Anorak News | Millions of gallons of stale beer are being poured down the drain

Millions of gallons of stale beer are being poured down the drain

by | 14th, April 2020

beer storage
Beer storage facility

Why not let pubs give way their beer or sell it as part of a take-away service? Bitter (three weeks) and lager (six weeks) goes off when it’s stored in kegs. Pubs were ordered to shut on March 20. Most pubs do not possess an “off” licence allowing them to serve customers who want to drink elsewhere. The industry is calling for a relaxation in licensing laws to allow more breweries to sell beer direct to the consumer, giving them vital cashflow. But right now the stuff is just going off in beer cellars.

The Government has helped in regards to ullage. The FT:

HMRC, the tax authority, last week relaxed rules around beer disposal so that breweries can claim back excise duty on the defunct brew, known as ullage, without having a representative of the brewery present while it is dumped — one obstacle to emptying out the beer during lockdown.

Beer stale coronavirus

Pubs are struggling. And the talk is of there being no beer in the pubs when we escape lockdown. Collecting and emptying full casks of beer from cellars is hard work. Unsaleable beer can be poured it down the drain. What a waste.

But as pubs suffer, others are doing well from the crisis:

Growth in sales of alcoholic drinks outstripped that of food purchases, even as customers stockpiled goods such as pasta or rice in preparation for having to self-isolate.

Online retailer Naked Wines said that more people were also ordering drinks for delivery. On Thursday, the company said that it now expected sales in 2020 to top existing forecasts, exceeding £200m.

Talk to me. baby:

Keris De Villiers, landlady of the Ram Inn, the Old Sergeant and the Pig and Whistle in Wandsworth, south-west London, says barrelled beer worth about £10,000 could go off in her cellars – while 1,000 litres (1,760 pints) more beer remains in vats at the SlyBeast microbrewery she and husband Lee have recently set up.

“We could do takeaways,” she says, “but that would mean selling beer on the corner of a very small pavement. That wouldn’t be socially responsible, with the need for people to keep their distance from one another. The whole situation is heart-breaking.

“Our brewer literally talks to his tanks when he’s at work every day. People really care about the beer they’re making. It’s a craft and people are passionate about it.”


Posted: 14th, April 2020 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink