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Keep your snout out!

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We were conducting a pub visit checking the perfect pour of a pint of lager the other day and a licensee asked “why have you docked me marks for touching the beer with the tap, yet you have given me training in the past for dispensing cask ale using a long spout where you have encouraged the spout to be submerged in the beer?”.

We were conducting a pub visit checking the perfect pour of a pint of lager the other day and a licensee asked “why have you docked me marks for touching the beer with the tap, yet you have given me training in the past for dispensing cask ale using a long spout where you have encouraged the spout to be submerged in the beer?”.

This seemed a very reasonable question, as the reason he had been docked marks for submerging the lager tap was due to the possibility of contaminating the beer with any bacteria which may have formed on the spout. So why was he not being penalised for doing so when dispensing cask ale as if anything, this is even more likely to happen as it is a live product and has not been pasteurised unlike keg products.

Whether you are dispensing cask or keg products it is essential to always serve each beer in a clean glass. The last thing you want to happen is to pick up a customer’s germs and then transfer them to everyone else in the pub. Although this can still happen if the tap is not submerged in the liquid the chances are greatly reduced.

If you submerge the lager tap then this breaks the surface tension of the head and it collapses quicker. Because lagers generally have a flimsier head make up than cask ales, then this is more prevalent. Lagers are dispensed using CO2 or mixed gas so it can also cause fobbing and wastage on that pint and even the next pint due to a vacuum being created inside the tap.

So although the main reason for keeping your beer taps and spouts out of the beer is for hygiene reasons, there are also sound financial and presentation reasons for adhering to best practice in the perfect serve.