Bar Tending & Beerspectives
by Matt Martinkovic
Brewsearch & Development -
Nik's Wunderbar - Whitehouse Station NJ
Here at Nik's Wunderbar we pride ourselves on serving you the very best beer possible - and
that entails much more than simply pulling the tap handle on a well made brew.  Here's a
behind the scenes look at all the things necessary for you to get served a beer.

Let’s start with the keg itself. When it comes to proper handling and upkeep, we always do
following four things: Keep it calm, keep it cold, keep it fresh, and keep it clean.  By the way
those rules apply to any of you who have a home kegereator or similar device.

Perhaps the most important of them is to keep things clean. It is the main rule at the
Wunderbar. We're always cleaning the area where our kegs are stored – using special
cleaning agents and some good old-fashioned elbow grease.  We are also careful to
store our kegs in a stable, cool environment. That helps keep our beer are at the optimum.

Now, onto the dispensing system. You will never find a dirty beer lines here; we clean ours
more often that industry standard to insure your beer will taste as it should.  For those using
kegerators at home you should clean your lines after every keg. I suggest beer line cleaning
kits that use air pressure (either hand-pumped or powered by your CO2 tank) to push a
cleaning solution through your lines. Doing this is simple, quick, task wipes out all the yeast,
mineral, and bacteria deposits that harm the taste of your beer and causes excess foaming.
When working on your lines, I also suggest cleaning your faucet and coupler. This will save
time and keep all your parts on the same schedule. You can clean these components and
kill any mold buildup with a faucet brush just as we do here.  It's worth the effort.

Next is glassware. As I stated at the beginning of this article, from keg to glass, every part of
the draft beer dispensing process is imperative to quality taste and service. And dirty
glassware is an all-too-common mistake in home and even some commercial bars (not at
Nik's Wunderbar of course). Think of it this way: if you were dining out, and saw your fork
had some crusted food on it from a previous customer, would you use it? Not likely. Drink
residue, or worse, detergent residue on a glass will affect the visual presentation and the
taste of your beer, much like food residue on an eating utensil. So when you’re cleaning
your drinking vessels, do not use dish soap. Use a glassware cleaner, rinse with hot water,
and drip-dry completely before use.

Follow these tips at home or at your bar, and we guarantee you’ll be serving the freshest,
tastiest beer you can. If you have any further questions about the cleaning and upkeep
of your draft beer system just ask me next time you stop in.  I'm happy to give you some of
the  tricks of the trade.  After all, it's all about having good beer!



And don't forget my friends at the  Northside Lounge,
100 Brooks Boulevard, Manville, NJ 08835     908-722-7712
Matt Martinkovic is not only a recognized beer authority but a well known ecological writer whose
work has appeared in the The American Midland Naturalist (University of Notre Dame) among other
industry publications.  He also has been an agricultural consultant on, of course, the growing of hops.
Draft Systems
To all my readers and friends, please stop in and say hello to me at my new home, the great
Nik's Wunderbar,    It's an exclusive Bavarian beer hall and beer garden focusing on
German dishes and German brews. The staff wears traditional Bavarian dress too!  When you come in
be sure to sign up for my free newsletter.  And tell them you saw it here on BeerNexus!
454 Route 22 West Whitehouse Station, NJ 08888
For Matt's latest Wunderbar Newsletter click HERE