How you deliver beer to your customers at your restaurant or bar is an important decision. You probably know you can make more profit if you use a draft system that uses kegs. But there are other reasons you might not have considered in the equation.
- Refrigeration Cost
Keg beer is delivered already at serving temperature. In fact, it’s the responsibility of the beer wholesaler to deliver keg beer to consumers and retailers at serving temperatures, while bottles and cans are stored and delivered typically at ambient temperatures. If the ambient temperature is 80, as it is most of the year here in Florida, it is your responsibility to lower the can or bottle to serving temperature. That costs money and takes time before you can turn that bottle or can into profit.
A half-barrel keg of beer is approx. 6.7 cases of 12 ounce bottle (160 bottles). A typical 25-bottle case measures 16 x 16 x 24. I know you don’t really want to do the math, so I’ll do it for you. 6.7 cases of beer will take up 23 cu ft. A half-barrel keg, in comparison, takes up approximately 6.5 cu ft. So, the same amount of beer takes up just a little more than one quarter of the space in kegs. You make your money on the front-end, so if your back-end takes up less space, you can serve more customers and of course…make more profit.
- Waste Removal and Recycling
A keg of beer has about a 30-year life span. And, if you don’t use for refill, the stainless steel is a very valuable metal for recycling. If we use our same numbers from above, and figure that a half-keg is the same amount of beer as 160 bottles, consider what you will do with those 160 bottles after you’ve emptied them. If you throw away, you lose money and your 160 bottles go to the local landfill. If you plan to recycle, then you have to store those empty, no-longer-turning-profit bottles somewhere in your bar or restaurant. Again, reducing the valuable available room for customers.
Domestic keg and barrel beer is not pasteurized while bottles and cans are heat treated. This heat-treating or pasteurization process not only kills the bad stuff like unwanted bacteria, it also kills some good things…like your beer’s flavor. The keg is the optimum brewery experience while the bottle is a mere shadow of the flavor. The flavor difference can be substantial. However, to achieve that superior flavor, you have to have a professionally installed system that maintains pressure and temperatures, as well have your lines cleaned by a company that you trust and is committed to excellence.
- Unique Variety of Offerings
Local craft brewers make incredible seasonal and everyday beer. These finely crafted products are usually available only in kegs because it is expensive for a small brewer to setup and run a bottling line. Keg beer allows them to produce small batches of unique, seasonal beers. By partnering with a local brewer, a bar or restaurant can have access to beer that their guests can only find in draft.