BLURRED LINES OVER CLEAN BEER TAPS

The US Brewers Association could be making more work for draught beer sellers.

Or it might be less.

As part of the group’s research plans for 2017 a grant has been set aside to determine the optimum period between full cleans of beer lines.

Under the general recognised practice, the process is undertaken by proprietors every two weeks.

However, with more craft brewers getting a chance to have their wares on pub, bar and venue taps the Brewers Association is keen to determine whether the industry standard is dealing a bad hand to drinkers and suppliers.

That might mean adjusting the clean to weekly, three-weekly or maintain the status quo.

BA director Paul Gatza said the association would, as part of its research portfolio, also look into two-row barley breeding in Montana and claims of a powdery mildew effect in certain uses of the Cascade hop.

But the study around beer service was a hot topic for members.

“Maybe the timing for line cleaning is wrong,” Gatza told a gathering at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver

“It might need to done more often or maybe resources can be saved if it is a little longer.

“We’re going to find that out once and for all.”

Mould, beer stone and off flavours can develop in draught beer lines if incorrectly maintained.

Gatza also confirmed the spirit of cooperation within local US brewing communities was also helping to maintain quality of product.

“We have been working on various white papers in terms of programs but what we are seeing is breweries offering their labs to small operators in the area,” Gatza said.

“While brewers are collaborative and competitive nobody wants someone making bad beer. It can affect the whole category.

“If the board approves it we are starting some regional quality seminar days to help in that area.”

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