A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Seamus Campbell -

Cleaning beer lines daily is no more necessary than cleaning the kegs that the beer is stored in. The problem starts at the taps and works its way back up the line; good tap hygiene and line cleaning every 2 weeks is plenty adequate to keep draft systems in good order. The bars with problematic numbers almost certainly weren't seeing fortnightly cleanings.

Bar owners are reluctant to do so because a) they're not aware of the impact on flavor and b) they're reluctant to pay a cleaner to throw away the beer that's standing in the lines, which for long-draw systems can be a significant volume.

The good news is that the bacteria that are likely to foul up your pint aren't, for the most part, harmful or toxic (unlike the milk spoilage bacteria that dairy farmers are working against).

Seamus Campbell -

By the way, the Brewers Association has a technical publication on draft beer systems that addresses some of these issues: http://www.draughtquality.org

Chris -

I have come across a couple of pubs that had dirty lines. I just sent it back and asked for a bottle of something else. People have to ask for the manager and tell him/her they might not be back and why.

Alan -

That's one voice for gak. And the BA document indicates that the evil lurks from below, not down the taps. Note the test of the 14 day clear is "not visible debris remain" meaning there was gak on day 13.

Note: weekly cleaning recommended by this guy in the UK.

Velky Al -

If my future plans come to fruition and I am one day the owner/landlord of a pub (please note, not a bar, not a beer bar, not a bloody beer emporium, a pub), then I would have as a matter of course lines being cleaned after each keg or cask kicked. A few extra minutes work for sure, but worth it for giving customers the best possible beer I can.

Alan -

Surely someone can invent a line system that cleans on the flick of a switch for an overnight swish. I recall hearing that the recently and sadly departed Clarks of Syracuse, NY had an accelerated cleaning policy and it really showed.

Ed Carson -

This wouldn't be a problem if we were eating our beer out of bowls(see previous blog post).

Craig -

Clarks also reaked of bleach and solvant for a day or two after their cleaning. I loved C's, but the solvent smell could sometimes be a bit overpowering, especially in the winter.

L.C. Pearson -

Is there an age limit; or is there any laws that say who is allowed to clean beer lines. I noticed at work, a young lad of 17 has been shifted on to clean the beer lines. He has no COSH training. Using chemicals: I thought there must be some laws or guidelines regarding the cleaning of beer lines.