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The Quality of the Message – And the Drink!

00463-113With consumers becoming increasingly discerning about the food and drink they buy, is the licensed trade missing a trick, asks BOC’s Carl Goode?

The success of premium quality brands by the major supermarkets and other retailers suggests that, even in today’s difficult economic situation, people are still prepared to search out something a little bit better than the mainstream – and pay for it as well.

The search for quality is not limited to the supermarkets though. At BOC, we believe that it offers a way for pubs and clubs to differentiate themselves from the competition. Licensed premises already aim to create a reputation through the quality of the food they serve. Fine wines to accompany these dishes add to the offering. But what about the beer and lager – are they not equally important in establishing the reputation of the establishment?

A series of different factors affect the taste of the dispensed drink. The glass the pint is served in, the angle at which it is poured, the cleanliness of the pipes and the temperature at which it is served are all important. In addition, a crucial but sometimes overlooked factor in this process is the quality of the dispense gas.

So why is dispense gas important? The type of gas used to dispense the beer affects both the appearance and the taste of the final product, the head, the carbonation and the sharpness of the taste. Connecting the recommended gas to a beer can also reduce fobbing and waste.

• CO2 for highly carbonated lagers and soft drinks
• 30/70 (CO2/ N2) for low carbonated ales and stouts
• 60/40 (CO2/ N2) for lagers and ciders
• 50/50 (CO2/ N2) used by certain brewers for some smooth beers and ciders.

The quality of the gas is also important. There are a wide range of beers available for a public house to choose from. Every effort is made to serve the drinks at the correct temperature in the correct glass. We should ensure that the dispense gas used is of equal quality. Dispense gas cylinders should be supplied to recognised food grade standards: for further guidance on this point check the BCGA guide Drinks Dispense Gas Cylinders

Cylinders should be fitted with positive pressure valves. Positive pressure valves prevent moisture getting in and corroding the cylinder on the inside. Corrosion can not only affect the taste of the beer, giving it a metallic taste but could in extreme circumstances lead to a failure of the cylinder.

Quality is a powerful differentiator between you and your competitors. However, for a long time, it has been regarded as something of a ‘dark art’ in the licensed trade. In fact, it is quite scientific: there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your drinks are always great tasting. Of course, there will always be scope for a certain amount of flair as well!
For further information on BOC Sureflow, call 08457 302302 or visit www.BOConline.co.uk

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