is Beer Marque needed? What’s the point of it?

Drinkers are less interested about what format of beer they are drinking (cask, craft, keg, lager, cider etc) than they are about having a quality pint. The enjoyment of a pint is not just about the actual liquid, but is massively affected by glassware, head retention and other factors. When they are all considered together every drinker will tell you that too often they are paying a lot of money for a sub-standard pint of beer. Beer Marque is about driving standards through an accreditation scheme aimed at all beer

Have you given up supporting cask ale?

Not at all! Everybody wants to have a great pint of beer whatever they choose to drink. We are applying over 25 years’ worth of experience running a cask ale accreditation scheme and applying it to the rest of the beer category.

How is Beer Marque different from Cask Marque?

Cask Marque check the quality of cask ale in outlets. Beer Marque checks the cellar, glassware, quality of all draught beers their presentation and serve by the bar staff. The latter covers: Correct branded glass (or unbranded glass); clean glass; appropriate head size; head retention; excessive overspill into drip trays; nozzle not in beer; hand not touching rim of glass; logo facing the customer. 

Beer Professional ‘Beer Pro’ is now included with Beer Marque. Beer Pro is an award winning e-learning programme for bar staff.  For more information, watch the trailer here.

It is not necessary to sell cask ale in order to gain Beer Marque.

Who can apply for the Beer Marque accreditation?

Any outlet selling beer can apply. This could be pubs, bars, hotels, working mens’ clubs, nightclubs or any licensed premise.

What does it cost?

The cost to join is just £240+VAT in year one and then reduces in second and subsequent years. All samples must be provided free of charge. The outlet receives two audits (one with a Beer & Cellar Hygiene Audit), as well as the Beer Marque plaque and point of sale material if successful.

I already have Cask Marque, should I do Beer Marque instead?

Where cask ale is sold but is not a main focus, it may be appropriate to move from Cask Marque to Beer Marque. However, outlets which are passionate about their cask ale should retain their Cask Marque membership and continue to shout about the fact that they serve great quality cask ale and benefit from the 77% cask ale drinker consumer recognition that Cask Marque has. 

Can a site have both Cask Marque and Beer Marque accreditations?

Of course.  Contact us for more details on 01206 890757.

 What does the Beer Marque audit process involve?

Once an outlet has applied to join Beer Marque:

  1. Our membership team will contact the outlet to explain the visit process and then send copies of the audit forms and website links for team members to complete Beer Pro
  2. One of our 50 assessors will contact the outlet to let them know when we will be visiting. It is desirable that the manager or licensee is present or nominates their quality champion to be present on the visit as this is an opportunity to learn
  3. Assessor attends the site and carries out an 11-point Cellar Audit covering stock rotation, cellar temperature, line cleaning, glass cleanliness, glasswashers, ice machines and more. They also check up to 6 draught products for quality of drink, as well as presentation of the beers incl head size and retention, perfect pour etc. Drinks checked will be premium lager, standard lager, stout, craft keg, cider and cask (if available). All beers and cellar audit must reach the required standard to pass the audit and gain the Beer Marque.
  4. The plaque and point of sale will then be sent out once you have passed your inspection and staff have passed Beer Pro. A further visit will take place 6 months later checking just the beer quality and presentation.
What is Beer Pro?

Beer Professional is an award-winning e-learning programme for bar staff. It has been developed alongside all of the national brewers. All Beer Marque pubs have access to the Beer Pro programme to ensure they are delivering an excellent beer experience every time.

How long does the accreditation last for?

One year and must then be renewed. The plaque comes with a date sticker for 1 year and the certificate and window stickers are also dated.

Who are the Beer Marque Assessors?

The 50 assessors have 1,500+ years of experience between them and are highly experienced at tasting beers and identifying off flavours as well as any cause. Where possible they will help resolve any issues. Each year we carry out around 20,000 visits.

    Are the visits by appointment?

    The first Beer Marque visit will be announced. Your Assessor will let you know which date they will be attending. You can then arrange for the person resposibile for beer quality to be available on that day.

    Each subsequent visit will be unannounced, your Assessor may attend any time that you are open to the public and serving alcohol. 

    What happens if an outlet fails the audit?

    We will revisit the outlet, although the timing will depend on the cause of failure and whether we believe the issue has been resolved. If an outlet and their sponsor does not resolve an issue within an agreed period, the Beer Marque plaque will be removed.

      What do outlets get if they gain the Beer Marque?

      An enamel Beer Marque plaque, framed certificate, window sticker, bar runners, drip mats, pump clip stickers.

      Why should an outlet wish to join Beer Marque?

      The accreditation will benefit different outlets in different ways:

      1. Pride at achieving recognised standards and demonstrating quality to existing customers
      2. Attracting new trade through the visibility of the plaque
      3. Driving standards within the outlet through the audit and training process
        Any tips for passing a Beer Marque audit?
        1. Train your team, as any one of them could be serving the Beer Marque Assessor
        2. Take the Award in Beer & Cellar Quality (ABCQ) training course and exam
        3. Go through the two audit forms and critically analyse the outlet performance
        4. Don’t settle for mediocrity, strive for perfection, 100% is possible!
        What do you check on the audit?

        There are two visits a year. On one of the visits we will carry out a Beer & Cellar Hygiene Audit which covers 11 key items in the bar and cellar including; cellar cooling, stock rotation, line cleaning, glasswashers and ice machines . A copy of the form can be downloaded Beer Marque Audit Forms. On both visits we will check the quality of up to 6 different draught products. Premium Lager, Standard Lager, Craft Keg, Stout, Cider & Cask (if available).

        We will check each product for:

        – Temperature, appearance, aroma and taste

        – Presentation & serve, made up of clean glass, appropriate head size, head retention, excessive overspill, hand not touching the rim of the glass, correct branded glass (or unbranded glass) and logo facing the customer when the beer is presented. Copies of both forms are available upon request

        How do I pass Beer Marque

        There are 3 elements of the audit and a venue must pass all 3 to acheive the Beer Marque award.

        1. Beer In Glass – Each beer or cider must acheive a minimum score of 16/20 to pass
        2. Serve and Presentation – Each beer or cider must be poured and presented correctly to pass
        3. Beer and Cellar Hygiene Audit – The cellar must acheive a minimum rating of 4* to pass

        In addition, each of your bar staff should also take Beer Pro – the e-learning course for bar staff.




        There are many different tasting beers and cider out there. We check there are no 'off' flavours present in whatever style of beer it is.


        If a beer is meant to be crystal clear that is what a good pub will deliver through quality cellar skills. If it is meant to be cloudy does the customer know that before they buy it?


        Beers and Ciders are best enjoyed at specific temperatures. Brewers set the spec, we check it.


        There is more to a great pint than just beer. Think cool, clean branded glass beautifully poured with a head that stays as long as it takes you to drink your beer...


        It's all about ensuring there are no aromas present which should shouldn't be there that indicate a problem with the product.


        Pubs which serve great beer have great standards in the cellar. Would you buy food from a restaurant if you knew the kitchen wasn't clean?