Cellar technical services

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Working in the beer trade as I do, I come into dailly contact with bar owners, pub landlords and all manner of people who sell draught beer. A constant theme of discussion I come across is the level of cellar technical service that people can expect from the different brewers.
Given that some of the bigger brewers, have opted for contracting out the technical services to large national contractors and some retrain their own in house technical staff, it seems that there is a great disparity in levels of service between different brewers.
Ranging from the "I’ve been waiting for 4 days for a bloody keg coupler to be repaired!" to the "I just gave my brewer a call and they where out the same day." the quality and standard of service can vary a lot.
It would be interesting to hear your experiences of beer cellar technical services, good and bad, and see if we can come up with a league table of "Who is the best Technical Services". Getting a fast effective quality of service is very important to you as a beer retailer, and something you should consider when selecting who to buy your beer from.
We are often told by brewers trying to justify the price of beer that cost of providing beer cellar technical services forms part of the price of the pint you pay for. The question I ask is are you getting value for money, or paying for something that you are not getting.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Put a call for new cleaning socket on the ring main system on the strongbow. What did they do sent me one through the post, the price of strongbow these days, time to look for an alternative. They have tried to talk me through fixing a tap before now. Cellar service is not what it used to be, if it exists at all.

  2. Did you ask for someone to replace the cleaning socket or just announce that you require a new socket?

    There is a subtle difference in approach and the Telephonistas are trained to spot this and respond appropriately.

    It ain’t rocket science fitting up a cleaning socket,just make sure that the fluid feed is turned off so’s you don’t get soaked from the waist down(looks like you’ve properly pissed yourself)and work it out from there.

    It’s the cleaning ring,theres no pressure to make it so by Yesterday.

    Just don’t break it or I’ll be in the sh1t from the poor sod who has to turn up and mend it. 😛

  3. The brewers say that part of the price of a keg of beer is made up from all the on costs they have. Brewing,delivery,admin, technical services etc. If technical services are to be reduced by getting people to repair there own equipment then surely the price of wholesale beer should be reduced to us landlords. Brewers and pub chains are greedy and are responsible for the colapse of the pub trade. They see us as suckers who have no choice but to get ripped off by them in any way they can and then shed crocodile tears about the way the british pub is disappearing. they have killed the goose that lade the golden egg.

  4. Its a fair point Den, on the other side if it costs more to look after equipment and deliver beer then all the costs are only going to be passed on. Keeping the costs down could mean lower price rises…..
    I agree with the pub groups but the brewers would still own the pubs if the government had not changed the rules then we would still have good pubs!
    before you shoot me just trying to give the glass half full view.

  5. The day beer prices come down I will show my bottom in Woolworths window. Are you kidding. My experience of brewers is that they will maintain the excessive profit margins no matter what. Poor service from technical sefrvices and a take it or leave it attitude reign supreme in this trade. Better to use small local brewers who actually give a damn about customers. I for one think the standard of technical services has gone down the nick rapidily, something to do with these big one stop contractors who seem to think they are doing ypou a big favor just showing up. or better yet sending you equipment thru the post. what a laugh.

  6. Seems that brewery technical services is going the same way as the National Health these days. Ring to see a doctor and you get someone at the end of the telephone trying to diagnose your problem over the phone. Sound familiar? Rang tech services the other day about a fault on my bitter,only to be asked all kinds of obvious questions about my dispense equipment and had I checked this and that, and could I check my back check gizmo and my thrust knacker washer…bloody hell at one time they would just come out and fix the bloody thing. No doubt they will once again send me a kit of parts through the post and expect me to do the job myself. Can I send them my bill do you think??(naughty)

  7. In my experience, if you give enough information about the problem and explain that you have tried different solutions suggested by different techs in the past (i.e. that you are not a novice) you are much more likely to get a tech out immediately and that the problem can’t be solved over the phone.

    Take Britvic for example – their company mantra is to try to fix your postmix by the end of the phone call. If you say – i have checked the gas, I’ve tried a new bag in box, I’ve disconnected pipes to release air bubbles and reconnected, still no effect. Then they won’t waste your time.

    Blag it that you know something if you have to.

  8. I just get the cleaner to ring any problems through, what a laugh! The cost of my beer includes the brewery looking after their own equipment. Imagine buying a car and the garage sending you a kit of parts for you to fix it yourself when it broke down. Bloody cheek.

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