‘Serious thought’ goes into Greene King cask beer to enhance quality

Drinkers enjoying a Greene King IPA at a bar Picture: BECKY HAYWOOD

Drinkers enjoying a Greene King IPA at a bar Picture: BECKY HAYWOOD - Credit: Archant

A pubs and brewery giant has “put its money where its mouth is” as it relaunches its flagship beer after making some quality improvements.

Beer writer Pete Brown praised the Bury St Edmunds brewer's IPA, which has undergone various tweaks and changes to ensure the pint is served at its best.

"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," he said.

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It follows wider industry issues raised about cask beer in the latest Cask Report - mainly around temperature - against a backdrop of a general decline in sales.

One of the biggest changes has been the installation of a cool storage depot so casks are kept cool until the moment they leave the brewery for the pub cellar.

The Suffolk pubs owner has also introduced "significant" enhanced training and a new cellar management system for licensees alongside a newly developed automated water refilling system.

The beer has also been given a distinctive new design to celebrate its green heritage and to help it stand out at the bar.

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Brewing and brands boss Matt Starbuck 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."

Greene King invited Mr Brown behind the scenes to see the quality improvements for himself, and arrive at his own conclusions.

Before doing so, it analysed each stop in its processes from ingredients through to the final pint.

That resulted in the introduction of a new cool storage facility for the hops at the brewery and the doubling of hops into the whirlpool to make the beer more robust.

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.

Mr Starbuck said the firm was determined to lead the way in tackling some of the issues facing the cask beer industry.

"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," he said.