“Our brewers put so much effort and so much science into creating their wonderful craft beers, that we, as a distributor, have a duty to protect them. Our job is to make sure they reach the retailer in the state the brewer intended. And that means cold-chain storage,” says Martyn Railton, Founder and Owner.
In the increasingly sophisticated world of craft beer, the concept of the cold-chain has become very important. Essentially, it means storing beer at a temperature which slows down any chemical reaction harmful to the beer’s flavour profile.
From the brewer to the distributor to the retail outlet or pub, the ideal is to create one chain of constant low temperature – typically between 4-6ºC. Every additional degree of heat will push the beer along a spectrum from ‘fresh’ towards ‘stale’ and ultimately to undrinkable.
“People might not realise it, but craft beer is quite a delicate thing,” explains Martyn. “In the past, most low-quality beers were stabilised and inactive. They wouldn’t taste great, but they would last a long time. Storing them at room temperature was, and still is, the norm because there isn’t much flavour to lose. But these days, tastes have become more sophisticated.
“Each beer is different – it has its own storage requirements, and the brewers I talk to want to know we’re equipped to handle them. Too many distributors still aren’t. But we’ve been focused on cold-chain from day one.”
With the business growing at around 30% a year, Euroboozer needed to increase the capacity of their existing coldstores and wanted to make it as efficient as possible.
"Changing our warehouse lighting to LEDs has made our energy consumption come down by about 25-30%. We’ve shaved 1.2 tonnes of carbon a year off our footprint, and we’re saving about £1,800 a year off our electricity bills and most important of all, we and our suppliers can be confident that when those beers are unloaded, they are going to taste exactly as they are supposed to.”“We were planning to upgrade the warehouse, but hadn’t given much thought on how to do it. Low Carbon Workspaces came in and had a look at what we were spending on electricity and how much we were using. Once we agreed a target temperature, they recommended a range of energy-efficient coolers and taught us the best ways to keep a room cold with strategically-placed insulation. Now the coolers are faster, they shut off when they’ve reached the temperature target and they use less energy. Perfect!”