I’ve honestly been sitting on this video, hoping not to turn people off to draft beer. That said, this is a real issue in America and one that I think we need to make a bigger deal of. Watch this video all the way through – observe the ‘stuff’ that flows though the lines. That stuff – it’s naturally forming crap that builds up over time if your draft line is not clean. Draft lines ought to be cleaned professionally every two weeks – and all fixtures that touch beer ought to be acid washed quarterly. Sadly, I don’t think most bar owners know this – or care.
If you run a ‘beer bar’, or pride yourself on your craft selection, you absolutely must care for you lines and fixtures (couplers, faucets, sanke valves, etc.). If you don’t want to be inconvenienced with the whole notion of cleaning your lines, or having them cleaned, then you’re a lazy cheapskate that ought to think about letting someone else that likes beer run you establishment. It sounds harsh, but honestly it’d be for your own good. After all, clean beer tastes better. Better beer sells more. By allowing yourself to let someone help your business in this small, inexpensive way, you could find that you’re selling more beer. Think about it.
If you’re a customer that is dedicated to craft beer, by all means please inquire to the bartender how frequently their beer lines are cleaned. If you get a blank stare back, indicating they have no clue what you’re talking about… politely suggest they start a regular beer line cleaning program. Hell, shoot ‘em this link and that should hopefully prompt some action.
One last word to bar owners/managers – if you make the smart choice to treat your beer lines properly, you can (and should, I believe) use this as marketing for your bar, indicating your commitment to a superior product and your overall passion for beer (even if it’s just a smart business move). Win. Win.