In these unprecedented times where huge business decisions are having to be made with regard to survival of the business, let’s not take our eyes off the ball with regard to quality.
You may think this an odd thing to be thinking about whilst not trading. But if we get back to basics, then the business will be in a much better condition to ensure optimum product quality when you re-open and look after those customers who will come flocking back – and they will – as to deny our drinkers the opportunity to go to the pub is also unprecedented. So when they do return, whenever that may be, let’s make sure we present them with the best quality pint possible – they deserve it, and so do you and your business!
Let’s get back to basics. Many businesses should use this opportunity to ensure all is in tip-top condition when business restarts. So let’s focus for now on our ‘engine room’ – the cellar.
It’s the key environment for our key product – BEER.
Whatever creates a poor environment will only ensure the quality of our product is poor.
In normal operational times we’ll be changing the air in our cellar on a daily basis by somehow creating a draft to get stale air out and fresh in.
This can’t stop just because we’re closed. The build up of airborne yeasts, moulds and bacteria will continue, even enhanced because the cellar cooling will be off and so temperatures and growth of bacteria will be rising. We don’t want this. Taints through the build up of airborne yeast, moulds and bacteria are one of the key contributors to poor quality beer. Just imagine the air quality in the cellar of an old mansion that gets little ventilation!
At this point I’m assuming your cellar contains nothing else that would taint the beers e.g. fruit, veg, chemicals etc. If it does remove them and find them a new home.
Your stock levels are probably quite low at present, but whatever they are, empty the cellar completely at this time and take the opportunity to give the ‘engine room’ a thorough top-to-toe deep clean using ‘elbow grease’ and warm water. If there are areas of yeast and mould growth, remove them and get all surfaces back to how they should be, scrupulously clean.
Take the chance to effect repairs if necessary, and consider repainting the surfaces.
Stubborn areas, well may well need a proprietary cleaner too. Just ensure it’s odour free, and combine its use with major rinsing, and periods of ventilation whilst the cellar is free of stock.
Don’t forget the ceiling! Remember many beer spillages go up before they come down !!
No doubt you will also by now have cleaned your lines so there’s no stale beer to taint them. If that’s the case, leave them empty. Don’t leave them filled with the final rinse water – it’s just going to go stagnant!
Like all beer equipment, once cleaned it needs to air dry – once again that regular belt of fresh air over these close periods will help ensure that when you do finally restock and reopen your engine room it will be the best it’s ever been to produce ‘your perfect pint’.