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ILTSA - A Guide to Reopening

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Our friends at the ILTSA (Institute of Licensed Trade Stock Auditors) have written the following piece on pubs reopening for trade...

2020/NO.23 - As we wait for the welcome news that the Licensed Trade can reopen for business, it’s a good idea to start getting prepared.

For those of you that have already been using the services of a stock auditor/taker - congratulations - the process is going to be a bit easier for you! They’ll be able to help with beer waste, write-offs, compensation and replenishing stock levels etc etc. So we stocktakers would recommend booking a visit as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Those that haven’t – don’t worry - there is advice out there (and no doubt more will be added). Here’s what we know so far…

Full casks and keg beer

  • The good news is that many of the major brewers have agreed to replace like-for-like, without any charge.

  • Understandably smaller brewers may struggle to offer refunds or replace beer so you need to check directly with them.

Discarded beer

Advice on destroying spoilt beer on the premises is available on the government website.

Beer dispense systems

Most equipment companies are offering their own advice on how to close down beer dispense systems and how they should be dealt with on preparing for re-opening.

Bottled beers, minerals and postmix

Unfortunately, little has been said as yet regarding re-stocking for opening with other products that have a limited shelf life, such as bottled beers, minerals and postmix syrups.

As the British Beer and Pub Association expects re-stocking to take three to four weeks, they’re trying to get adequate notice from the government on dates for re-opening.

In the meantime, it would be well worthwhile (if not already done so) to check best before dates on all bottled beers, minerals and postmix. We already know there is a misconception within the public that products are no longer drinkable after the BB date, and it’s highly likely they’ll scrutinise this information even more knowing the length of time pubs have been closed.

As there may be compensation due from the government, or via business insurance, it would be a good idea to keep a record of any products disposed of. (A stocktaker’s evidence would be helpful in authenticating any claim.)

In the case of postmix syrups, it is unnecessary to flush through the lines with cleaning fluid (as is the way with beer lines). If the connected boxes are out of date though, it would be advisable to pull through whatever is in the lines before reattaching new boxes.


After you’ve checked what quantity of stock you have still in date, we advise looking at past invoices and then ordering the difference required, in order to bring stock-holding back up to their normal working stock levels.

Remember not to over-order though as social distancing rules may result in less customers and therefore less sales.

If you decide to enlist the services of a stocktaker to make the process easier, contact The Institute of Licensed Trade Stock Auditors for details of stock auditors in your area. Click here.

Let’s raise a glass to the day when our industry can begin its road to recovery and get back to profitability as soon as possible.


Steve Berry | President - ILTSA


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