View Full Version : a swift one - Keykeg - a further thought or two

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07-09-2014, 09:18
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I have been reading the comments on my previous post, and one, from SteveG, a fellow dinosaur, has made a very interesting point which I believe deserves a little more exploration.

He says that one of the reasons for the outbreak of keg (not keykeg) beers in the 1960's was to make life easier for the landlord and his cellar staff. Basically this method of dispense gave the product a longer shelf life and helped out those pubs without a quick throughput of their beers. It also, in my opinion, led to some sloppy cellar practices, and line cleaning, for example, seemed to get overlooked in some cases, and beer quality, no matter how good the beer may have been, suffered.

Fast forward to the present day. Isn't time travel a wonderful thing ! Nothing in this respect has altered. Cleanliness is still one of the essential factors in providing good quality beers, as is good cellar management. And by association, so is the skill and commitment of the landlord. They can still make a good beer poor by their lack of effort with it.

I have seen the Cask Master assessors at work, and they certainly do assess the beer so that the quality in a Cask Marque pub should always be of a consistent standard. This do not mean that I am saying they are better quality than those without the marque, just that it does give an indication of quality of dispense.

The other thing that made me think from Steve's comments, has made me think about the actual pubs themselves. A few years ago, a pub was a pub, a wine bar a wine bar, and so on. Nowadays the distinction has become more blurred.

It is not unusual for a cask beer pub to offer wine and on occasions key keg beers, nor is it unusual for key keg pubs to offer cask beers. But it does seem that the newer kids on the block - let me use Brewdog for an example, have made a style of bar that is predominately dominated by key keg. We have all been in them, or at least past them !, and this style of bar, I hesitate to call them pubs, does tend to attract a younger drinker, who enjoy that style of beer because that is the only beer available in the place.Us dinosaurs will avoid them, for the self same reason.

There are some places, I will not name names, that manage to blend the two styles of dispense and attract both the older and younger drinker. However, I have noticed in these pubs that the younger drinkers do still gravitate towards the key keg product, while the older ones stick to cask. I know thats a massive generalisation and some readers will say they have a foot in both camps. All I am concerned about is that the younger drinkers, as they become more mature, with continue to drink their key keg and gradually the more traditional beers and pubs will suffer. Time will tell, and maybe some time travelling blogger could let us know how things have panned out in 2100. Steve, get the sonic screwdriver working !!

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