I am having a bit of trouble finding kegs at scrap yards to build my HERMS. They just don't have any. I bought my current boiler keg serveral years ago at a scrap yard, and they had a few extras there. I should have bought more then. One of the scrap yards I went to said that when they get any in at all, they are gone very quickly.
Has anyone else had any difficultly finding old kegs lately? Has this hobby made scarce an item which should be plentiful?
When I was looking for sankes, I had trouble finding them in scrapyards. When I did find some (not locally), the yard wanted more for them than what I was able to find them for at a local micro. I think folks in different regions of the country will have varying experiences. Check with any breweries in your area (micro or macro). Ask for surplus or condemned kegs. Inspect them before you buy. Mine were in beautiful shape. If money is no object, check out Sabco.
Also try the local beer distributors. Here in Fort Worth, the Miller distributor sells the kegs of its competition that it picks up from its customers by "mistake." They cost $12-cash only please. They do not sell their own kegs, however.
Additionally, if you have a place nearby that sells kegged beer for parties and such, they will probably sell you an empty for about $25. They will basically pay off their deposit and make a small profit, but if you are having difficulty it may be worth it.
Try RCB http://www.rcbequip.com/
They sell kegs LEGALLY. 15.5 Gal for $45, 13.5 for $35.
The approach mentioned by James is NOT LEGAL.
I'm on the east side of the Metroplex, so it might not be a bad idea to drive to Fort Worth. Do you know if they regularly have "mistakes"? Can I just drive over, or should I call first to let them know I'm comming?
I would definitely call. But, each time I did call they had two, or three on hand. You have to go to the loading dock manager at the Millers in FTW. I forgot the guy's name.
When I was looking I downloaded a list of distributors in the Metroplex. Following are some numbers, I hope this doesn't pose a problem on the board, they were all publicly available.
Miller Distributing of Fort Worth
(817) 877-5960 phone
Miller of Dallas
(214) 525-9400 phone
BEN E KEITH BEERS 1805 RECORD CROSSING RD DALLAS TX 75235-6220 214-634-1500
COORS BREWING CO 5525 N MACARTHUR BLVD #-360 IRVING TX 75038-2615 972-751-5535
COORS DISTRIBUTING 3508 AVENUE F ARLINGTON TX 76011-5225 817-649-5626
GLAZERS WHOLESALE DISTR 500 E NORTHSIDE DR FORT WORTH TX 76106-9238 817-624-3116
GOLDEN DISTRIBUTING CO 400 N STEMMONS FWY LAKE DALLAS TX 75065 817-497-2261
I have to disagree with you on the legality issue.
The kegs available at the distributors are being purchased. Their source is from their customer base. If another manufacturer does not receive their keg back, they either charge, or keep the deposit that they set with the customer. At that point title of that keg passed to the customer/bar owner, who did not return it. They paid a fee for the abilty not to return it. Once they own it, they can return it to whoever they want, because it is theirs to pass title on. This is true even if it took place in the past. Ex. They returned the keg to the wrong distributor and later had to pay the deposit with the original owner.
However, if none of the above is true, which I strongly believe it is, the new purchaser (ie. Me) is still a Bonefide Purchaser for value (BFP) under the Uniform Commercial Code, Chapter 2. A BFP holds good title, superior to all others, to the product if it was purchased from a business that deals in that product as a regular course of their business. A distributor of beer meets this requirement in my estimation. It is irrelevant that the original source of the product, did not intend its subsequent sale. The BFP is still protected.
What part is illegal in your opinion?
they sell beer, not the kegs the beer come in,
"as a regular course of business" !!!!
it's wrong, period !!
Kurt's right. You're only paying a deposit to ensure return of the brewery's property. You're not purchasing or taking title to the keg itself, only it's contents.
Read the fine print when you get a keg of beer. Around here, it's clearly spelled out when you sign on the dotted line.
Not this topic again!
My first keg-kettle was a deposit only job, my other 2 are from Sabco. At least here in Millerland (SE Wisconsin), there is no shortage of SS kegs nor is Miller hunting down those who steal kegs for non-beer use. I just don't see this as a very big issue, others may disagree. The situation that James describes with the distributors selling the other guys kegs is very similar to another I've read about here, kegs the cops sell after busting an underage party, wouldn't this be trafficking stolen goods?
You all better stop using those bottles that you only paid the deposit on. You don't own them! Don't give me this cr*p about bottles being cheaper than kegs, it doesn't matter if it is $.05 or $500. If one is wrong then so is the other.
Just spend the money and buy Sabco's plain-jane keg, that's my final word.
