Monday, 27 April 2020

HORROR: South Carolina Breweries May Dump Beer As Keg Sales Crater

Breweries in South Carolina may have to dump kegs of beer that have gone stale due to a lack of sales during the coronavirus shutdown.
Because restaurants have been closed, effectively eliminating draft beer sales, and large gatherings have been banned, keg sales have cratered, leading some breweries to come to the decision to soon dispose of beer that has gone “out-of-code,” The Post and Courier reported.
Jaime Tenny, co-owner of COAST Brewing Co., told the Courier that they’ve “never had to deal with dumping beer before” in the 13 years the company has produced its organic craft beer.
“This is new to us,” Tenny told the outlet. “We’re looking at a lot of kegs in my distributor’s warehouse that are getting to that point where we have to look at options, and the top option is to dump it all.”
“Actually, there are no (other) options,” she added.
Tenny said beer from COAST “usually doesn’t last longer than a month. … Sixty days is really the max,” and the beer kegs currently sitting in their wholesaler’s refrigerated warehouse is nearly a month old.
More from the Courier:
Outside the temperance movement, you’d be hard-pressed to find an American adult who was keen on the idea of pouring out keg after keg of perfectly good beer. Craft brewers themselves tend to view it as a necessary evil, a loss to be taken when there’s something wrong or defective with their beer.
But for brewers to whom freshness is a core part of the value proposition and what sets their brands apart in a crowded field, selling once-good beer that might be going stale is also anathema. So for many breweries, once a beer is past its prime, its only destination is the drain.
Craft beer is hardly the only sector of the food and beverage industry grappling with waste caused by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on supply chains and buying habits. Dairy producers, chicken farmers and produce growers throughout the United States are donating what they can, and destroying the rest. In many cases it’s the only way to avoid needless production costs and prevent consumers from winding up with spoiled product.
Brewers around the country are facing similar dilemma’s, the Courier reported.
“In Portland, Oregon, producers have sent around 20,000 gallons of beer (about 1,300 kegs’ worth) to just one wastewater treatment facility so far. In BaltimoreManchester, N.H., and here in Charleston, brewers have turned to distilleries to convert stale beer into hand sanitizer,” the outlet reported.
The Brewers Association, America’s largest craft brewery trade group, has published a guide for how breweries can dispense stale beer.
“When disposing of unsaleable beer, brewers need to do so responsibly. Wherever feasible, excess beer can be repurposed into the production of hand sanitizer. Alternatively, if the best option is to dump excess beer, avoid creating undue harm to the municipal wastewater treatment system. If disposing of beer at your facility, it must go into a drain connected to a municipal treatment facility. Dumping anything down a storm drain, other than weather-related precipitation, is illegal. Doing so will expose your company to regulatory consequence and reputational harm should the disposal result in fines or adverse environmental consequence. Finally, composting represents another disposal channel to explore,” the guide states.

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