Beer Kegs: they not exactly the sexiest part of the Beer Industry. But if you delve a little deeper, there’s plenty of innovation and activity happening behind the scenes, as Luke Robertson discovers.
Keg transport and keg maintenance. It’s not something most of us really think about. However, there’s a whole industry dedicated to making sure beer from the keg is in it’s best possible shape when it hits the taps – from the outside appearance of the keg itself, to ongoing maintenance and servicing.
Kegs once destined for the scrapheap are now being refurbished and sent back out to market in tip top shape. And it may surprise you to learn that the keg you are drinking from may have once contained kombucha, coffee or even a cocktail.
There are also increasingly sophisticated ways to track exactly where the keg is and soon brewers will even be able to tell exactly at what temperature their precious beer has been stored. That data will then be fed back to through online apps for further analysis. So, as you sip your pint you might not think too much about where that keg came from, and where it’s going next, but the entire process plays a big role in your final beer.
In June 2015, Bintani launched its Keg Servicing business, the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, providing total servicing of kegs. Bintani Director, Phil Meddings says that breweries are starting to realise how important regular keg maintenance is for kegs.
“They recognise that the quality of the beer doesn’t just rely on the brewing process and the fermenters, it relies on the package that it’s being delivered to their customers in, so having kegs that work properly and having them cleaned is important for that.” He explains.
Meddings says that it’s not only the quality for customers, but also the impact that it can have for a brewery’s dealings with restaurants.
There’s a cost benefit to it as well, he says, “If a keg in trade fails due to seals, (this) can cost a brewery hundreds of dollars, not to mention the reputational damage…(if) they’re losing pressure and pouring foamy, you can lose an account worth thousands of dollars.”
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This feature comes from Beer and Brewer’s Autumn 2018 issue.