Actually Bill, you can't compare bottles. When buying a case of beer you are purchasing the bottles as well. The deposit is an insentive to recycle.
As far as kegs go...it is a huge issue to the point where distributers are now installing satellite locators on thier kegs. That's a huge expense for a non issue.
Kurt is right, the deposit on kegs is simply that, a deposit. You have no right of ownership to a keg that is not purchased from the rightful owner. Kegs cost a whole lot more than the $50 deposit. More like $300+
I think BBB's figure of $300 per keg is on the high side, but don't think that the breweries aren't aware of the cost of kegs and aren't actively investigating disposable alternative packages for draft beer just as the soft drink drink bottlers did a decade ago. I would not be at all surprised to see a viable "bag in a box" system designed for beer.
We all are benefiting from the glut of corny kegs on the surplus market right now; at some point this may happen with Sankey kegs as well. But it will be a different story once the surplus is used up.
Guys, save yourselves the legal headache and find decomissioned kegs that are good only for scrap. Yes, they can be hard to find, but there are scrap yards that deal/specialize in SS that take them, and once you find that place you'll have all the sankeys you want. I found a place in Calgary with a pile about the size of a small house. Most had holes or big dents in them (it looked like at one brewery a guy w/ a pickaxe was assigned the job of punching holes in kegs so no-one could use them for beer - maybe the failed a pressure test?). A brewery had gone tits-up in Alberta the year before, and all their kegs ended up at this particular scrap yard.
You can also go direct to the brewery. Several Ottawa brewers have bought from Creemore Springs, a medium sized micro that regularly sells off decomissioned kegs. Micros are probably easier to deal with than macros.
Finally, check your beer distributors. I've heard the rumour that some imported kegs are scrapped by the distributor rather than being sent back to Germany/Ireland/Botswana/whatever. This is unconfirmed, YMMV.
Except for the 300 dollar figure, I would have to agree with B3. My understanding is that those kegs run 80 to 125 bucks each. Why steal from the brewery? Why not rent a car for the 30 dollar deposit and then steal that? And as far as the bottle analogy goes, the deposit is imposed by the state, the breweries don't particularly like the hassle either. But, if it helps keep the roadsides clean.....
Our club bought a mess of Mexican AB kegs that the brewery didn't want to send back to Mexico so they scrapped them. Almost brand new but they punctured a small hole in the top so they could not be used for actual kegging. I think we paid $20 each.
Seems like the solution for breweries and distributors is to raise deposit amount. And I don't know where you guys are buying beer, but with a $30 deposit, I might be tempted to run off with a keg. Here in the Midwest, deposits typically run around $100...on top of the price of the beer. Not exactly the cheapest way to get kegs.
And I'm still not sure what's wrong with James' method of getting kegs. These kegs were not returned, so the buyer forfeited the deposit. So are we saying these kegs should still be returned to the breweries/dist? Why? The deposit was already collected.
And the primary reason for tracking kegs is to crack down on illegal alcohol sales and underage drinking. They are using the tags and satellites to track down the purchasers of these kegs used for illegal sales or underage drinking.
Satellite locators on thier kegs?
Get real, why would the distributor care he pays $10/keg and gets $10/keg back just like the store, as you said that is a huge chunk of change. Go drive past Miller's keg yard, there are probally 10,000 kegs in Milwaukee alone. Even at $10 per locator that is $100,000 to locate a few missing kegs. If it was really a problem they would just rack up the deposit amount, like they do here for the tappers. I was in the liquor store the other day the guy in front of my bought a 1/2 barrel of Miller about $90 on special, a pump tap, and a icing barrel. So that's
Tap rental Free
Tub rental Free
Keg Deposit $10
Tap Deposit $75
What do they want returned most? Think about it.
I do not advocate paying just the deposit and keeping the keg, I never said that I did. But I do not see how missing kegs are putting the big boys out of business. I agree with Bill P. on the new methods of distibution, but I believe they are doing to get a savings in transport, cleaning, and shipping costs. It would cost less to ship a 2 lb bag one way than a 15 lb keg both ways.
Deposit in NE Wisconsin is $10.00
Why not just use aluminum pots?
Aluminum is much easier....what? to used....
I haved used...where am I again?
Aluminum is fine. Blame the hassle on a defective British study. Yeah Walt, I knew you were kidding...I think....... ;-)
---Brew it up!
Sorry for the delay in answering.
