Archive for December 30th, 2009

The Financial Times has an article today about the success of the Charles Wells owned John Bull Pub Company in France. It initially ran two pubs to promote the beers it sold wholesale, but has now increased to five with plans to grow to 13 pubs by 2013.

While there are lots of fake British pubs around the globe, the John Bull pubs offer both Bombardier and Director’s on hand pumps.

The Frog chain of brew pubs, with outlets in Paris and other cities, also seem to be doing a roaring trade, with new pubs opening at a steady rate – even if I personally did not like their beers.

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While we all like to quote historical anecdotes about beer being safer to drink than water, there are critical factors in brewing as well. I have joked about the big lager breweries who seem obsessed about the technical side of beer, but, on the other hand, if you don’t have the necessary knowledge and focus on quality, you’ll soon be out of business.

The Austrian Health and Food Agency AGES took a closer look at some of the brewpubs in three regions, Upper Austria, Tyrol and Salzburg, and the results are not very encouraging.

Twelve of the 25 samples were had microbiological defects. Two of these samples were also criticized for not having original gravity as claimed.

The twelve samples had various problems: beer-spoiling bacteria, lactic acid bacteria or unwanted yeast.  Two samples  from Upper Austria contained- rather unusual – Escherichia coli, probably due to an unsanitary tap or leaking equipment.

AGES points out three critical factors for brewpubs:

  • Poorly cleaned pipes and tanks, increased risk of infection with internal components (such as flow meters and valves) .
  • The yeast used, which may be purchased or from the brewery’s own production.
  • The dispensing system; compensation valves are complicated constructions and they are heavy and cumbersome to clean.  Poorly cleaned beer lines will over time form a biofilm, which is not easily removed.

I dare say that these problems are not limited to Austria…


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