Friday 15 November 2019

Cellarmanship in the 1920s (part seven)

Back again with 1920s cellarmanship. A topic which I find weirdly fascinating.

First, we commence with how to handle casks. A very important topic. Though probably more so for the brewer - whose casks it was that were likely to be ruined - than the publican.

"If it is found necessary to stand casks, either full or empty, in the open, they must always be stood with the tap cork downwards, so as to prevent any water getting into the cask.

This is most important, as carelessness may spoil the cask.

Waste beer must not be left in a cask, or it will be rendered unfit for use, and the proprietor will be charged for it.

Waste is the unconsumable contents left at the bottom of the cask.

Brewers seldom make any allowance for waste nowadays, and when they do, never at the full rate. When claiming for ullages, always measure the quantity in the cask before it is returned.

Always take out the hard peg before drawing any beer, in order to help the engine and prevent the beer clouding. At the end of the day, the hard peg should be tightly replaced.

Another cask of the same quality of beer should always be ready tapped a day before it is required.

Every cask should be pegged and corked as soon as it is empty."
"The Art and Practice of Innkeeping" by Alexander Francis Part, published by Heinemann London, 1922, pages 201 - 202.
I find it surprising that brewers seldom made any allowance for waste. I know that in the 1950s there were some breweries whose beer was total crap because of their insistence on reusing ullage. Were they really not paying publicans anything for it? Because not onlt did brewers reuse ullage, they also got a refund of the duty that they had paid on it.

I assume the spiling advice is correct. Though it makes sense that you wouldn't want the sak sealed when you were drawing beer from it.

Now a little about ordering practices:

"You must look ahead in your orders for beer from the Brewery, and if the Brewery is some distance away, in the country, or the beer has to come by rail, you must allow plenty of time for delay on the railway, and some for ullaged casks, in hot, especially thundery, weather. Most Brewers have specified days for delivering beer in each district, and it is necessary to allow for this. All bottled beer should be put in the cellar immediately on delivery, not left on the stairs, or placed in the yard, and sufficient should be brought up each day for the next day's requirements. Pale ale in bottle requires a few days rest in the cellar before it can be served in ideal condition."
"The Art and Practice of Innkeeping" by Alexander Francis Part, published by Heinemann London, 1922, page 202.

It sounds quite quaint to mdern ears having beer delivered by rail. I wonder when that last happened?


Barm said...

I don't really understand why pubs had such trouble with cask beer in the past. The problems they have today of low turnover can't really have existed. What else were people going to drink? There wasn't any draught lager and spirits were very expensive.

Mind you, with the amount of ullage going into some breweries' beer perhaps it's no wonder it went off quickly.

qq said...

There's that bar in Prague that delivers beer to its customers by model train...

It does happen "for real" still, particularly on the Continent - there was a bad accident in Denmark earlier this year which was speculated to have been caused by beer crates falling off a freight train into the path of a passenger train.

Mike in NSW said...

Leaving bottles out... The advice should be re-issued to Australian liquor warehouses such as Dan Murphy where you can often see pallet loads of bottled beer left out in the sun in the yard while the guys take a break for morning tea.