Decommissioning your cellar dispense equipment

Now the government has forced pubs to close to the public it more important than ever to ensure the cellar dispense system is properly cleaned and decommissioned in the correct way. It could be a few weeks or even 6 months or more before you trade again, therefore it is imperative you are able to serve good quality beer as soon as possible upon re-opening, there will be no time for delays.

If the recommended process in not followed it may result in damage to the equipment which renders it unusable. It may them be necessary to have equipment replaced which could be costly and delay the reopening of your business. Also by following the recommended process it will save money, things such as turning off the cellar cooling and beer coolers will reduce the electricity used during closed periods.


Vianet data can help your business

Remember if you have a manager, someone who cleans the lines for you or you are a multiple operator by using the data provided by Vianet on their web site you can ensure the correct process is followed giving you the best chance of re-opening without a hitch.


Decommissioning Process

  • Disconnect all keg and cask lines.
  • Clean every line, regardless of which brand of beer line cleaner you use insure you follow the manufactures instruction regarding dosage and soak times.
  • Once all of the lines are clean empty the cleaning bottle, push up all of the cellar buoy plungers so they cannot seal.
  • Empty every line until air comes out of each tap.
  • Cask lines that are not pump assisted simply remove that tap connect from the bucket and up the hand-pull several times until water stops coming out.
  • DO NOT leave water in the lines, this can damage or taint the line.
  • Clean the keg connectors preferably with alcohol spray, once cleaned ensure they cannot touch the floor.
  • Turn of the power to the cellar cooling and any beer coolers. (Leave the cellar cooling on of you have any stock that is un-tapped and has plenty of shelf life left on it).
  • Turn off all cellar gasses and any air compressors.
  • Clean all tap nozzles and put them back on to prevent them getting lost.

Recommissioning process

48 hours before you re-open

  • Turn the cellar cooling back on (sooner if you have stock delivered).
  • Turn on the beer coolers and ensure the liquid level is correct and they work.
  • Turn on the cellar gas and any compressors.

This will allow you time to get someone out before you re-open if something is wrong. Once you are happy the beer coolers and gas system is working correctly they can be switch back off until 24 hours before you open.

24 hours before re-opening

  • Clean all beer lines following the line cleaning manufactures instruction for the brand you use.
  • Flush the lines through with plenty of fresh water.
  • Clean the keg connectors, preferably with alcohol spray.
  • Check the Kegs are still in date before reconnecting the keg couplers.
  • Remove clean and replace all nozzles.

2019’s Rugby World Cup tournament saw an average downturn in volume of -0.64% in Leased & Tenanted pubs and -0.39% in Managed houses compared to the average weekend pints poured. The lack of uplift overall was undoubtedly due to the timings of the matches which saw the majority of England games played early morning at 9am or earlier.


Looking at pubs that opened early for the games the uplift was slightly more favourable with an average uplift of 6.53% in Leased & Tenanted and 3.12% in Managed houses.  Keeping with the sites that opened early, biggest volume increase came when England played South Africa in the Final with Leased & Tenanted pubs demonstrating an uplift of 31.85% and Managed houses of 21.78%.


Overall the Rugby World Cup didn’t have a significant impact in pub trade, however, an uplift was evident from the Quarter Final stage with the Final being the biggest impact game.

The Rugby World Cup starts today and is scheduled for the next 6 weeks. From Vianet’s iDraught data we can see that rugby is one of the biggest sporting events to watch in the pub. This year’s Six Nations tournament saw an average uplift in volume of 26% in L&T pubs and 39% in managed houses compared to the average weekend pints poured. The biggest volume gains came when England, Ireland and Wales played each other. We will have to wait until at least the quarter final stages of the World Cup to see that.

Match times also aren’t ideal with some being early morning, but many are lunchtime fixtures and therefore as England, Ireland and Wales progress through the tournament the opportunity for pubs will increase. Without the luxury of all lunchtime or evening matches as with the Six Nations, pubs will need to seek out other opportunities from the longer tournament and the more teams participating.

In the first stage, England, Ireland and Wales have nine matches at weekends. Some are morning fixtures so, as with the South Korean Football World Cup in 2002, pubs can open early for breakfast and match screening. As our teams continue throughout this stage, momentum will grow, and fans will seek out the places where they can watch the matches in a group environment with a great atmosphere and pubs are best placed to offer that.

The trade may not see the benefit of volume increases as seen at standard lunchtime and evening sessions but it can gain additional volume from a weekend breakfast food and drink offer. And, as at least one of the teams will get to the finals, we can all capitalise on the feel-good factor that brings and the Vianet insight will be there to see how we really did.