Art of Cellar Maintenance

Looking after the quality of beer in a pub or bar is a skilled job. There is much more to cellar and bar management than just connecting the barrel and serving the beer across a bar.

This content is provided by Cask Marque. For more detailed and free training resources, visit

Hygiene in the Cellar

Cellar hygiene is a crucial parting of serving high quality beer and pub cellars need to be cleaned thoroughly on a weekly basis. Any spillages need to be cleaned immediately to avoid the obvious slip hazards nut also the potential for cross contamination for cask beers.

All cask equipment (taps, rods, dipsticks) need to be cleaned immediately after use in hot water or sanitiser and left to air dry. Cellar’s should be ventilated for 10 minutes every day to allow fresh air to circulate, eliminate any stale odours, and dry the cellar out.

Cellar Temperature

The perfect cellar temperature for cask fresh beer is between 11-13 °C, Maintaining the cellar temperature in this range ensures the beer remains in good condition. Too high or too low will affect the quality of the beer.

If the cellar is too cold, cask beer can develop a ‘chill haze’ and become cloudy, losing flavours and taking longer to reach its optimum serving condition.

Too warm and the beer can spoil rapidly so the beer can taste flat and lose flavour.

Stock Control

Cask beer, like any good fresh, live product has a shelf life when it’s at its absolute best.

Each container needs to be sold within three days of going on sale.

Customers love choice but too many guest ales on the bar will lead to slower

throughputs and adversely affect the quality of the beer, leading to wastage.

By ordering the correct size of container, pubs will have a better chance to sell the beer within three days. For example, a nine-gallon cask contains 72 pints which equates to serving at least 24 pints of that product per day to maintain the quality. That might not sound like much but by considering the range of beer on offer, the pub’s different customers, peak and off-peak trading times, better choices will be made.

A good guide is to offer at least one recognised and trusted brand as a permanent choice alongside guest ales. And by having a minimum of three days stock level will allow cask beer to condition before serving.

Line Cleaning

Beer lines must be cleaned every 7 days to help serve beer in perfect condition and to prevent fobbing (frothing) beer that increases wastage and disappoints customers.

Cask Marque have support on beer line cleaning here:

Glasswashers and Glassware

Along with all care and attention that goes into looking after beer in the cellar, glassware is the final step in delivering the perfect presentation and quality of beer.

To ensure beer is served in optimum quality, glasses must be clean, cool, dry, free of any cleaning residue and unchipped.

Cask Marque have some free support on glasswashing and glassware here:

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