Greene King says it is putting emphasis on cask quality at the centre of its relaunch of IPA.
Matt Starbuck, managing director, Greene King Brewing and Brands, said: “We’ve taken a deep dive look at the beer, the brand, the whole process — from ingredient storage through to the end pint on the bar — and have made some changes.
“Some are just tweaks, others more significant, but the end result is to deliver a pint that is served at its best each and every time it is enjoyed.”
From the introduction of a new cool storage facility for the hops at the brewery, to the doubling of hops into the whirlpool to make the beer more robust, Greene King says it has analysed every step in the process.
Enhanced training and a new cellar management system
One of the biggest changes has been the installation of a cool storage depot so that each freshly filled cask is kept cool until the moment it leaves the brewery for the pub cellar.
Significant enhanced training and a new cellar management system has been introduced for Greene King licensees alongside a newly developed automated water refilling system for the cellar.
The number of handpulls on the bar has been re-evaluated to suit each pub’s customer base, and smaller sized vessels and aspirators offered to pubs with lower cask beer sales.
Assistant managers have become cask champions, and, finally, pubs are being rewarded with ‘Perfect Pint Pub’ status, which includes a plaque for behind the bar, when they achieve 20 out of 20 Cask Marque scores.
‘Greene King have put serious thought and investment into tackling quality issues’
Beer writer Pete Brown was invited by Greene King to see the changes the company made and to chat with the team involved. Admitting he was initially sceptical about some of the claims, he said: “Greene King have put serious thought and investment into tackling some of the quality issues raised in last year’s Cask Report and have put their money where their mouth is in terms of genuinely improving the quality of cask beer.”
Starbuck added: “In our quality manager, Susan Chisholm, we are fortunate to have, arguably, one the world’s leading experts on beer quality leading our team at the brewery in Bury St Edmunds.
“However, we know that the quality beer that is produced at the brewery doesn’t always stay in in the same condition when it reaches the pint glass. In the work we have done, and will continue to do, we are determined to lead the way on tackling some of the issues facing the cask beer industry.”