What are the goals of the three-tier system?
The three-tier system is supposed to make tax collection easier for the state, protect consumers from abuses by companies that make or sell alcohol, and create competition in the market.
Describe the three-tier system in the US.
Brewers & importers can only sell to a wholesaler, who can only sell to a retailer, who can only sell to consumers. It requires legal separation between these tiers
How do you assess a beer shipment's physical condition and age when it’s being delivered to you?
1) Check the date code on the bottle, can, or keg. Fresher is better. 2) Check the physical condition of the container. If it’s damaged or leaking do not accept. 3) Check the temperature of the beer, it should still be cool upon delivery.
Who pays the Federal Excise Tax on beer? Who pays the State Excise Tax? Who pays Sales Tax and local fees? Who pays Income Tax from beer sales?
Brewers pay the Federal Excise Tax to the US Federal Alcohol And Tobacco Tax And Trade Bureau (TTB). Wholesalers pay the State Excise Tax. Retailers pay Sales Tax and local fees. All profitearning companies pay Federal and State Income Taxes
What are some responsible alcohol serving practices?
1) Always tell customers what the ABV of each beer is on the menu. 2) Serve high ABV beers in small serving sizes (smaller glassware). 3) A beertender should serve responsibly. Never serve someone who is visibly drunk.
What are the effects of alcohol on the body?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It affects people in very low concentrations. Even one drink can results in divided attention and a narrowing of a person's “attentional field.” Alcohol is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract by simple diffusion into the blood, mostly via the small intestine.
What can distributors and retailers do to ensure beer’s freshness is preserved?
1) Rotate inventory by selling older beer first, removing out of date products from inventory, and checking older beer without a date by tasting it next to a fresh example. 2) Refrigerated storage. If stored warm that accelerates oxidation, autolysis, and potential infection off flavor development. 3) Limit the beer’s exposure to light to avoid skunking.
What beers should be consumed fresh?
It should always be assumed that when a beer is released from the brewery it is ready to drink! Almost all beer styles are best consumed fresh and the brewery will release the beer as soon as it is ready. This is particularly true for hoppy beers, lighter beers, and all beer of typical strength.
Why and how do party pumps limit the flavor stability of beer?
Party pumps limit the flavor stability of the beer to less than one day because the beer immediately comes into contact with oxygen that oxidizes it and with microbes that infect the beer.
What gases are acceptable for use serving beer via a draft system?
Only carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (or a blend of those gases) are acceptable for use in a draft system. Never use compressed air or oxygen or the beer will begin to oxidize rapidly.
Explain the structure and workings of a typical keg.
When tapped, a keg's valve (Sankey) admits gas into the headspace, which applies the pressure needed to push beer up through the spear (or “down tube”) and out of the keg up into the coupler and into the beer tube, while maintaining the correct carbonation in the remaining beer.
Explain the components and workings of the pressure side of a draft system.
A high-pressure gas cylinder provides CO2. An attached Primary Regulator lowers the pressure to a usable level. Each keg has its own Secondary Regulator. Sankey Couplers allow gas into the headspace of the keg. If it’s a long draw system it may use a Nitrogen Generator and Gas Blender to add pressure to the system. A Beer Pump can also add pressure. Braided vinyl or poly tubing Gas Line is used throughout.
Describe the one-way valves in a coupler.
1) The Thomas valve allows CO2 into the keg but prevents beer from backing up into the gas line if the pressure drops. 2) The Check valve is for when the coupler is disconnected from the keg. It prevents beer remaining in the beer line from flowing out through the coupler, preventing a mess when tapping a fresh keg.
Describe a beer keg coupler.
The Coupler is important to the beer and pressure sides of a draft system because as gas flows in the keg, beer is pushed out, all through the coupler. The coupler pushes down the ball or poppet in the keg neck allowing gas to flow in and creating pressure in the keg's headspace that pushes beer up through the spear and into the beer line to the faucet. There are 6 different types of Sankey coupler.
Describe jumper lines and what they’re used for in a draft system.
Jumper line is flexible vinyl beer line in a long draw system that goes from the keg couplers to the bundles of beer tube and also from the beer tube to the faucet shanks. The jumper line is just a piece of tubing at either end of the system that makes the connections, to the keg on one end and the faucet on the other. Because they’re vinyl, they should be replaced annually (just like the vinyl tubing in a direct draw draft system).
Describe Foam on Beer detectors and what they’re used for in a draft system.
FOB detectors aka “Foam on Beer detectors” are used in long draw systems. A FOB is a float in a sealed bowl that drops when beer flow stops because the keg has run out. The FOB fills the beer line with dispense gas, which keeps the line full of pressurized beer while the keg is changed. FOBs save the bar operating costs by limiting beer waste. FOBs must be cleaned every two weeks.
Describe the various types of beer line that can be used in a draft system.
Low resistance barrier tubing is used in long draw truck lines. It is good at keeping oxygen from contacting the beer. It has a glass smooth lining that inhibits beer stone, microbial growth, and flavor leakage. Vinyl tubing is more oxygen permeable and should not be used in bundles for long draw systems. It needs to be replaced annually, especially jumper lines. Sometimes beer line can be stainless tubing like in a jockey box or draft tower.
