Hot summer weather puts pub cellars under pressure

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Heatwave: pub cellars are struggling to cope with the recent warm weather
Heatwave: pub cellars are struggling to cope with the recent warm weather

Related tags Cask ale Thermodynamics

Pub cellars are struggling to cope with unusually hot weather this summer, a beer quality expert has warned.

Data from Vianet’s iDraught beer quality and waste systems showed that in June, pub cellars were outside of the recommended temperature range for an average of 6.18 days, resulting in 7.4% of all pints being served too warm.

This June was the warmest since 1976, with temperatures topping 30°C on five consecutive days. The hottest day of the year so far was on 21 June, when a temperature of 34.5°C was recorded at Heathrow Airport, west London. 

Despite cooler temperatures, pubs continued to struggle during the month of July, with cellars outside of recommended temperatures for an average of 5.15 days. 

Increasing the chance of breakdown

Vianet collects data for cellar and dispense temperatures in pubs across the country.

Speaking about the data, product manager Mark Fewster said: “When tracking the ambient temperature of a cellar, our data reveals a clear correlation with beer being served too warm. As cellar temperatures rise during the summer months so does the proportion of warm beer being dispensed.

“Cooling equipment is set up to chill beer to a set specification, so any fluctuations to the ambient temperature puts real pressure on these systems to cope and can result in draught beer being served outside of brewers’ recommendations. It also risks shortening equipment lifespan and increasing the chance of a breakdown or maintenance issues.”

Poorly maintained cellar equipment

This year’s Beer Quality Report​, produced by Vianet in partnership with Cask Marque, found that one in four pubs experienced a major temperature issue – where a pub served more than 20% of beer too warm on a single day – last year.

Leased and tenanted pubs suffered the biggest number of issues, perhaps indicative of ageing or poorly maintained cellar equipment.

In April of this year, Cask Marque director Paul Nunny warned that unless pubs improved the quality of their beer they would face potential ruin​ to due increased costs and competition.

Related topics Beer Training

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