I was quite ready to scoff at today's article in the London Free Press on InBev... or is it AmBev... or maybe now just BevBev's... Canadian operations and their version of a beer school but the point on the economics of properly handling your kegs is interesting:
"In a typical bar, five to 10 pitchers of beer are spilled during each (bar server's) shift because of poor pouring practice. We eliminate that. We also teach bar staff how to hook up new kegs without a lot of unnecessary spillage," MacGillivary adds. He explains that pressure within the draft-beer line and the new keg have to be properly balanced "or beer spews out," not only making a mess, but subtracting from profit. "Between $50 and $100 a shift can be going down the drain," he says.
Of course this is keg and not cask but the idea that even a keg of beer has physical properties which must be understood is worth noting - even if the properties involved are mainly artificial. Cask is a different thing again as Stonch has been explaining in his irregular posts about running a pub including this one on monitoring the state of the living ale in the cellar. I don't know if a keg can require a sparkler but they don't really need a spring-loaded still, wouldn't come with a wooden keystone or ever really need a a cellarmen, spile or shive.
Which leads me to the inevitable question of value. Spillage - when entered on to the expense side of the ledger - gets placed into the scales and balanced off against revenue. Which makes the craft of the cellar person, whether laird or lassie, or even the C02 line jockey worth respecting as it, like so many other things around but not in your beer glass, helps set the price you pay.