Beer

Beer Quality Report: Main points for licensees

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Beer Quality Report from Vianet and Cask Marque

Related tags: Cask marque, Cask ale, Vianet

Pubs are missing out on more than £300m worth of profit because of quality issues, the Beer Quality Report from Vianet and Cask Marque revealed last month. Here are some key facts highlighted in the report relevant to licensees:

The in-depth report also claimed that a one in three of pints is poured through dirty beer lines, having a significant impact on pouring yields.

Steve Alton, managing director of Vianet, told the PMA​ that the aim of the report was to provide the definitive evidence on beer quality from ‘cellar to glass’. Vianet used data from 200,000 of its units and this was combined with information from 22,000 Cask Marque visits.

“We were keen to provide an evidence-based approach,” said Alton. “It is about how we make sure the beer makes it to the consumer as it was meant to be. There were underlying issues preventing the serve of the perfect pint for the consumer and a perfect pint for the operator with minimum waste.”

Main points include:

Handpulls

  • Vianet research showed that 87% of hand pulls are dispensing fewer than 144 pints per week and 30% fewer than 20 pints per week.  
  • It also showed that four-fifths (80%) of keg taps are dispensing fewer than 144 pints per week.
  • Each wasted tap costs a pub around £200 per annum, Vianet said. 

How many handpulls?

  • The report said that to get the best throughput, all types of pubs should reduce the number of taps “significantly”.
  • It estimated that 11 taps is the ideal for tenanted and leased pubs, 10 for regional brewers and 15 for managed and independent pubs. According to the report: “Typically 20% of taps do the majority of the volumes in most pubs anyway”
  • The advice is that the number of pumps needs to be assessed regularly to take into account seasonal peaks and localised trade issues.

Beer range:

  • Cask Marque research shows 60% of consumers would rather be offered a smaller range of beers served at better quality than have a bigger choice.

Beer temperature:

  • One in 10 pubs in the UK at some point had an issue with beer being sold to consumers too warm, reveals the report.
  • Beer temperatures rise due to cellar issues such as cooler problems or not having the right equipment such as jacketed beer engines for cask.
  • One in four consumers rate the quality of beer being served at the right temperature as just ‘satisfactory’. 

Cellar:

  • Cellars are running too warm on an average four days a month while cask coolers are running too warm an average 4.1 days a month, the report reveals.
  • Currently, a third of pubs don’t have the right equipment to deliver beer in spec both in summer and winter.
  • It argues that there are also not enough regular checks on cellar temperature and core cellar equipment.

Glassware:

  • One in five consumers rate the cleanliness of the glassware their beer is served in as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘poor’. 
  • A third of glasses are dirty while 25% of glass washers are unhygienic, Cask Marque research shows.
  • Only 67% of pubs Cask Marque’s Scores on the Cellar Doors get an excellent rating for their glassware.

Based on average site volumes for 2015, Vianet data showed that after the festive season, which accounted for 9.5% of annual beer sales, the double bank holiday month of May was the second strongest performing month with an average 9.25% of the year’s trade going through pub tills.

Related topics: Beer

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