Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cellarman or seller, man? A hypothetical question.

Boak and Bailey's post about four hypothetical pubs and drinking choices provoked an interesting debate about dogma over-riding taste buds and the like.

Here's another hypothetical situation. You want to set up a pub in what is undeniably a very competitive market. Like anyone with a bit of business sense you need to decide where your money goes when you start up the business. So you have to make a decision. Do you?

1. Use a sizeable percentage of your wage budget to employ an experienced, Good Beer Guide credited (for want of a better term) cellarman, who you know will make sure the cask beer comes to the bar in peak condition? Because of this your front-of-house/bar staff budget will not be as high.


2. Go with 'craft' keg, and spend that part of your wage budget on bar staff, training them up to really pro-actively sell your beer in your venue. Perhaps employ people with sales backgrounds rather than pub experience?

What are the pros and cons of the choices? I've got my own ideas but I'm interested in what people might think. As ever, opinions are invited.


  1. Obviously you neglect the fact that often a lot of beer distribution companies can provide decent training free of charge along with dispense equip etc.

    Also the person in question may already be an experienced cellarman ;)

    Its obviously easier to go with keg at first then bring in cask dispense at a later date if deemed necessary. Depends what infrastructure is already in place though.

  2. Cellar training is no substitute for actual experience, and as for the second, you're probably right but we'll assume they aren't! It's dependent on many more variables than I can illustrate, the question's the thing... Cheers for the comments.