The employees gave up a Saturday to learn about cellar management from Cask Marque training manager and beer sommelier Annabel Smith in the Adnams training room at the brewery in Southwold, Suffolk.
Cask Marque has trained sales teams and telesales for a number of breweries and pub groups but this was the first time draymen have been enrolled.
Smith said: “They were a great group to teach as they were very attentive, interested and asked very relevant questions.”
She continued: “It is a good investment as draymen are fronting the company when visiting customers every week. Also the team will feel valued as the company invested in increasing their knowledge and this acknowledges the importance of their job role.”
Adnams transport manager Gary Stacey also attended the course. He said: “Our draymen are frequently asked about cellar issues. Now they can feel confident in answering questions and giving advice. It will also reduce ullage returns. Annabel made the course both interesting and enjoyable for the team.”
Not-for-profit organisation Cask Marque’s focus has been on cellar management and all pubs will need to gain a 4*/5* rating to hold the Cask Marque award. By the end of 2023, more than 8,000 pubs will have a cellar rating.
Quarter of pubs fail inspection
In the first quarter of 2023, 27% of pubs failed to gain the 4*/5* rating. Apart from the normal issues, ice machines and glass washing machines failed from a hygienic aspect and a number of pubs did not have their gas secured, which represents a safety issue.
Cask Marque director Paul Nunny was pleased about the level of support and focus now being placed on the cellar.
He explained: “Good cellar practice delivers better yields and better beer thus helping pub profitability. Remember the cellar is to beer as the kitchen is to food. The star rating system will drive up standards that will not only benefit the pub but also the consumer.”
Cask Marque has 60 assessors making 22,000 visits each year supporting pubs.