Describe trunk lines, glycol, and power packs and what they’re used for in a draft system.
Trunk lines are bundles of barrier beer tubing and polyurethane glycol tubing wrapped up together in insulation. They are used in long draw systems where the beer in the lines needs to be kept cool. Power packs cool and circulate a long draw system's glycol. Glycol is a refrigerant that keeps the beer chilled while it sits in and moves through trunk lines.
Describe beer faucets.
Beer Faucets dispense beer and hold the tap handle. The faucet is connected to the wall or draft tower via a shank. US faucets attach to standard shanks (1-1/8" diameter & 18 threads). Standard beer faucets are rear sealing and have vent holes that need to be carefully cleaned and inspected during routine cleaning. Ventless or forward-sealing (Perlick) faucets are easier to clean.
Beer needs to remain at the same temperature all the way through the draft system or it will be overly foamy when poured. What are the ways to ensure it stays cold?
Direct draw systems are the simplest tap systems. They are simple kegerators with faucets or tap towers connected to a refrigerated box of kegs. Air-cooled draft systems are direct draw systems with a fan that blows cold air from the fridge into the tap towers or shadow boxes in the wall. Glycol cooled draft systems are long draw systems where the beer lines are cooled by a power pack and glycol as they run between the cooler and the faucet.
The standard temperature of a draft beer system.
38°F is the standard temperature of draft systems. To avoid dispensing problems, all kegs should be kept at 38°F or lower while being served. In fact, to ensure freshness, the beer should be kept at 38°F throughout the entire distribution process from the brewery to the glass. Kegs that are too warm are a common cause of excessive foaminess at the tap. Temperature control issues are the most common draft system problems!
If there's no beer coming out of the faucet what are the likely causes and solutions?
1) CO2 tank is empty (replace/fill it). 2) Regulator shutoff or main CO2 tank valve is closed (turn it on). 3) Keg is empty (replace it). 4) Coupler on keg is not engaged (tap the keg properly). 5) Check ball in the coupler's Thomas valve is stuck (free it). Line or faucet is dirty (clean it!). 6) Beer pumps or FOB issues in long draw systems (reset FOBs or check the gas flow to the pumps).
If the beer is excessively foamy coming out of the faucet what are the likely causes and solutions?
1) Keg is too warm (let chill). 2) Kinked beer line (replace). 3) Beer freezing in line (lower glycol temp). 4) Coupler or faucet washers bad (replace). 5) CO2 out or leaking (replace or service). 6) Keg valve seal is torn (report to distributor). 7) Physical obstruction at coupler-valve junction (gas is going directly into beer, replace coupler). 8) Clogged faucet vent holes (clean). 9) Wrong mixture of gases (adjust). 10) Glycol pump issue (fix power pack)
If the beer coming out of the tap is flat, what are the likely causes and solutions?
1) System pressure is too low (turn it up, 12-14 PSI is the norm). 2) Dirty glassware (causes CO2 to come out of solution rapidly). 3) Beer temp is too cold (the CO2 comes out of solution as the beer warms up, if it's too cold to begin with, the CO2 may not come out of solution as readily).
How often do beer lines need to be replaced?
1) All vinyl lines and jumpers in direct draw systems should be replaced every year. 2) In long draw systems, trunk lines should be replaced after 10 years or after they're imparting flavor from beer to adjacent lines. 3) Beer line may need to be replaced after being used for root beer, margaritas, fruit beers, and ciders that may permanently contaminate a line and even adjacent lines in a trunk.
Describe the two-week cleaning for a beer draft system.
1) Beer lines should be cleaned with a caustic linecleaning chemical. 2) Faucets should be completely disassembled and cleaned. 3) Keg couplers and tapping devices should be scrubbed clean. 4) FOB devices are cleaned in-line and cleaner vented out the top
Describe the additional steps taken during the three month cleaning for a draft beer system.
1) Beer line should be de-stoned with an acid linecleaning chemical in addition to the regular caustic line-cleaning chemical. 2) FOB devices should be completely disassembled and cleaned. 3) Couplers should be completely disassembled and cleaned
What are the two primary goals of cleaning the draft system?
1) To remove organic material (microorganisms that feed on the beer). 2) To remove mineral deposits that fall out of the beer and quickly build up in the lines (aka beer stone).
What cleaner temperature, contact time, and flow rate should you use when cleaning a draft beer system?
1) Cleaning solution should be 2-3% solution and at 80-110°F. 2) Pump cleaner through the lines for at least 15 minutes OR let it stand in the lines for no less than 20 minutes. 3) Pump cleaner through the beer lines, (“dynamic cleaning”) at up to 2 gallons per minute.
What is a nucleation site?
Bubbles form at nucleation sites in the glass and travel to the head. Nucleation sites can be dirty spots, microscopic rough spots, or even purposefully laser drawn designs in the bottom of a glass.