You ask "what is illegal?" In both of the cases mentioned, the party you are "purchasing" from DOES NOT OWN THE MERCHANDISE. Title definitely DOES NOT TRANSFER to a store or bar by forfeiture of deposit moneys. Some Micros have cut off business completely with retailers that pull that kind of crap too often, because they have to sell A LOT of beer to make up for the difference between the deposit and the cost of replacement. A liquor store can get away with more of that than a bar, as bars are not selling kegs to go, at least in the states I'm familiar with.
Furthermore, because of the business they are engaged in, the ones you mention KNOW that they are selling something that does not belong to them. As to your claim that "the new purchaser (ie. Me) is still a Bonefide Purchaser for value (BFP) under the Uniform Commercial Code" if that's true, why is it "cash only please." I'll bet you don't get a bill of sale. Of course, a distributor CAN condemn kegs and sell them, but that's not the scenario in your post.
And Bill, title to bottles DOES transfer when you buy a six-pack. You pay a deposit on bottles as an incentive to recycle. The bottles DO NOT GO BACK TO THE BREWERY. They go to a third party recycler.
"And Bill, title to bottles DOES transfer when you buy a six-pack. You pay a deposit on bottles as an incentive to recycle. The bottles DO NOT GO BACK TO THE BREWERY. They go to a third party recycler."
Not always. I buy cases of returnable bottles often. They are much nicer than the regular bottles, I bet twice as thick. They are returned to the brewer to be cleaned and refilled. If you get the chance I highly recommend the returnables.
And I suffer through drinking the cases of Genny Cream and Vitamin Y. Just my .02
Why am I always the only one who does not have a problem "aquiring" kegs illegally? I think I need to go to church more. I have 3 coors sanke's for my sculpture and a guiness keg for fermenting. I have unfortunatley paid a meer $0.00 for them so far.
I am ashamed of myself.
I have officially renounced my life's motto
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
Andrew - didn't you also inquire about making a "hemp" beer too?
Boy, did I open a can of american lager! I think I'm gonna do some more research and get to the bottom of this.
Actually, I did receive a bill of sale when I bought my kegs. The comment on "cash only please" was made to be funny. It's my belief that a distributor who sells beer and other things related to its industry could sell kegs too. That is why I believe the purchaser is protected as a BFP. The BFP doctrine protects the purchaser even when the seller does not own the merchandise. The point of it is to protect the innocent purchaser.
Even if the title does not pass when the deposit is forfeited, I think the UCC applies.
James is correct. If you are buying EMPTY kegs from a distributor that regularly sells EMPTY kegs, then you are a BFP. It's been a long time since I looked at the UCC but I beleive there is a good faith requirement such that if you knew or had reason to know that the seller did not hold good title, you would not hold title as the buyer. I doubt that case will ever make it into a courtroom.
However, simply keeping the keg after purchasing it full and paying a $10 deposit is another story. That would be illegal.
Ahhh.. but if you buy a keg in the forest, and nobody....
Yes, that was me. I have to say I happened on quite a good recipe. The hemp effect was nominal but the flavor was fantastic. It ended up being a oatmeal hemp stout. I dry hopped the beer with the hemp and it actually tasted great. I think the only mind altering effect it had was the 8% alcohol.. nothing else.
Are you trying to draw a corrolation (sp) PTA?
I got 2 perfect empty kegs from a local beer distributor for trade for some machine work. I have no receipt but I belive I got them legaly..??
What do you think?
just an FYI there is no deposit on "6-pack" bottles in Wisconsin. We only pay a $.05 deposit on "returnable" bottles that are returned to the brewery and refilled. So, from where I'm sitting, there is NO transfer of ownership when I pay a deposit on a bottle.
I had forgotten about that hemp beer.. heh
Didnt do much fer ya though, huh? heh
I wondered about that.. seems brownies can be made..wonder why the beer doesnt get the same effect..
Maybe its because you end up eating the hemp when in brownies... while youre only steeping the hemp in beer...
Oh well.. thats just what i need.. 40 gallons of hemp beer...Good God... haha!
I think ill save those 40's for my beloved Belgium beers
Bill, it's been at least 25 years since I have seen a returnable bottle in California. I doubt that the number of bottles that are actually returnable and re-used by the brewery amount to even 1/100th of 1% (or in other words, one in ten thousand) of the beer bottles in the country. Probably closer to one in a million. Obviously, the vast majority of beer bottles are not returnable, and states pass laws requiring payment of a recycle value or cash deposit solely to promote recycling.
As to your observation about a liquor store charging a $75 deposit on the tap, that's because THEY OWN the tap, the BREWERY OWNS THE KEG. You're just reinforcing my point.
