After a career in food and beverage
service of over 40 years, owning one of the nation’s premier draft
beers establishments for 15 of those, and tending bar since 1969, I
finally got all the vital information about dispensing draft beer I’d
needed for decades.
Sure, I knew about a Beer Clean Glass, proper serving temperatures,
and creating a beautiful creamy foam head, but the Micro Matic Dispense
Institute I attended last week taught me the science behind what I had
thought for decades to be “beer voodoo”. It’s not that I couldn’t have
tried to gather the information on my own, but the Micro Matic Dispense
Institute packed all the best practices on creating and installing
draft systems for perfect dispensing into two-and-a-half days.
In addition, I learned that there can be a lot of bad information in
the field, which means you can’t just ask any draft beer technician
employed by a distributor or wholesaler to answer questions about
installations gas blending, pressure at the gauge, dispensing and
storage temperatures, run length, restriction, and line diameter.
But the Micro Matic Corporation is a world-wide company specializing
in the manufacture and sale of almost anything related to draft beer
and has been working with major brewers for decades to refine it all,
and is the world’s foremost authority on all these issues.
Our class began at 8 AM sharp each day. We had an outstanding
instructor, Scott Zuhse, a 10-year veteran of the Coors national draft
service department. He patiently and methodically layed out our
theoretical curriculum, and ended two days later with a hands-on
installation of a glycol-cooled long draw system right in the Micro
I’d thought the mechanics of dispensing draft beer were far more
complicated than they in fact are, especially technical issues around
long-draw glycol systems.
In my next post I’ll share some of my experiences and the
experiences of some of my classmates—one of whom came all the way from
the United Arab Emirates, and yes, you can get a beer there. In fact,
along the way we’ll specifically discuss some of the more interesting
problems he encounters there.