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Why You Need to Clean Your Pipes

The most cost effective method for any bar, pub or restaurant to serve a large-scale amount of beer is using kegs connected through draught lines to taps that are visible on the bar. When using a draught system to dispense beer, it is crucial to keep the lines that allow the cold, frothy-goodness to flow flawlessly, spick-and-span. Because these draught lines are used to transfer alcohol directly from the keg into a patron’s glass, it is essential that these lines are free from traces of contaminants, as it would cause the customer’s beer to become tainted.

The following are reasons to keep draught lines clean and what not to do if the lines are believed to be contaminated:

The beer flowing through the draught lines is infused with yeast and when the yeast builds up over weeks of usage, it can clog the draught lines and spoil the taste of the beer. Yeast buildups can be spotted by its light, clumpy appearance, similar to that of a bowl of oatmeal. Typically found on parts of a beer system that are exposed to air, such as faucets, keg couplers and drains, any traces of yeast buildups should be thoroughly cleansed immediately to reduce the risk of spoiling the rest of the keg.

Another unpleasant substance that forms around the components of a beer system that are in constant exposure to the air is mold. Usually black or brown in colour due to the pigment of the beer, mold in or around the draught lines will not only ruin the taste of the beer, but can also be very hazardous to the health of those drinking the beer.

Accompanying the other malevolent materials that are caused by a lack of cleaning, bacteria is usually found in the draught lines as a result of beer sitting stagnant in the tubes for an extended period of time. Although the bacteria found in the draught lines is not an extreme hazard to human health, it can ruin the taste, smell and appearance of the beer. The presence of bacteria in the beer can result in it tasting sour and smell more like vinegar than the delicious brew that it should.

When attempting to clean the components of the beer distributing system, it is important to remember that soap and water just simply will not cut it. For cleaning the surface of areas around the tap and keg, soap and water is fine, but the lines will need a more thorough cleaning to dissolve the buildups of minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. In order to kill and remove substances such as yeast, mold and bacteria, you must use cleaning chemicals to sanitize the system.

Always wear protective equipment when attempting to clean the draught lines, as the cleaning solution usually contains toxic chemicals that may be damaging to your skin. Remember to wear personal safety gear such as rubber gloves and eye goggles when handling these chemicals.

When the draught lines have been cleansed of all the harmful materials, it is important to rinse the tubes out with water to remove any remnants of the cleaning solution. Once the tubes have been thoroughly flushed, check the pH level of the draught lines with a pH tester or litmus paper to make sure that there are no chemicals remaining in the lines. These lingering chemicals can be dangerous if ingested and can corrupt the beer.

For complete peace of mind surrounding your beer dispensing system, trust the regular cleaning and maintenance to the professionals. Draught WISE has been operating in Victoria for almost two decades, handling the installation, cleaning and maintenance of local bars, restaurants and breweries draught beer systems for a low cost. With the risks and reasons associated with attempting to maintain your own draught lines now clear, why not make the WISE choice and contact a Draught WISE technician for a free estimate.

50 Shades of Brown: Looking Into Victoria’s Growler Station Craft Beers

Vancouver Island is home to many fantastic craft-breweries and offers one of the largest selections of locally brewed suds in all of Canada. Along with providing such an extensive collection of craft beers, Victoria’s microbreweries also deliver on any beer connoisseurs dream come true, cheap, refillable growlers. A growler is a large jug-shaped glass that is usually sold at breweries or brewpubs as a means to offer craft beer to go. Because the growler has either a screw-on cap or a hinged porcelain gasket cap, it can maintain freshness for a week or more, making it optimal for preserving craft beer. Growlers, which cost five dollars at any of these Victoria microbreweries, are able to hold up to 1.89 litres (64 fluid ounces) of beer, resulting in the 10 to 15 dollar fill-ups being the best bargain for Victoria craft beer drinkers who do not want to invest in an entire keg.

The following is a list of craft beers offered by each Victoria microbrewery and brewpub, as well as the hours that they are available:

4 Mile Brewing Co. – Growler station open from 11am to 11pm, seven days a week
Dockyard Golden Ale – 4.6%
Old 39 Pale Ale – 5.2%
Powder Keg IPA – 5.2%
Brothel Brown Ale – 5.3%
Comfortably Numb Strong Ale – 6.9%
Tight Head British Best Ale – 4.2%
Jack Tar Black IPA – 5.75%
White Lady Wheat Ale – 4.5%
Double Chocolate Porter – 7%
Navy Gravy Oatmeal Stout – 4.5%

Canoe Brewpub – Growler station open from 11:30am to 11pm, seven days a week
Lager – 4.8%
Pale Ale – 5%
IPA – 6.5%
Dark Ale – 5.5%
Belgian Blonde – 5.5%
Bock – 6.5%