Jim K: You need to read the whole thread. James had advised that the OP could go to a distributor and buy "mistakes," meaning kegs that belonged to another brewery, like Coors kegs at an A-B distributor. That might be a good indication that the seller did not hold title.
I will also re-iterate that some distributors DO sell kegs that they have condemned, that they deem are no longer suitable to remain in the distribution chain.
Thank you Kent for making my point! The deposit on the tap is high because they really want the tap back. The deposit on the keg is very low because it's not that big of a deal. I never said it was the right thing to do. My point is that I really don't think anyone at Miller or Bud is all that concerned about homebrewers who convert kegs to kettles, otherwise the keg deposit would be higher for the distibutor passed on the liquor store and finally to the consumer. Like the micros like to say they spill more beer in an 8 hour shift that we make in a year. My guess is the value of the beer they spill in a shift is a whole hell of alot more than the value of kegs lost to homebrewers.
I do have to say that I'm surprised that California and other more "GREEN" states don't see more returnables, they have got to be a better way of recycling bottles.
No Bill, they have a high deposit to insure a PROMPT return of the tap. Most kegs sold at liquor stores go for parties and picnics, not people like us who always have someting on tap, own a kegerator of some kind or another, etc. Most regulars keg drinkers have their own tap and CO2 setup. The bulk of their sales are largely limited by the number of taps they have on hand. AND THE STORE OWNS THE TAP. While they might not sweat OCCASIONALLY losing a keg, they have to either get the tap back or buy another. $75 is more than the cost of the tap.
You may be correct when you say that BMC aren't worried about HOMEBREWERS keeping their kegs, but they are concerned with shrinikage regarding kegs in general. It's a safe bet most of the missing kegs are going for scrap.
As to bottles, California does very well with recycling despite the fact that no beer is sold in California in returnable bottles. What beer do you buy that still comes in returnables? More and more of the micros use twist-off no returns, and of course all of the megas have done so for decades.
None of the Micros use returnables, I get them for family parties and for me to refill when I do some bottling. My wifes family is hooked on Mega-swill, try as we might my wife and I can't get them to convert. I also have to admit that as a carry-over from my college days, every now and then I will drink several bottles of Point Special. I like it on those cold winter nights when I fire up the Weber and toss some brats on the grill, dinner is then followed by a nice glass of Single Malt.
The returnable bottles I see in liquor stores here are all mega and reginal brews: Miller, Bud, (as well as their other brands), Point, Reinlander, Huber, Leinenkugels, Old Milwaukee.
I guess it is probally a toss-up on the energy expended to recycle glass by the time a returnable is shipped back to the brewery and cleaned you have probally spent as much as you would to crush and "re-make" new bottles.
Bill - okay, where in WI are you? Point special is actually pretty good - it actually won Gold @ the GABF 2003 in the American Pilsner Lager Category. However, their Honey Light is all about yuck. Which single malts are you talking about?
A friend of mine made his first batch of beer and didn't want to clean and sanitize bottles so he went and bought 2 cases of busch light returnable bottles. We opened them, dumped them, and then filled them - worked pretty slick (sounds like a BWTW trick).
I'm in Oostburg, in Southern Sheboygan County just off I-43.
The bottles of Scotch I have right now are a 12 year Glen Ord that I bought at the distilery in Scottland a few years back and I have a 12 year Balvenie Doublewood.
Uhh, Kent: Why do you think I brought up the good faith requirement? To cast at least some doubt on the legality of the transaction perhaps? The point is, it is not so clear cut. As I said, I doubt the case will never make it into a courtroom.
I think what the law says is you can only brew hemp beer in illegal kegs....
Walt, we could use another attorney around here and you sound like the man for the job!
Hey, wasn't Brewess an attorney? Whatever happened to her? She had a lot of good things to say.
Brewess is a patent and trademark attorney, and yes, she is missed here. I think many people tend to drift away from the board as their learning about homebrewing progresses to a certain point and their interest peaks.
Brewzz, IANAL, but since you asked for opinions...I don't believe the kegs were the distributor's to give away, but I have no knowledge of what their agreement with the brewery might be.
I bought 2 60 gallon barrels from a local meat packer two years ago for $75 a piece. The place was going to auction, I was lucky and knew the owner. I missed out on some very large square stainless containers on carts they used for moving meat around the plant.
Keep your eyes open!
I could be completely off here, however, as a product distributor, everything in my facility I have purchased or have ownership title to. There is never a business relationship with my mfg in which an item of ANY value can switch hands without transfer of said value, even if used to house, store or warranty said product, in house or in the field.
