Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ever Seen One of These?

One of my local pubs has a Cask Marque plaque outside it. "Nothing unusual in that"
I suppose you'll be thinking. But wait a minute. This one has "EXPIRED" on the bottom of it. What can this mean? It was accredited up to a point in time presumably. Does it therefore mean that it isn't now? Then why hasn't the sign been removed?  Is it still Cask Marque quality or not? Have they still got the quality but not paid the fees. Has the quality declined? When did it expire? How did "Expired" get there? The cask marque site doesn't say and it seems to me to be a funny kind of sign to have outside your pub.

Puzzling isn't it? Anyone know?

I reckon the beer quality is pretty good though. Better than my photo.


Neville Grundy said...

The explanation is here.

Sid Boggle said...

CM plaques being 'illegally displayed'? What law are publicans breaking by continuing to display one if they aren't members or their beer isn't up to scratch?

Tandleman said...

RedNev. I didn't find that. It makes sense, but you still don't know exactly what the status is. I can see it is a genuine attempt though to help.

Sid. Dunno. Maybe there is some contractual thing?

Curmudgeon said...

Trading standards, presumably. Not legal to claim you're something you're not. Just as it would be an offence for a pub to claim it was in the Good Beer Guide when it wasn't - although it would be OK to say it had been in the 2011 edition.

StringersBeer said...

(IANAL) misrepresentation? Unfair Trading? False advertising?. I'd guess it would be for trading Standards to pursue if they had a complaint. Also a copyright issue?

Depending on how the sign's mounted what's to stop a trouble maker peeling the sticker off? Maybe this is what happened here?

Tyson said...

It's a clear case of misrepresentation as outlined in The Trade Descriptions Act 1968. This makes it clear that not only false, but also misleading statements are prohibited. It's the same piece of legislation that prevents a pub advertising "real ale" when there is none.

Neville Grundy said...

It's a good idea, although it wouldn't be hard to rustle up a fake sticker with a future date on it. But seeing how most licensees still seem to rely on handwritten signs, rather than quickly printing something off on a computer, I think it's unlikely they'd try that.

Anonymous said...

isn't Cask marque a waste of time , when I saw that bloke from men behaving badly , neil someone, going for it at his pub it looked ridiculously easy to get ( he still f'd it upthough by having his beer very warm )

arn said...

I once emailed them about really poor service in one of their accredited pubs but never even heard back from them.

Gueuzel said...

Until I saw RedNev's explanation, this reminded me of a pub in Essex (somewhere near Colchester, I think) that was displaying the CM plaque upside down. I made the mistake of asking about it and was subjected to a five-minute rant by the landlord about CM's arbitrary policies and their "monopoly". Wonder if it's still there, and wonder if CM have ever tried to get it taken down.

Anonymous said...

I don't pay any attention to Cask Marque, too often the beer is too cold and under conditioned.

Best example I can think of is the Doric Arch (ex-Head of Steam at Euston). The beers used to be wonderful, especially the summer lightning which was the best in London by a mile. Then they got CMd and it was coming up too cold and never had the depth of flavour it attained previously.
Now it's a fullers House so nuff said

Cask Marque said...

The plaque with 'expired' on it is indeed an attempt to stop licensees from keeping their plaque up but not renewing their membership. It is of course open to abuse by people taking the date sticker off it, but we would send another one if requested. It is not easy for us to remove the plaque from the property of a pub and trading standards whilst effective, takes a long time.

We always investigate any complaint and reply to every email we receive. Apologies to "arn" if we missed that one. Feel free to email any comments or complaints to me at

I agree, getting Cask Marque should be easy. However, 50% of pubs fail to reach the standard required which is pretty shocking.

Cask Marque don't make or encourage pubs to serve cold beer. We use the target temperature specification which virtually every brewer recommends for their beer which is 11-13 degrees. This is a temperature where the beer should be cool and refreshing, but not cold. We don't want to taste beer which is cold and tasteless any more than you, but we also don't want to taste beer that is warm. Most pubs these days have equipment which should allow them to specify what temperature the beer comes out, but a fair number of these don't bother (or don't know how)to check it is functioning properly.

There is/was indeed a pub in Maldon that had the plaque upside down, dating back to a dispute he had with us about 10 years ago. I don't remember what it was about, but think it was more a clash of personalities than anything more sinister.

Anyway, hope that answers most of the comments.

Alastair, Operations Manager

Tandleman said...

Thanks Alastair.