Quality control is one of the biggest threats facing today’s pubs, according to the Good Beer Guide 2020, CAMRA’s premier publication featuring the best pubs for a great pint in the UK.

In a foreword to this year’s guide, CAMRA national director Ben Wilkinson said just one poor pub experience can turn a customer off forever, highlighting how important a good pint is when it comes to a living product, such as cask beer.

Ensuring quality control for beer served in pubs has been a cornerstone of CAMRA campaigning for decades and has led to the foundation of Cask Marque, a not-for-pro t organisation that accredits 10,000 pubs nationwide.

According to this year’s Cask Report, due to be released last month, perceived poor quality of beer is the main reason drinkers avoid it, with 70 per cent of ale drinkers saying they have been served an off or stale pint. In addition, a Marston’s Beer Report found that for every 100 pints of cask ale served, 10 are disap- pointing, and, rather than complain about the beer, four in 10 drinkers will avoid the pub in the future and probably tell their friends to do the same.

Ben said: “Perhaps we just have to accept the hard truth that the biggest threat to the pub is the pub itself. Or rather, the percep- tion of it. We know how one bad pint of cask ale can put someone off for life, but perhaps we’re less ready to consider the equivalent risk with pubs. You go in one where the welcome is unfriendly, the beer is stale, the tables are sticky and an insufferable bore persists in engaging you in conversa- tion, and maybe staying at home with the TV wins out for evermore.”

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