measured vs free flow


My family run a tenancy which currently have all cask/kegs on measured pulls, due to vat increases we wondered if changing over to free flow would be a better, more cost effective, answer? is there a ‘formula’ as such which would help me work out whether this would be the case?
what are your views?

Thanks for your time
i appreciate any help you could give me


  1. Cost effective in what way? If you move to free flow you will have to replace your oversized glasses for a start, If you don’t it will lose you money. Then the head would replace some of the beer, that can be cost effective over a container of beer. I’m not sure what the percentages for that would be, you would have to do your own measurements and figures but I’m sure the savings would be substantial as you are in effect giving a short measure, this keeps been brought in Parliament time and time again. Is that what you mean? 😮

  2. In this current economic climate the breweries are reluctant to change equipment for change’s sake,only if it is faulty or broken.You are still charging for a pint or a half pint so there should be no difference there.As long as you are managing your wastage effectively then that is where cost effectiveness lies.Free flow scores over measured when some fine specimen orders "a half of shandy please".Once the customers are used to the oversize glasses necessary for measured dispense it is difficult to persuade them to go back to the pint to brim glass where,as Maverick implies,head isn’t beer and long term savings can be disreetly made.

  3. I agree with you Alex, metered or free flow you are still serving a pint. On the wastage front though the disadvantage of metered systems are the minimum amount of beer you can pull by mistake is half a pint and with the best will in the world at some time or other you have to top up ,which also requires you to pull another half, which all add up.
    If cost cutting is what you are looking for like the rest of us then there is an article on this site somewhere about cost savings, it has some good stuff on there which makes good sense. Cheers Bar Fly.

  4. No where as much waste on freeflow as metered.As stated above you selling a pint wether metered or f/flow but when you get that lively barrel which you all get time to time once that button pressed you got 1/2 pt on way.Also when you come to clean out you save 1/2pt per tap with not having to empty a meter per tap plus most fobbers are bigger on mtd systems so again saving more.
    Also from a technical point of veiw not as many things to break down on a freeflow system as a metered one so should be less calls to tec services for you.Plus say you have a local short time power cut you can still dispense f/flow where you would be on tins and topshelf only with metered.

  5. The true answer is that on freeflow you can use pint to brim glasses and therefore as most people want a head on a pint you can get away with serving 95% of a pint and they are happy (remember they always have the right to ask for it to be topped up). Freeflow will reduce wastage as you will stop the pour if it is fobbing before filling the drip tray. On metered systems you will get about 95% yield from a Keg where as you should be able to achieve 103% from freeflow.

    It may sound wrong to people to short measure but try pouring a full pint into a pint to brim glass and it looks terrible with no head.

Do you have a better answer? Leave a reply or an opinion