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Draught beer hygiene: a survey of on-trade quality

Mallett, James R.; Quain, David


James R. Mallett

David Quain


The quality of draught beer in 57 on-trade licensed premises in 10 locations in the UK Midlands was assessed using a forcing test. Of 149 samples of standard lager (‘SL’, abv ≤ 4.2%), 44% were in the ‘excellent’ quality band compared to 16% of 88 samples of keg ale (‘KA’, abv ≤ 4.2%). Of the total of 237 samples, > 90% were represented by two lager and two ale national brands. There were differences in the quality index (QI) between the brands, with lager SL3 having a QI of 84% compared to 72% for lager SL6, 71% for ale KA5 and 68% for ale KA1. The susceptibility of the four brands to spoilage was assessed using a challenge test with microorganisms taken from forced draught samples of the brands. Ale KA5 (challenge test QI = 87.5%) was the most resistant to spoilage followed by lager SL3 (81.3%), lager SL6 (75%) and ale KA1 (62.5%). Keg beers in accounts with a national cask beer quality accreditation had the same QI as those without accreditation. Analysis of price versus quality showed that the most expensive price band had the lowest quality. Draught beer quality declined as the number of dispense taps increased across the bar. It was also noted that dispense of beer into branded half pint glasses had variable take-up, with lager SL3 served in the correct branded glassware on 71% of occasions but with only 5% of occasions for lager SL6. None of the keg ales were served in correctly branded glassware.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 10, 2018
Journal Journal of the Institute of Brewing
Electronic ISSN 2050-0416
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 125
Issue 2
Pages 261-267
APA6 Citation Mallett, J. R., & Quain, D. (2018). Draught beer hygiene: a survey of on-trade quality. Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 125(2), 261-267.
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mallett, J. R., and Quain, D. E. (2018) Draught beer hygiene: a survey of onā€trade quality. J. Inst. Brew.], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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