The 3 step guide to serving perfect draught beer

It’s the number one goal for any venue. Serve the perfect tasting, best quality draught beer to customers – with minimal wastage and cellar maintenance costs, while ensuring the highest standards for workplace health and safety.

That seems like a tricky goal to reach. But with the right procedures and equipment in place, it’s a goal that can be easily achieved. A solution that is backed by science, used by Australia’s leading pubs and clubs and has demonstrated for over ten years to provide the best draught beer quality possible while maximising profits. Seems like a no brainer, right?

Before we dive into how you can serve the perfect pint, we need to go through the science behind beer. We’ll go through what contributes to beer quality, old-versus-new methods and how with the correct procedures and technology, you can serve a schooner that will have your locals lining up for more.

The science behind beer quality

When it comes to testing the quality of tap beer, it’s measured in the form of bacterial counts – in the case of beer, it’s wild yeast and lactic acid. These contaminants affect beer quality as their counts rise; the higher the count, the worse the beer tastes. The objective is to keep these counts as close to 0 as possible.

So how does wild yeast and lactic acid grow and spread within a beer system? The breeding ground for these nasties comes in the form of biofilm, which grows within the beer line over time. Biofilm acts as a glue on the walls of the beer lines, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Without proper maintenance, biofilm growth allows for rapid bacterial spread and can quickly spoil draught beer.

Accredited laboratories such as ALS Global provide food and beverage testing solutions, including beer quality testing, which provide sample counts for these bacteria levels as per Government guidelines.

Lowering your counts – the old way

Typical weekly or fortnightly line cleaning, along with equipment cleaning procedures and the use of caustic chemicals, does an okay good job of keeping these counts low. This cleaning method has been the “official” cleaning guideline for many years.

While this method is common amongst pubs and clubs, it has many drawbacks:

  • Expensive and wasteful
    Frequent cleaning wastes a lot of beer, requires more chemicals and considerable human resources
  • The use of caustic line cleaning chemicals
    Commonly used line cleaning chemicals are dangerous to staff, presenting an OH&S risk. A frequent cleaning schedule also means more handling of these chemicals
  • It’s inconsistent
    Depending on who you speak to, everyone has an idea of what they think works best. There is no consistent approach
  • Average beer quality
    Despite all the hard work and wastage, the beer quality isn’t as good as it could be. Bacterial counts can remain high in many cases.

And don’t forget – what’s been described above is often used as a best-case scenario. Some venues extend their clean beyond the two-week cycle, cleaning their beer lines every month or in some cases, even less – without the right equipment to do so. Procedures such as this have been proven to have a drastic negative effect on beer quality, and no brewer in the land will tell you it’s a good idea.

The new way to perfect beer

Through the introduction of innovative cellar technologies, it’s easy to improve beer quality with less cleaning. It’s backed up by years of extensive lab testing and has demonstrated time-and-time again to deliver the best beer possible. This solution is broken down into 3 main components:

  • Inhibiting biofilm growth through innovative technology to drastically reduce bacteria counts
  • Implementing step-by-step procedures for cellar equipment maintenance
  • Introducing a safe and effective cleaner which drastically improves staff safety.

Less cleaning, better beer, improved bottom line

The end result allows you to safely clean your beer lines every six to eight weeks, while at the same time improving beer quality and staff safety. In fact, the cost savings mean this solution actually pays for itself and then some, increasing profits at your venue.

Test results showing the old versus new way to cleaning beer systems

Pictured: Old versus new cleaning at The Precinct, NT – the above chart shows bacterial results using the old fortnighly cleaning method, and the new siz-week method with CellarControl. The results show a vast improvement in beer quality, will less line cleans. Read the full case study here.

The three steps to great quality draught beer

Achieving the perfect beer is an exact science – it’s worked for hundreds of leading pubs and clubs across Australia for over a decade. Here are the three steps to achieving the perfect beer.

  1. Install CellarControl biofilm prevention system
    Installed in the cool room, CellarControl treats the root cause of beer line contamination – by inhibiting biofilm growth. allowing you to serve great quality beer, with less line cleaning. Not only does this improve beer quality, but it also reduces your beer line requirements by up to 80%, since you can safely clean your lines every 6 to 8 weeks. The system has been independently tested by EcoDiagnostics and has demonstrated to maintain excellent beer quality at six weeks post-clean.
  2. Download The Perfect Beer Guide maintenance checklist
    From every keg change to ongoing checks and everything in between, The Perfect Beer Guide provides a step-by-step guide to maintain your beer system – with timelines on what you need to do, and when. Developed by industry experts with decades of cellar experience, this guide covers all aspects of cellar maintenance from keg couplers to tap heads to ensure nothing is missed. You can download it here.
  3. Use Maxi-Enzyme cleaner
    A HACCP certified, food-safe and environmentally friendly cleaning solution, Maxi-Enzyme is one of the safest and most effective cleaners on the market. By utilizing multi-enzyme technology, Maxi-Enzyme is non-corrosive and targets biofilm residue to ensure the cleanest beer lines possible, extending equipment life and providing a much safer work environment. Find out more at

Check out our Case Studies to see how this new method performs in the real world, including bacterial reports and before/after results.

What we’ve shown today is there is a clear way to achieve perfect beer quality with less work. It’s easy to implement and it saves money, so it really is a no-brainer. Take a look at the Case Studies, download The Perfect Beer Guide, start implementing and then start delivering the best pint in town.