Cask Marque, the cask ale service experts, has predicted that nearly 7,000 pubs will have received accreditation by the end of the year – a 15% year-on-year increase. The company said despite pub closures and frequent changes of licensees, numbers are growing and is likely to reach 6,900 pubs by next month, up from 6,005 last year. Paul Nunny, Cask Marque’s director, said: “It’s now becoming a must-have in lots of outlets. There is an appreciation that not serving good quality beer is likely to damage your business.” Cask Marque has seen a particularly sharp rise in accreditation among food-led managed chains, such as Mitchells & Butlers.