The below is an article that appeared in the August Edition of THA – Hospitality Review.
The Perfect Pint
HOW OFTEN DO YOUR CUSTOMERS CONSIDER WHAT’S IN THEIR BEER BEFORE IT EVEN MAKES IT TO THEIR GLASS?
PORTERMARK TALKS ABOUT THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE FACE OF BEER AND LINE CLEANING, INCREASING QUALITY & REDUCING WASTAGE.
Alright, so beer line cleaning may not be the most exhilarating of topics when it comes to ‘things about beer we like to discuss’ – but when it comes to the crunch, every publican and club proprietor needs to consider one cold, hard, fact – and it isn’t what their favourite lager is.
You guessed it. It’s that bottom line, which is preferably a very solid black, rather than an alarming traffic-stopping red. There is a formula when it comes to serving a beer. It has to look good, taste even better, not make your customers ill, and from the bartender’s perspective, be easy to pour. Unfortunately, beer lines have a nasty habit of spoiling all of the above.
A LESS THAN SILVER LINING
Simply due to the nature of beer’s makeup, beer lines are easily infected with bacteria and candidae from yeast. The protein compounds in beer also lead to oxidation – and that means ageing, which will also affect the beer lines.
Add in mineral deposits and scaling, and soon not only does beer begin to taste fairly nasty and stale, but the pour is also pretty difficult to manage.
Then your customers start to feel green around the gills from the bacterial side of the equation – and you might as well hang a ‘Closed For The Summer/Winter/Gone Out Of Business’ sign on the door.
Beer line cleaning is a must in Aussie bars. Usually, it’s carried out on a weekly basis, and as everyone who has ever done the hard yards behind a bar counter or in a cellar would know, it’s a job you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
The traditional beer line cleaning systems use pressurised canisters, which are both hard to manage and are, to be put it bluntly, fairly dangerous as they carry the risk of explosion. The cleaning solution stings, and it takes about two and a half hours to do a line clean properly – time that no bar manager has. The risk in employing someone to do it for you is that often they aren’t sufficiently trained, and then accidents happen.
But what if there was an easier, quicker, cheaper way?
MAKING THEIR MARK
Enter Portermark, and their bleeding edge (or should that be beering edge?) line cleaning technology, straight from Europe. For a start, it reduces the clean from once a week to once every three weeks. Secondly, they have professional ‘BeerTechs’ who do the job for you – and yes, they are trained. Thoroughly. Thirdly? They’ll check your cellar stock rotation, make sure that refrigeration temperatures and remote units are all working as they should, and twice a year, replace the ‘O’ rings free of charge. But most importantly, the technology being employed by Portermark will mean an improvement in beer quality, a reduction in wastage, higher yields, and less of your time being spent doing what you hate. It’s a win/win, and that’s evident to some of the biggest names in the beer business, with several of them taking fairly close notice of what Portermark has to offer. That’s a pretty clear indication that Portermark are onto something special when it comes to beer line cleaning technology and how to employ it.
Understandably, exactly what the technology being used amounts to, is not being shouted from the rooftops – call it a trade secret – but it’s fairly clear that if the calibre of the customers they are attracting are liking the results of Portermark’s work, then they are onto a formula that has legs.
It has been in use in Europe for the last decade, and since Portermark have started the system here in Australia (first in WA, and now expanding to South Australia and Victoria) they’ve seen the bars and clubs using the system, including Novotel hotels, clean up when it comes to the taste, appearance, and of course the hygiene levels of their beers.
As one of their clients at Novotel has said:
“Our beer quality has improved, and our wastage has gone down… The Portermark team are doing a fantastic job. Having professionals doing this job is so much better than internal bar staff. [It’s] money well invested.”
An extra positive flow-on effect would of course be a big change in the levels of satisfaction from customers, cellar managers and bar staff. That in itself would be cause enough to make most owners and managers run to the laptop and click straight on the Portermark website (www.portermark.com). And, quite possibly, raise a glass in their honour.