I’ve had the pleasure of reading this blog from my good friend and, probably, the person who knows most about craft keg dispense in the UK, Yvan Seth of Jolly Good Beer.
His writings have inspired me to write my own blog on the matter because it chimes in with so much of what we’re about. The thing I love about Yvan (aside from the swearing, he is Australian, after all, so swearing is not only de rigeur it’s practically a term of endearment) is his absolute refusal to compromise on quality. Why is this important, it’s only beer right?
Let me put it another way; you’re a brewer, you’ve just spent a small fortune on the finest hops and yeast known to humankind to make, say, a New England style IPA. If you’ve not got a decent cold room to keep that beer around 4°c the volatile hop flavour compounds are going to “burn” off much more quickly than if you have. Don’t believe me? Go to your local bottle shop and buy two cans (or bottles) of a decent hoppy beer, put one in the fridge and put the other in the airing cupboard for a month. Then taste them side by side.
Reading thru Jolly Good Beer’s blog, you’ll see reference to direct draw dispense systems, I’m not going to go through the ins and outs of a direct draw system here (you can read that here if that’s your thing) but, suffice to say, it is a system designed to eliminate waste as much as possible whilst protecting the integrity and flavour of the beer.
There is a reason Jolly Good Beer has been commissioned to do the cellar installs for both of Cloudwater’s Manchester and London taprooms and, if they had the time, I’d ask them to come and do the install job at Tom’s Tap and Brewhouse for our refurb. As it happens Yvan shared the spec with me while I was building the Pig and Porter mobile bar this time last year so I’m confident we can build the new Tom’s bar to the specification that will allow us to serve the beer at the perfect serving temperature.
We’re expecting the work to start on the bar in early February and we’re hoping to be able to time the works in such a way that we won’t have to close, however that remains to be seen; in our experience these jobs are never as straightforward as we hope they’re going to be. Rest assured, though, that we will take the necessary steps to make sure the job is done properly.