The Fresh Draft: Wisconsin Breweries Uniting to Ensure Your Pint Is All It Should Be
There are few experiences more memorable than savoring a fresh pint at your favorite Wisconsin pub. However, despite the best efforts of the brewer, the final pour makes all the difference. This is why New Glarus Brewing Company continues to drive quality in Wisconsin by uniting Wisconsin brewers, beer distributors and tap line cleaners in a quest to ensure your next beer is the ‘perfect pint’. Together, for the first time in Wisconsin, they have collectively published an industry endorsed letter reinforcing the importance of regular line cleaning.
Also, the American Brewers Association recently published a very informative ‘Draught Beer Quality Manual’. Visit http://www.draughtquality.org/FrontPage) for details.
Generally draft beer will always taste better than bottled beer…. unless the draft lines are dirty. Customers expect clean tables, clean rest rooms, and clean dishes. They should also expect clean draft lines. As Daniel Carey (Diploma Master Brewer, New Glarus Brewing Company) says “Dirty draft lines makes an otherwise great beer taste sour, flat or suppressed. That is, lacking that crisp flavor one expects in fresh beer. Dirty glassware results in an unappetizing flat appearance. The wrong blend of CO2 and Nitrogen Gas makes beer taste dull and flat, lacking foam, sparkle and crispness.” For these reasons New Glarus Brewing Company recommends that taverns clean their lines every two weeks and post documentation of the line cleaning cycle in all keg coolers.
The brewery is also reaching out to companies that install, clean, and maintain beer equipment in Wisconsin to ensure the ‘perfect pint’. Cleaning draft lines is a specialized process that if not done properly is ineffective. When done right, the cost for line cleaning is small compared to the resulting increase in draft sales for a restaurant and the overall enjoyment of the tasting experience.
New Glarus Brewing also employs a Draft Specialist, Jeff Schaefer, to conduct in-house draft seminars at the brewery for tavern and restaurant owners. These 6 hour seminars detail the many factors that go into creating a great pint. New Glarus Brewing Company is also using the distributor network to help train retailers on proper pour, clean glassware, and draught maintenance.
When a customer spend his or her hard earned money on draft beer it is the brewers’ responsibility to insure it tastes great! Brewers work very hard to insure beer is “just right” when it leaves the brewery. Unfortunately, souring bacteria grow quickly in dirty draft lines, spoiling taste. So education and quality standards for proper tap line cleaning are paramount.
The easiest way to determine if your favorite local pub cleans their lines? Just ask! Pubs will have the information on hand, as it is part of their regular restaurant maintenance. Some draft cleaning companies even award certificates to those establishments that regularly clean their lines. A quick checklist for you;
– is the draft system cleaned every 14 days?
– is the beer carbonated properly
– does the beer taste like it does at the brewery?
You can stop by the Hilltop Brewery in New Glarus, WI to compare for yourself: lines cleaned every 14 days by Jim’s Tap Cleaning Service, pushed using a McDantim Gas Blender, and beer fresh that is straight from the brewery warehouse. It is worth the trip!
Just like a properly cooked steak, sizzling on a warm plate, beer served with a proper gas blend, clean draft lines and clean glassware makes for a “Wow” experience. Once you have found a responsible pub be sure to congratulate them on a ‘Job well done’!
If you would like more information on New Glarus Brewing Company or Draft Cleaning Practices, please contact Jeff Schaefer at [email protected] or contact Deborah Carey at 608-527-5850 or [email protected]
TheFullPint.com are advocates of fresh beer. If you enjoyed the spirit of this message, please read this blog from Dan.
Craft Beer From the Grocery Store – Keep It Fresh!