Whitbread & Co. works in London.
C/U of a man filing a piece of metal which is balanced on the rim of a large barrel. Narrator states that it is nice to know that there are some jobs that no machine could ever do. John Porter is a "smeller". Various shots of John and his colleagues who work at a brewery checking returned beer barrels. They put their nose right in and have a good sniff. If they smell OK they are passed for further use but if they are what is commonly known as "stinkers" they are sent to the Cooper's shop, opened and scraped clean.
We see John using a special heated two prong fork which is used to remove any shires "or bits of bung to you!" A stencil and paint are used to number the checked barrels. Narrator observes that "lesser men than these might quake in their shoes at the thought of a job like this, for it's said that nothing smells worse than a stinker-barrel." The job has to be done though as a bad barrel will ruin the next lot of beer. "The palates of the British public are at stake - and that's not to be sniffed at!"