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Where are the ‘dirtiest’ pints in Britain?

By Nicholas Robinson+

06-Apr-2017
Last updated on 12-Apr-2017 at 08:46 GMT2017-04-12T08:46:02Z

Bad beer: where's the best place to go for a pint?
Bad beer: where's the best place to go for a pint?

Operators in the south-west of England have been called out by this year’s Beer Quality Report as the most likely in the UK to pour pints from unclean lines.

Top 10 draught products (Vianet)

  1. Carling
  2. Foster's
  3. Guinness
  4. John Smith's Extra Smooth
  5. Strongbow
  6. Carlsberg
  7. Stella Artois
  8. Kronenbourg 1664
  9. Coors Fine Light
  10. San Miguel

The report, compiled using data from Vianet and Cask Marque, showed almost half of all pints of cider and more than 40% of other draught beers (apart from cask ale) served in pubs surveyed in the south-west came from beer lines overdue a clean, usually specified as every seven days.

Pubs in the north-east of England, however, have some of the cleanest pints, with fewer than a third coming from unclean lines.

Major issues in beer quality

The figures highlight one of the major issues in beer quality now, which is that too few outlets are maintaining the nation’s favourite alcoholic drink properly.

Cask Marque director Paul Nunny said: “Cask Marque has spent almost 20 years banging the drum about beer quality and still the message is not getting through to the retailer.”

Findings from the report, published today (6 April) were damning and severe for the on-trade, he added.

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Steve Alton, managing director at Vianet, said: “With a raft of new business costs hitting the industry this year, for instance further uplifts in the national living and minimum wages, pension auto-enrolment and the apprenticeship levy, as well as substantial hikes in business rates for many pubs, profitability is under pressure like never before.”

The proper standard

Pubs serving beer to the proper standard – through clean lines, at the correct temperature and in the correct way – could make a significant amount in profit, he added.

For instance, based on £3.50 per pint, a pub selling 300, 400 or 500 barrels of beer a year could make £17,348, £22,630 and £27,913 respectively, according to the report.

“Draught beer remains in value growth and beer still accounts for seven in 10 drinks sold in pubs,” Alton added.

“However, the findings in our report provide a much-needed reality check and demonstrate the category’s continued health could be threatened by quality failings.”

Unclean beer lines: breakdown by region and category

Region

Cider

Stout

Prem
lager

Stand
lager

Keg
ale

Cask
ale

Average

North-east

36%

30%

27%

26%

26%

29%

29%

North-west

41%

31%

31%

29%

28%

28%

31.3%

Yorkshire

40%

34%

32%

29%

29%

26%

31.6%

East Mids

39%

32%

32%

30%

30%

28%

31.8%

West Mids

45%

34%

33%

31%

29%

26%

33%

Scotland

45%

35%

30%

35%

31%

30%

34.3%

London

44%

36%

34%

37%

33%

31%

35.8%

East England

44%

38%

36%

36%

38%

32%

37.3%

Home Counties

45%

39%

38%

37%

37%

33%

38.1%

South-east

47%

41%

39%

38%

38%

30%

38.8%

Wales

53%

38%

39%

36%

36%

32%

39%

South-west

48%

42%

41%

41%

41%

32%

40.8%

The information for this chart was take from the Beer Quality Report 2017. The report used data from 220,000 Vianet devices, 750 Cask Marque Scores on the Cellar Doors reviews and 22,000 Cask Marque pub visits.

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