I'm always interested in anything that affects the pub trade and its ability to work well within the financial constraints currently facing their businesses. PubCos are often a target of my scorn and in some ways this article is no different. For many tenants, already dealing with high rents and expensive beer, as well as restrictions on choice, there is the added burden of beer dispense measuring equipment, mostly supplied by a firm called Brulines.
The publicans' views are fairly straightforward; the equipment is inaccurate and additionally, fails to take into account liquid used to clean lines, as well as unsaleable cask beer and results in accusations of buying out, with resultant fines and general unpleasantness. Brulines say it is accurate, but have up till now refused to have it officially tested by the state owned National Measurement Office (NMO). Now they will, but under conditions that aren't being released. In a Morning Advertiser article, Simon Clarke who campaigns against the device says "One would think, if a company had confidence in the accuracy of its products, that it would engage the NMO and require a full and public testing of the equipment. Secret testing to be paid for by the very company seeking the endorsement in itself fuels the fire of suspicion that this is nothing more than an attempt to enable manipulation of the testing conclusions into a positive spin."
Now I have no real idea of the rights and wrongs of this, but it is important though, as we are talking, according Clarke, about big bucks. But what we do undoubtedly see is yet another example of how PubCos, either by intent or incompetence, make life difficult for their tenants, rub them up the wrong way and more importantly, clearly illustrate the sheer lack of trust that exists between the two parties. As pubs close and customers revert to home drinking in droves, you can't see how this can have a positive outcome for either side. It's all a bit, you know, undignified.
The trade is littered with such unwholesome and divisive stories and none of them make it look at all good.
The Morning Advertiser has the story in all its gory detail here.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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