The Cask Marque Trust, which offers independent accreditation and training for pubs selling cask ale, has released its CaskFinder app, to coincide with the publication of its latest Cask Report. The report includes research into the way that cask ale is sold and marketed in pubs, concluding that most pubs where cask ale is sold don’t offer sufficient tasting notes on how beer looks, tastes and smells and that bar staff usually don’t have a good understanding of cask.
The app is designed to help remedy the situation, vis a ‘pump clip recognition’ feature. Using the app, drinkers take a photo of the beer’s pump clip and the app then returns information about the ale, including the brewer’s tasting notes and description, and how other drinkers rate it.
“The instant access to information allows bar staff to sell intelligently and consumers to buy knowledgeably,” said Cask Marque sales and marketing director, Paul Nunny. “If licensees want to stay ahead in their game, they can use CaskFinder to supplement workforce training. Otherwise, they’ll find their staff being outflanked by customers when it comes to knowledge about their beers on their bar. That can’t be acceptable for anyone who takes retailing seriously."
Cask ale is undergoing a renaissance in the UK. When the Cask Report was first published in 2007, there were just 23,300 pubs (42 per cent of UK pubs) selling cask ale. That figure has now risen to 36,600 (72 per cent of UK pubs). The number of Cask Marque accredited pubs has increased 160 per cent, from 3,690 in 2005 to 9,670 in 2015.