Category 12 Brewing – Growler station open from 12 noon to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday
Unsanctioned Saison – 6.9%
Disruption Black IPA – 6.7%
Critical Point Pale Ale – 5.6%
Transmutation Belgian Specialty Ale – 9.6%
Insubordinate Session IPA – 4.5%

Driftwood Brewery – Growler station open from 12 noon to 4:30pm Monday and 11am to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday
Fat Tug IPA – 7%
Crooked Coast Altbier – 5.1%
White Bark Witbier – 5%
Driftwood Pale Ale – 5%
Farmhand Saison – 5.5%

Hoyne Brewing Co. – Growler station open from 1pm to 6pm Tuesday through Friday and 11am to 6pm Saturday
Dark Matter – 5.3%
Hoyner Pilsner – 5.5%
Down Easy Pale Ale – 5.2%
Off the Grid – 5.3%
Devil’s Dream IPA – 6%
Summer Haze Honey Hefe – 5.1%

Lighthouse Brewing Co. – Growler station open from 11am to 4:30pm Monday through Wednesday and 11am to 5:30pm Thursday/Friday
Bowline Pilsner – 5%
Race Rocks Ale – 5.2%
Shipwreck IPA – 6.5%
Jackline Rhubarb Grisette – 5.5%

Moon Under Water Brewery – Growler station open from 11:30am to 10:30pm, Wednesday through Saturday
Potts Pils – 5.2%
Drunk Uncle Dunkel – 5.4%
Tranquility IPA – 6.5%
Light Side of the Moon – 4.2%
This is Hefeweizen – 5.5%
His as Funk Farhouse IPA – 7%

Phillips Brewing Co. – Growler station open from 10am to 5pm Monday, 10am to 6pm Tuesday through Thursday, 10am to 7pm Friday and 11am to 6pm Saturday
Analogue 78 Kolsch – 5%
Blue Buck – 5%
Hop Circle IPA – 6.5%
Longboat Chocolate Porter – 5.2%
Ginger Beer – 5%
Raspberry Wheat – 5%
Amnesiac Double IPA – 8.5%
Electric Unicorn White IPA – 6.5%

Spinnakers Brewpub – Growler station open from 9am to 10pm, seven days a week
Dunkelweizen – 4.6%
Hefeweizen – 4.5%
Titanic Stout – 7.75%
Apple Knocker Saison – 6%
Kolsh – 4.8%
United Red Rye Ale – 6.2%

Swans Brewpub – Growler station open from 11:30am to 11pm, seven days a week
Arctic Kolsh – 4.5%
Pandora Pale Ale – 4.5%
Old Towne Bavarian Lager – 5.4%
Extra IPA – 6.8%
Scotch Ale – 8%
Berry Ale – 7%
Black Cygnet – 4.5%
Swans Pilsner – 5%
Coconut Porter – 5.5%

Vancouver Island Brewery – Growler station open from 10am to 6pm, Monday through Saturday
Black Betty Blackberry Saison – 5.5%
Beachcomber Summer Ale – 5.3%
High Trail Honey Ale – 5%
Hermann’s Dark Lager – 5.5%
Sabotage India Session Ale – 5%
Bohemian Pilsner – 5%
Piper’s Pale Ale – 5%
Sea Dog Amber Ale – 5.2%

Many of these fine establishments have been set up and are maintained by DraughtWise technicians, ensuring that the craft beer will taste as fresh and delicious as possible. Pick up a five-dollar growler from any of these breweries and start sampling what Victoria’s craft beer market has to offer today!

The Importance of Draught System Cleaning

In addition to alcohol and carbon dioxide, finished beer contains proteins, carbohydrates and hundreds of other organic compounds. Yeast and bacteria routinely enter draught systems where they feed on beer and attach to draught lines. Minerals also precipitate from beer leaving deposits in lines and fixtures. Within days of installing a brand new draught system, deposits begin to build up on the beer contact surfaces. Without proper cleaning, these deposits soon affect beer flavor and undermine the system’s ability to pour quality beer. When draught systems are properly serviced using the right solutions and procedures outlined in the Draught Beer Quality Manual, line cleaning prevents the buildup of organic material and mineral deposits while eliminating flavorchanging microbes. Thus, a well-designed and diligently executed maintenance plan ensures trouble-free draught system operation and fresh, flavorful beer

How Clean Is Your Beer System?

As a retailer, you may or may not clean your own draught lines, but you have a vested interest in making sure the cleaning is done properly. Clean lines make for quality draught beer that looks good, tastes great and pours without waste. Take the time to review the guidelines on the reverse and monitor your draught line cleaners—no matter who they are—to ensure that your system receives the service it needs to serve you and your customers well. Simple checks like using a straw to scrape the inside of a faucet and checking keg couplers for visible build-up will help to ensure your beer lines are being properly maintained and serviced.