FREQUENTLY ASKED

QUESTIONS

ABOUT BEER MARQUE

 

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

HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

The process of accreditation is an art that we’ve refined over the past 20 years.

BEER MARQUE ACCREDITED!

 

Why would you want to gain the Beer Marque accreditation?

What is Beer Marque?

An accreditation scheme for outlets serving great quality draught beer.

Who owns and runs the Beer Marque?

Cask Marque is an industry accreditation body founded in 1998 with the aim of improving the quality of cask ale. Cask Marque owns and runs Beer Marque scheme.

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 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 20 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.

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 will normally be shared 50/50 between you and a supplier which equates to £97.50 each + VAT in Year 1. All samples must be provided free of charge. The outlet receives two audits (one with a Scores on the Cellar Doors audit), as well as the Beer Marque plaque and point of sale material if successful. The renewal fee in Year 2 will reduce as there is no plaque cost. If an outlet fails the audit then there may be a £45 revisit fee.

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?

If an outlet is proud of their cask offering as well as their beer style range, then it is likely they will wish to have both accreditations. If we are able to twin in Beer Marque and Cask Marque visits the discounted Beer Marque price will be £105 (saving of £90) in year 1 and £60 (saving of £75) in years 2 onwards. We won’t actively encourage you to gain both accreditations but will help guide you to the best one for you. Equally if both accreditations are appropriate we will let you know and you can make up your own mind. 

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
  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 5 draught beers for quality of drink, as well as presentation of the beers incl head size and retention, perfect pour etc. Beers checked will be premium lager, standard lager, stout, craft keg, 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. A further visit will take place 6 months later checking just the beer quality and presentation.
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 visit 20,000 outlets and carry out over 4,000 Scores on the Doors Cellar Audits.

    Are the visits by appointment?

    We will arrange a mutually convenient date and time to visit to make sure we can gain access to the cellar and meet the person responsible for beer quality.

    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 Scores on the Cellar Doors 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 5 different beer styles. Premium Lager, Standard Lager, Craft Keg, Stout & Cask (if available). At least 4 of these must be available to customers at all times. On each beer we will check

        – 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

        What is the pass mark for Beer Marque? How do you calculate the star rating?

        With Cask Marque accreditation you get a simple pass or fail result. With Beer Marque you will get a star rating from 0 to 5, with 5 being the best. We will carry out a Scores on the Cellar Doors audit which is worth up to 55 points. Each beer has 20 marks available for “beer quality” and 20 marks available for “serve quality”. Every beer must score at least 16 / 20 for both sections to pass. We will check 4 or 5 beers which means there are either 255 (40 x 5 beers + 55 cellar) or 215 points available. Scoring

        95% = 5 star
        90% = 4 star
        80% = 3 star
        70% = 2 star (fail)
        60% = 1 star (fail)
        50% = 0 stars (fail)

        THE BEER MARQUE STANDARD

        TASTE

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

        APPEARANCE

        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?

        TEMPERATURE

        Beer is best enjoyed at specific temperatures. Brewers set the spec, we check it.

        PRESENTATION

        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...

        AROMA

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

        CELLAR QUALITY

        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?