Thursday, 15 January 2015

Greene King - Beer Genius

Greene King, Britain's largest craft brewer will be launching a new training website for their pub staff next month. It's going to be called Beer Genius and will be divided into three sections:

  • Beer Genius
  • Cellar Genius and
  • Commercial genius
Greene King own a lot of pubs so have a huge amount of staff turnover. The website will help with training staff in serving and keeping beer, as well as running pubs. There will be short videos showing how to do things, and online modular courses. The best bit though is that it will be freely available for anyone to view.

Nosing around the Greene King website to see if you could look at anything yet I saw they already have Cellar Doctor online, and after a few clicks I found their views on one particular cask conundrum:

Any casks not stillaged on day of delivery must be vigorously rolled around the cellar before being placed on the stillage. 

I'll be doing some more nosing next month as I look forward to seeing the new site.


  1. Be keen to get to the bottom of the redistribute-the-finings thing. Needs experimental evidence. I still hear a pretty even split either way in my continued 'asking around' casual survey. But few are dead confident either way, none can offer evidence either, even anecdotal. It's always 'what I waz taught' & ' I do it that way and it works fine' (for either vigorous agitation or nowt).

    I don't think the agitation is likely to hurt. I do still wonder if it is really required and improves clearing time and/or reduces ullage.

    What's particularly stunning is Greene King's ability in 2015 to have a website that requires a plugin to be viewed. All I get on my Android device is an error. It's so Java App circa year 2000. Any half clued up web dev wouldn't do this.

  2. I was taught that casks not stillaged on the day of delivery, needed rolling around in order re-distribute the finings. Sounds like common sense to me!

  3. A lot of things sound like common sense to people but are in actual fact bullshit.

    Which is why I desire to see documented & replicable experimental evidence before I believe such statements. Someone, with a pub that had good turnover, needs to (over a decent period) obtain 2x of various cask ales - let sit on the floor for a few days and then stillage both at the same time only vigorously rolling one. Then the times before the beer is ready to serve and the volumes/ullages need to be documented.

    Now *that* is 'common sense' to me. If it has been done I'd be keen to see the results, but my previous searches for such work have come up empty.

    Like I said previously, the "redistribute the finings" action seems very unlikely to do any harm. But I'm an optimiser so I also want to know if it does any good at all, and rule out the possibility that it does any harm.

    Note that I also do not believe that *not* rolling the cask is a good idea, nor do I think it common sense. I just know publicans who think, and have been instructed by brewers, that it isn't necessary. Which I believed as I figured brewers know their stuff... of course I've since heard other brewers back the alternative. So now, given there isn't agreement amongst experts & neither side can present any evidence to back them up, I think this needs to be tested.

    [ I'm a lot less fussed about all this that I probably sound! :) I should probably just beat my inner scientist with a nailbat. ]