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Restaurants: What to do with your leftover beer

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Now that Washington restaurants are set up for beer, wine and spirits delivery and takeout, restaurants are selling cans, kegs and bottles of beer. Many of you may still have kegs open and are wondering about what to do with the beer.

Starbucks and other coffee shops are foregoing personal cups. During this Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order, most restaurants have stopped filling guests’ personal growlers.

Restaurants can fill and sell new growlers if you have them. Check with local breweries to see if they have any new growlers for purchase to build your inventory. The national Brewers Association has tips and best practices for handling and filling them.

  • Use only containers that are specifically designed to contain carbonated beer
  • Ask your supplier to verify the container is pressure-rated for equal to or greater than the pressure of the carbonation of the beer
  • Check the expiration dates on your kegs to make sure that you are still selling the best product

Now is the time to clean out your beer lines if you have depleted your open kegs and are no longer serving draft beer. Leaving this task until after the crisis has passed can lead to build up of yeast, mold, beer stones and bacteria.

The Brewers Association has recommendations for cleaning out your lines:

  • Use an alkaline detergent, such as a beer-line cleaner through your distributor
  • Circulate cleaning fluids through the lines at a velocity of two gallons a minute for at least 15 minutes. If you cannot circulate the fluids, leave them inline for at least 20 minutes.
  • Completely disassemble and clean all faucets. Replace any damaged seals or gaskets.
  • Always make sure to rinse the lines thoroughly after cleaning.

For a complete checklist on cleaning your beer lines, click here.