“We don’t keep beer in the fridge as we have limited fridge space available in store and beer doesn’t need to be refrigerated." said Gary.

Gary works for Sainsbury’s, and a few weeks back he made quite the stir on Twitter.

Beer blogger @PeterMcKerry was responding to a conversation on quality control within the beer industry.

He facetiously linked Sainsbury’s in his response, calling them out on poor practises.

His ongoing argument has been for them to refrigerate beer, especially as Sainsbury’s, like all supermarkets are expanding into Craft Beer. In fact all major supermarkets store some or all of their beer outside of fridges.

Gary, who presumably works in customer care not comedy, should have read his audience. Over 50 comments followed, all citing the importance of refrigerating beer. Amongst the responders were Brewdog, wholesalers that include those that supply Brew Cavern, as well as many beer bloggers and brewers.

So why all the fuss?

All beer needs to be kept stable. Light and temperature can degrade it quickly. Hop flavours will fade and heat causes increases in oxygen making the beer turn sour. A consistent supply chain from brewery to customer is the best way to deliver the product as intended and protect it from dropping in quality. Cold storage is key, especially regarding Craft beer, with bigger hop flavours, fruit, lactose and other additions and lack of pasteurisation.

Refrigerated beer delivery in Britain is fast becoming the norm. American breweries have worked this way for decades and it is demanded by many, often brewers will refuse to use a distributor that doesn’t store their beer correctly. Soon in the UK many will refuse to supply without cold chain storage or to non refrigerated retailers.

With more advanced hoppy IPA beer styles from Verdant and Cloudwater having only three month best before dates, it is crucial to store these highly perishable beers correctly.

This is why we made the commitment in 2017 to be 100% refrigerated. The vital last piece in the chain to supplying quality and cared for beer. What a waste it would be to have beer travel from brewery to our store kept cool, to sit on a shelf and lose all that flavour the brewer passionately created. It’s not just about beer being cold, although every beer is now able to be consumed immediately after purchase.

With all the benefits consumers too will soon be demanding this approach be taken by all, to part with your money for a sub standard product is incredibly irritating.

It is doubtful supermarkets run by people like Gary will ever understand the importance of this cause.


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