A new report by Cask Marque has said that the best pints are served in the north of the UK, with almost a third in the whole UK being served through dirty pipes. Cask Marque suggests that pubs worried about losing yield are not cleaning their pipes regularly enough and stopping the wastage incurred during cleaning.
Another factor is time, with a number of pubs saying that the brewer-recommended seven-day line-cleaning can take up too much time while also trying to run a busy pub.
The idea that not cleaning pipes helps increase yield is disputed in the report though. "When a clean is overdue wastage levels increase due to the lower quality beer, causing a lower yield," says the report. "Stopping regular cleaning starts a downwards spiral, you get an increase in waste, driving an even poorer yield as the consumer looks elsewhere for a quality product, lowering your overall revenues and GP."
The report found that the best place in the UK to get a pint through clean pipes was Doncaster, with the north being better in general then the south of the country. In Doncaster, beer drinkers have a less than one in five chance of being served through dirty pipes, with Reading being the place most likely to serve beer through uncleaned pipes.
Also highlighted in the report is a survey statistic saying that 95% of consumers would stop going to a pub if the beer was of consistently poor quality. "If you have dirty beer lines and murky looking, foul tasting warm beer, you will soon have an empty pub," says the report.
The price of beer does not seem to follow quality either, with drinkers in the south paying 82p more per pint than northern pub-goers.