Find a Stockist near you

Our Guide to Beer and Cellar Gas Efficiency for Pubs

Good cellar gas maintenance is crucial to pubs, bars and restaurants that want to maintain efficiency, even when under pressure during a busy service. However, as an area of the business that the customer seldom sees, it can be all too easy to let standards slip in the cellar. This can have knock-on effects that not only influence the quality of your beer but impact the safety of your venue and waste money. Therefore, pub owners and managers must have a thorough understanding of the gas in their cellar, how to store it and how it works if they want to operate efficiently. Today, we will explain everything you need to know about beer and cellar gas and why it is so important to the hospitality industry.


draught beer being poured


What Gas is Used in Pubs?

The type of beer gas a pub uses will depend on the draught products being served, and it is common for venues to keep more than one type of gas. Gases are chosen based on their characteristics and their effects on the beverages.

100% CO2

Sometimes referred to as pure cellar gas, CO2 is generally used for carbonated lagers and ciders, as well as bag-in-box post-mix soft drinks.

70/30 Mixed Gas

70/30 is a blend of 70% nitrogen and 30% CO2 used primarily for low carbonated beers such as stout and bitter. The high concentration of nitrogen is what gives stouts and bitters their familiar smooth and creamy character.

60/40 Mixed Gas

This blend of 60% CO2 and 40% nitrogen is typically used for dispensing craft lagers and pale ales. It is possible to run lager on 60/40 mixed gas; however, it will affect the taste over time.

In all cases, you should be running each beer on the correct gas as per the brewer’s recommendation. If you’re ever in doubt over which is the correct gas for your beer, speak to your supplier, as running beer on the wrong gas can affect the quality of the beer and cause dispensing issues that will lead to wasted stock and gas.


beer lined up under draught dispense system


The Importance of Beer Gas

Beer is the bread and butter of pubs everywhere, and the gas used in the dispensing process should be considered as necessary as any other ingredient. Gas influences the taste and texture of beer and is the difference between serving a perfect pint that holds its head and tastes great and serving a flat pint that will almost certainly warrant a complaint from the customer. A good beer gas will:

  • Help the beer stay fresh for longer by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.
  • Influence the taste by changing the pH value
  • Aid in creating and maintaining a long-lasting head. There is nothing worse than pouring a pint of lager only to have the head dissipate immediately. Whilst many factors contribute to a good head, including the quality and upkeep of the glassware, a high-quality beer gas will contribute to the longevity of the head.
  • Retain flavour and prolong the taste of the beer, which is crucial for lager and pilsner.
  • Make dispensing fast, waste-free and straightforward.


bartender pouring beer


How Much Beer Do You Get For Your Gas?

The exact number of pints you’ll get from a cylinder of cellar gas will be dependent on many factors, including:

  • The type of gas you’re using to dispense
  • The product you’re dispensing
  • The length of the line from the keg to the dispense point on the bar
  • The temperature of your cellar
  • The quality and condition of your dispensing set-up and cellar equipment

Let’s assume you’re dispensing from an 11-gallon beer keg – which is the keg size of choice for most leading breweries and on-trade suppliers  – and using a 6.35kg of CO2. I if everything is operating efficiently, you should expect to yield around 1200 pints, equivalent to over 13 11G kegs. If you want to break it down even further, that equates to 5.26 grams of gas per pint.

The easiest way to determine how much gas you should keep in stock to ensure you never run out is to hold 1.5 the volume of gas your pub goes through in a week – or if you really want to be safe, hold double what you think you’ll go through. So, for example, if you usually use two cylinders of CO2 and one cylinder of 70/30 mixed gas, keep four CO2 and two 30/70 on-site, and you shouldn’t find yourself running short. Running out of gas can be a severe blow to pubs, as most beers won’t dispense without it.

If you find yourself going through an unusually high volume of cellar gas or regularly running out, you may have a leak somewhere in your dispensing system, or your gas pressure may be incorrect. These things can impact efficiency, wasting beer, gas and money, so it’s best to speak to a qualified cellar technician who can locate and rectify the issue.


beer gas system in cellar


Storing Cellar Gas Safely

If handled or stored incorrectly, cellar gas cylinders can be a health and safety hazard, so pub staff must be trained in cellar safety and never attempt to change the gas cylinder without proper training on best practices. When it comes to storing cellar gas, the following should be adhered to:

  • Used and in-use gas cylinders should be stored upright against a wall and secured with a chain to prevent them from toppling over. Emptied can be laid on the floor and choked to prevent movement.
  • Carry out risk assessments on your cellar regularly, ensuring you’ve highlighted steps taken to mitigate against gas leaks. This could include installing a CO2 monitor and increasing cellar ventilation.
  • Never throw, drop or leave cylinders anywhere where they could fall over. Dispensing gases are compressed and stored under high pressure. Impact on the cylinder risks damaging the valves and causing a leak.

Gas is an integral part of any pub or bar, and if you want your business to be efficient as possible, you should ensure you’re working with a reputable gas cylinder supplier. At Adams Gas, we supply cellar and beer gas to the on-trade, both direct and through our extensive stockist network. If you would like more information about ordering gas for your pub from Adams Gas, contact us today.