The amount of stock lost by clubs depends on a number of factors each of which affect clubs to a different extent. An experienced steward exercising care in handling and dispensing beer should be able to reduce losses to the lowest level feasible given the circumstances of each individual club.
The monitoring of losses for keg beer dispensed by gas pressure include:-
Pipe and pump cleaning –The frequency of cleaning depends on the length of the pipes and how vulnerable they are to temperature changes and deposits. Once every seven days rising to once every five days in hot weather is common practice. As a guide to ‘line allowance’ the volume of beer piping per ten foot length varies between 0.17 pints for a ¼ inch bore line.
Severy and pilferage – Overfilling of lined glasses can cause a problem and a club should not use over sized lined glasses together with an unmetered pump. The steward should also guard against fobbing (excessive froth) by ensuring there is not a worn dispense point or excessive gas pressure.
Deliveries – The amount of beer actually delivered to a club as distinct from the amount invoiced to it, has always been a contentious issue. It is usual for Brewers to ensure that kegs contain at least the quantity charged for plus a small allowance of half to two-thirds of a pint. However, most clubs without weighing machines have to take the quantity delivered in kegs on trust.
Storage – Provided beer is stored properly it should not go stale in normal use.
Residue unusable – Problems may arise if the kegs content has been subject to excessive gas pressure, the last couple of pints may become froth. In relation to sediment, certain Brewers have agreed an allowance of up to one third of a gallon per nine gallon keg for the purposes of calculating End Product Excise Duty with H M Revenue & Customs.
Pull-Ups- Is the term for beer that may have become warm and possibly stale in the pipes.
All clubs should employ a professional stock-taker who should be instructed by the committee to make appropriate allowance for stock losses due to beer spoiled or wasted in the course of dispensing and storage. If a deficit then occurs on the stock account it should be investigated immediately. It is common practice in most clubs for a stock deficit which cannot be satisfactorily explained to be reimbursed to the club by the steward.