IBA Cooling Specifications Document Launched
This week the Irish Brewers Association launched the 2017 Cooling Specifications Document Launched at an event in Doheny and Nesbitt in Dublin. The launch event was attended by manufacturers, suppliers and installers of draught beer cooling equipment for the Irish industry. A few of the IBA’s representative products were also served on the night!
The Irish Brewing Association is over 100 years old, and its members manufacture over 90% of the beer sold in Ireland. The association is the representative voice of the brewing industry in Ireland, with leading brands such as Diageo, Heineken and Molson Coors as key members.
The Cooling Specifications Document is a collaborative technical standard set by a technical working group within the IBA. The purpose of this standard is to ensure high quality and consistency of all IBA products across Ireland. Taste, Appearance and Temperature are the three key aspects of high quality draught beer. It follows that good adherence to technical standards for draught beer dispense equipment is vital to achieve these aims.
A History of Collaboration
The IBA technical group as it exists in 2017 is not the first of its kind. Since the 1990s, technical staff from the leading breweries have been collaborating on standards for draught beer dispense in the interest of improving draught quality across the board. This was made more formal in 2003 with the formation of the ‘Inter brewery group’ (as it was then known) and the publication of their first draught suppliers’ specification document.
This new standard coincided with the launch of the Kilkenny M03 beer cooler, which was built to meet increasing standards at the time. It was the first cooler to have jet agitation and the capacity for coil lengths of up to 15M in interchangeable cassettes. Thousands of Kilkenny M03 coolers were manufactured over the following years, making it one of the most popular products we have ever made, and setting a new standard for draught beer in Ireland.
Highest Standards for Draught Products Globally
The collaboration of competing breweries on an agreed quality standard for draught dispense is the main reason that the draught beer quality in Ireland is world-leading.
The IBA spec document is 45 pages long and highly prescriptive, meaning that equipment and installations must be of a particularly high standard in order to be approved.
This leads to consistent results nationwide. A pint in a pub in Dublin should have the very same appearance, taste and temperature as the same product in Cork, Galway and Donegal. For the most part, it does.
Another advantage to this approach is that the IBA document can now be considered ‘live’. Previous versions were released in hard copy, but from today the most recent revision can be downloaded from the IBA website here.