It’s not hard to imagine; Johnny Muscles is on the dock of the distributor, handling kegs that are coming back from the bars and restaurants. He’s not too thrilled to be at work today and, well, sort of, mentally clocks out. The next thing you know that standard issue keg from your Craft Brewery is on its way to a Mega Brewery. They can’t use it, so they set it aside. Maybe that stray keg languishes on the Mega Brewery’s lot or winds up in a pool of stray kegs, either way, it doesn’t come back. There you are down a keg, or two, or TEN!
Differentiation is probably THE buzz word in the marketing world. Let’s face it, that is what building a brand is all about, particularly in a crowded industry such as Craft Brewing. However, in the unique logistics of most distribution chains for beer, differentiation also means…..getting your kegs back! Stainless steel is the best answer for kegged beer. It has a very long service life and the material itself is infinitely recyclable. The cost of owning your own kegs is the lowest long-term answer to the challenge of getting fresh, top quality, brews to market. However, kegs cost money and a brewer, quite rightly, wants to see them come back, reliably, with minimal or no loss in the system. Knowing where your kegs have gone is a topic for another time but improving the odds of getting your kegs back is something that is in every brewer’s control. How can a brewer best ‘fix the deck’ to ensure that his kegs come back? The answer is differentiation. Schaefer Container has a wide variety of options for clearly identifying your kegs as ‘yours’. The best is to be sure that your kegs simply don’t look like other breweries’ kegs! Top of the list is the Schaefer ECO KEG. This option is visibly different from the inception of design right up through nearly infinite options for customization. Damage resistant top and bottom polypropylene chimes are visibly different from 99% of all other beer kegs, regardless of the color of the chimes and….speaking of that….the chimes can be a wide range of colors to make your kegs like no one else’s.
Whether it is on a Schaefer ECO KEG or one of our traditional all-stainless kegs, the addition of your brewery name on the body of the keg adds yet another marker of keg ownership. Some breweries simply emboss their name in the top chime of an all-stainless keg. However, this seems, to the author, to be an inadequate approach. The opportunity for an unobservant ‘dock person’ to simply not pay attention to where he is sending an empty keg is simply too common an event. Orphan kegs floating around the system is a well-known problem. We all have insurance on the important things in our lives. In the life of a brewer kegs are important! Buy the insurance and take the time to differentiate your cooperage, before you send it into the wide world.
Schaefer Container Systems, your “hold my beer” partner