Thwaites trialling Brulines 'fizzlines'

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Daniel thwaites Cask ale

Thwaites trailling 'fizzlines'
Thwaites trailling 'fizzlines'
Lancashire brewer Daniel Thwaites is trialling Brulines flow-monitoring equipment for draught soft drinks at six tenanted pubs. The scheme is...

Lancashire brewer Daniel Thwaites is trialling Brulines flow-monitoring equipment for draught soft drinks at six tenanted pubs.

The scheme is flagged up in Thwaites's new code of practice with tenants, which says: "In some instances, we install equipment on post-mix syrup lines. The reason for doing this is to compare volumes of product dispensed and those ordered from Daniel Thwaites, which in turn is used to ensure the tie is complied with."

Director of pub operations Andrew Buchanan told the Morning Advertiser​ that six sites, including former managed houses, have been trialling the Brulines equipment for around six months.

The system fits into the head of dispense units, measuring flow through lines. "It helps customers increase data to manage stock, and on the flip side it acts as a bit of a policeman," Buchanan said. There are no plans for a wider roll-out, he added. "It's very much in the 'wait and see' phase."

The MA revealed in 2007 that Brulines had been trialling flow-monitoring equipment — dubbed "fizzlines" — for soft drinks.

Marston's Pub Company (MPC) managing director Alistair Darby told the MA this week that trials of the systems at 35 MPC pubs had been abandoned.

One pub operator source told the MA there were concerns about perceived difficulties in measuring post-mix syrup that, unlike beer, must be diluted.

The trial is likely to raise concerns about increasing pubco intrusion. Industry consultant Phil Dixon said: "Presumably someone at Thwaites would have worked out what effect this would have on their recruitment [of tenants]."

GMB's beer-flow information request 'to be denied'

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the GMB to the National Measurement Office (NMO) over the bid by Brulines to have its beer-flow equipment accredited is likely to be denied, the Morning Advertiser understands.

The union has asked the NMO to disclose information about its work with Brulines and Smartcellar — and also wants a meeting to raise its concerns over the equipment.

But the request is set to be denied because the NMO's work is on a private basis for Brulines and the information is deemed commercially sensitive.

The FOI would be valid only if the equipment fell under the Weights and Measures legislation.

Brulines voluntarily entered into discussions with the NMO to see if there are any steps it could take to improve its method, calibrating or operating processes. It followed the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee's recommendation that Brulines be officially calibrated.

An NMO spokesman said the FOI request had been received and would be dealt with. "The NMO does offer a commercial testing service," it said.

Brulines declined to comment.

Brewer offers range of 32 ales

Daniel Thwaites is launching a 32-strong selection of one-off and guest cask ales in its top pubs.

The scheme will run until the end of 2011 and comprises 16 ales from Thwaites's Signature range, as well as 16 guest beers from other brewers including Fuller's and St Austell. The 1807 Cask Club aims to further the growth of cask ales.

"Our 1807 Cask Club is an innovative package for pub customers, which marries Thwaites's best artisan ales with a range from some of the best brewers," said pub operations director Andrew Buchanan.

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