Leeds Student Union bar staff turned students win industry recognised award!

Temperature control, storage and presentation were all on the menu for the 15 candidates who attended and passed the Cask Marque training course, making the Old Bar one of only a handful of university bars to acquire Cask Marque accreditation.

Rachel Winfield and Dan Burrows have both been managers at the Old Bar, Leeds University for over three years. They have gained the Cask Marque award, sponsored by Black Sheep, and are one of only four university bars in the country to gain this. Rachel and Dan attended a Cellar Management course run by Cask Marque at the Black Sheep brewery in July 2010, following which all 15 of their key staff were trained at the University itself.

 Rachel said; “We wanted all our staff to be trained for the Award in Beer and Cellar Quality course because we needed to have fully trained staff for when Dan and I were not on the premises. Our staff can now sort out all the cask ales and it means we offer a full range of cask ales all the time. This means we have seen a rise in cask ale sales as we never have one of the pumps empty.

“Black Sheep supported us from the beginning and helped us with their technical support which led to us gaining the Cask Marque award. Our best seller is Golden Sheep, followed by Black Sheep Ale.

“We decided to go for Cask Marque because we pride ourselves on quality and we don’t benchmark ourselves against other university bars – we look at pubs and bars in the city who are successful and gaining the Cask Marque award was one of the ways we set ourselves apart”

David Croft from Black Sheep said: “We knew the quality of our beer was good, and by getting the Old Bar’s equipment up to date and offering training we knew our beer would be served in great condition”

Cask Marque is an independent, non-profit making company which works with brewers and pub owners to ensure that cask ales are served in the best condition. Over 7,000 pubs and bars across the UK now hold the Cask Marque Award  

The 'Cask Marque' is a sign that appears outside pubs, guaranteeing that inside drinkers will be served a great pint of cask ale.

The Old Bar, which has been a favourite venue for students since 1939, stocks a comprehensive range of beers and ales from the award-winning Black Sheep Brewery, based in Masham, North Yorkshire, as well as guest ales sourced from microbreweries throughout Yorkshire.

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