Top Tap Tubing

Here’s an interesting article that Jerry Carney sent to me.

Top Tap Tubing

On January 22, 1959, the Adolph Coors Brewing Company introduced the world’s first two-piece aluminum beverage can. It was a move that rocked the beverage industry, establishing Coors as a driving force for innovation and product quality. Thus, it came as no surprise when Adolph Coors recently announced their intention to offer new, antimicrobial Flexelene Silver tubing through their draught beer distribution network—an innovative move that should translate into cost savings for their vendors and top-quality product for their draught beer customers.

“At Coors, product quality is our life,” says Mike Smith, national draught manager for Coors. “We believe this tubing will help us fight the bacteria that harms beer, and thus allow us to deliver a better tasting product.”

According to Smith, the fight against bacteria that causes spoilage is an ongoing battle. “We teach our distributors that it takes six to eight weeks to brew a beer but only a matter of seconds to destroy it,” he says. As a result, the tubing that carries the beer between the keg and the tap must be drained and cleaned at least every other week to ensure the integrity of the product.

“With this new tubing,” says Smith, “we hope to push out the process of line cleaning much farther so that we have to do it less often.” Smith adds that not only will this save distributors time and help their bottom line, it will cut down on liability issues, which “are a potential anytime a cleaning solution is introduced into a beer line.”

Flexelene Silver derives its antimicrobial qualities from a unique silver lining that coats the inner surface of the tubing. “The lining is an active inhibitor of bacterial growth,” explains Marcia Sampson, president of Flexelene tubing developer Eldon James Corporation. “Our testing shows it has a five-log efficacy rate (99.999%) against most bacteria, and that it is 99.9% effective in prohibiting the growth of the anaerobic beer spoiler Lactobacillus brevis.”
[Read our exclusive interview with Flexelene Silver co-developer Marcia Sampson]

Coors was equally interested in whether the silver might negatively effect taste. “That was a major concern,” says Smith. “So we tested it through our lab and through our taste panel and neither one could detect any change in the taste or quality of our product.” Based on those findings, Coors endorsed the product for use by its distributors.

“I’m very excited about this,” says Smith. “I think it’s going to benefit Coors and the industry. It gives us another tool to get draught beer growing again in the U.S. market.”


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