Saturday, September 07, 2013

Cellar Cooling and Beer Dispense

I think a tech services guy told me that in a busy pub the lines should be replaced every seven years if the beers are to remain in great condition. He said that pubco's typically try to get 10 - 12 years out of them and never tell lessees when the last install was done if they've come into the pub with kit in place.

The lines and cellar equipment in my pub were in there when I took it on and were modified to take my new bar fit. I had frothing problems for years and the BDM's and tech services guys said there was nothing they could do - the equipment was all the latest spec. etc.

There was no ventilation in the cellar and the secondary coolers were constantly on overload in a room with no windows, or other means of getting fresh air in and S&N told me again and again there was absolutely nothing they could do about it... 'it's just the way the building is'... I never believed them but no matter who I met from their side they all said the same. They said their secondary coolers could not cope because the beer was not cold enough when it came into them The pubco kept telling me it was MY problem because the primary cooler (my responsibility) wasn't powerful enough for the main cellar and needed to be replaced. It was new. They were talking bollocks, They all knew it but they all said it anyway. This is when I began to see that ALL pubco employees are lying cheating thieving scamming scum. Not because I became paranoid but because I could see they were all at it from the legal department to property to area management. They were all doing it.

We constantly lost beer through fobbing and it always held up service. I worked out it added 3% to my overheads. My BDM said it's not possible to put things like that as being down to the pubco, they couldn't be held responsible for such things, it's just the way it is.

A very angry tech services guy visited one day to change a split gas line or something - he was about to quit his job. He was a former Guinness technician (who back them always were independent of the pubco scam it seemed) came to do some work and we got chatting.

He said your beer's fobbing because the equipment ca't handle the volume you're doing, a pub like mine should have had extra cooling lines in as standard - and said this had been basic spec. for getting on for ten years, since just before I signed my lease.

He said I'd obbiously been lied to ever since I moved in and it was exactly this kind of behaviour by the pubco's that made him furious about his own position. He said it was impossible for people like him to do their jobs properly because they could not advise people / publicans as they would never get go ahead on installs without BDM approval irrespective if kit was needed outside of emergency measures.

Everything in my cellar should have been replaced with brand new when I moved in in 1995, he worked out the kit then had only two years' life left in it and it should have all been ripped out for the new business. The secondary coolers were already obsolete by then too and by now had now been another six years -

He gave me a detailed list of things to say, equipment that was needed, including remote ventilation units for the secondary cooler room and the name of a guy at tech services to talk to who would listen. And he said not to tell anyone that he had told me all of this. He said if you quote these phrases and say these things they will HAVE to change everything -

And I followed his advice to the letter, I got protestations from BDM and RM - they said repeatedly they could not sanction such expenditure outside a full refurb programme but I kept saying the same things and eventually tech services came and surveyed, and confirmed that everything I'd said was on the nail, and agreed that it all had to go and I got a full install with new equipment.

And guess what?

The primary cooler began to run, then shut down when the cellar got cold now, instead of just running constantly.  The secondary cooler fans were quiet and never sounded as though they were about to fly out of the room.

The cellar was cool for the first time ever.

And all the beer stopped fobbing.

And we could serve more people, faster, with almost no wastage.

And customers began to say we served the best beer in the area.

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