In most cases, the best beer is fresh beer, and the way that beer gets from brewers’ tanks into your glass is via keg. More than just metal barrels, beer kegs are equipped with a complicated valve mechanism that allows suds to flow out with optimum carbonation while keeping the inside vacuum fresh. They’re a key component in beer distribution, and they don’t come cheap.
Despite the relatively large size of the stainless steel containers, kegs often go missing. Whether it’s kegs full of beer rented out for parties that mistakenly aren’t returned (you don’t actually buy the keg itself, just the beer inside), or empty kegs misplaced during a tap change at a busy bar, keg loss happens. Breweries, who are the owners of the kegs they use, must absorb the cost.
The Brewers Association (BA) estimates that keg loss costs craft brewers up to $1.37 per barrel of beer produced annually. Looking at craft beer sales as a whole, the hit to the industry can be up to $15.8 million each year. This unnecessarily drives up the cost of beer, which is in no one’s best interest.
Enter KegReturn.com. Just launched this week, this BA project aims to make it easy to return kegs to their proper origin. The site has a tool that anyone who finds a stray keg can use to easily identify the rightful owner, by searching via markings, numbers, text or other identifying characteristics. There’s also a place for breweries to register their kegs on the site, after they sign up as a member (signup is free, or Homebrewers Association and BA members can use their current login for access).
Another feature on the site is a Code of Keg Conduct, with sections for brewers, wholesalers, retailers, homebrewers, consumers, scrap yards and other entities that come in contact with the barrels. There’s also a list of keg etiquette, which presents The Golden Rule of keg conduct and breaks down federal and state laws on handling of the containers.
So next time you come across a stray keg, instead of lugging it home and turning it into a coffee table, do the right thing — hit up KegReturn.com and send it home instead.
Green Flash Brewing's flagship beer, West Coast IPA, will be brewed, bottled and kegged for the European market starting in August....read more ›
Had enough of the viral phenomenon? You're not alone...read more ›
For a price, you can get just about anything you want in Las Vegas ...read more ›
Please donate at alsa.org...read more ›
These days, you're likelier to find one of the Hella Bitter crew climbing onto a huge tank for a whiff of the contents than you are to find him bellyi...read more ›
Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›
The recall covers only bottles bearing specific production codes ...read more ›
In case you missed it, here's a look at one of the most picturesque wine events in the country....read more ›
An all out depletion of inventories is unlikely, but so are chances of prices falling any time soon...read more ›
Grab 'The 12 Bottle Bar' and you've got a practical and affordable guide to bartending at home. ...read more ›
Banana? Banana who? ...read more ›
At 4.9 percent ABV, the farmhouse ale can be consumed over long drinking sessions; its finish is clean, it's light on the palate and its straw-colorat...read more ›