It is mine until I return it to the mfg and then I get credit for it once condition is reviewed.
So, if a distributor is handing out kegs at $___ it may be that they are overstocked or overbought in kegs to handle their supply and know that the mfg won't take back one slightly damaged, dinged or otherwise violated.
My grandfather used to work for Triangle Distributors (Bud/Anheiser) but is no longer with us.....perhaps I can ask him using a ouigi (sp)board? Would he be pissed if I bothered him for this one question?
Back to drinking...
I honestly don't think the FBI is going to track you down if you don't return a beer keg. I don't even think anybody cares--you buy a keg and put a $10 deposit on it, then return it and get the deposit back, just like a bottle.
I've bought kegs and had other people return them months later--the store doesn't even take your name either time. Same with the tap--I had to put $25 deposit on the taps, and kept them for AGES (almost a year at times--for multiple kegs).
Never once did the cops pound on my door.
"I've bought kegs and had other people return them months later--the store doesn't even take your name either time."
CT recently instituted an involved procedure to buy keg beer, even the 5 gal. logs.
you have to show picture ID and sign a form, a copy of which is attached to the keg itself!
i'm glad i procured my 'boil kettle' from a friendly package store owner for the $10 deposit before this nonsense arrived.
do-gooders please don't bother posting your disapproval. ;>)
Just another data point here. Years ago, I bought a couple of kegs of beer from a grocery store up the road. Kept them several weeks, and when I went to return them, the store was out of business. I called the distributor, and told them that I had a couple of their kegs. I'll bring them by and get my deposit. Their response was that they don't deal with the public. I should try to get my deposit back from another store. That didn't work, either. They gathered dust until I took up AG brewing. Now they are used guilt free in my brewery. I will only go so far to try to return a keg. If these things are so valuable to them, why would they blow me off for a $15 deposit? Beats me.
"I honestly don't think the FBI is going to track you down if you don't return a beer keg."
Careful, Russ. Some of the FBI might be watching... ;-)
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)
"We tap kegs, not phones"
"I honestly don't think the FBI is going to track you down if you don't return a beer keg." That's not the issue as far as I'm concerned. To me, it's a question of morals and ethics. Do what you can live with. The Enron guys probably said "Hey, they're not gonna catch us, so we can do what we want to".
"The Enron guys probably said "Hey, they're not gonna catch us, so we can do what we want to"."
well kids..I just spent the week in Halifax and visited Olands Brewery. They purchase kegs new at aprox. $225 CAD and do not transfer ownership to anyone. The deposit is an incentive to return the kegs not a purchase price. Kegs are no longer purchaseable in Nova Scotia without a liquor liscence but when they were, theft of a keg was a Federal offence.
The foreign kegs that they distribute belong to the breweries overseas and yes, some of them are now using satellite locators. He also said these locators are not visible from the outside
Keep in mind this is Canada. Things may very well be different in the States.
On a side note he is going to set aside a few kegs for me as they come unserviceable but informed me this doesn't happen very often
I don't think it's that big a deal to them--one keg might cost us $80 or $100, but one keg when you buy 500 of them will be a lot less. The deposit is probably very close to the value of a used keg to a distributor.
They are well aware of the percentage of kegs that don't come back (if nothing else, so they know how many to order each month).
I also know that my local beer store will sell taps (with the store's name on them) for the same price as the deposit.
Just because you do 80mph in a 60, but don't get a ticket, doesn't mean it's right. Same with a keg. Just because a federal agent isn't going to kick in your door, doesn't mean that 'acquiring' a keg for the deposit price is perfectly fine.
In Joe's case, where he tried to return them, but no one would take them, I say brew on!
On the other hand...if enough people 'acquire' kegs that belong to AB...maybe they'll start losing money, and have to stop making that swill? It's a long shot...but a worthy cause!
It's nice to know,at the end of the day that I've done my part.........
"maybe they'll start losing money, and have to stop making that swill?"
im pulling a hiest n stealing all the kegs at the coors brewery tomorrow...
Will the Twins be there?
As I mentioned before, the implication of "borrowing" kegs goes much deeper than forking over your deposit or wrestling with the moral issue of "stealing".
Check the news - Several states (US) have establised new regulations around keg purchases and many others have it under consideration. If you google "keg deposit" or "keg laws" you'll see what I'm talking about. These new laws are increasing the deposit amount required ($50-$100) and instituting fines ($500+) for kegs not returned or returned without the proper documentation. The whole point of this legislation is to help track kegs purchased for minors or illegal liquor sales. So you might want to think twice about your plans for a "hiest".