User Guidelines - Brewer
This guideline can be read online or downloaded
as an Adobe PDF file for printing:
OWNERSHIP AND IDENTIFICATION
All brewers must take every opportunity to promote the message that
they ALWAYS retain ownership of their containers and that these
containers are returnable assets.
Terms and conditions of trade must emphasise that
the customer is responsible for ensuring that empty containers are
returned to the supplier/owning company.
All containers should be marked with as many ownership
details as practicable (for instance company name stamped into the
metal, colour bands, registered by the BBPA), and a warning ("this
container remains the property of xxxx - third party use or disposal
prohibited") should be clearly visible on every container.
A record of container serial numbers should be
kept as part of an asset register.
DISPOSAL AND RECORDS
All brewers should follow the agreed industry policy on disposal
of containers no longer required for trading purposes. The policy
"All kegs and casks that are either damaged
beyond repair, or otherwise no longer serviceable, should be destroyed
by the manufacturer or some other organisation specifically authorised
by the owning brewery for this purpose."
"Any keg or cask that is still serviceable
but no longer required for production, may be sold or transferred
directly to another brewer. In this case the owning brewer should
ensure that all existing company identification is removed before
release to the purchaser."
A record of any sales should be kept (indefinitely)
and should contain the following details:
The name and address of the purchasing company
The number and size of the containers sold
The serial number of each of the containers
The date of the sale
The invoice number
All invoices raised in connection with the sale of containers
should bear the serial number of the containers they relate
Containers should only be offered for sale to legitimate
brewing companies and under no circumstances should they be sold
to casual callers.
COLLECTION OF EMPTIES
It is unreasonable to expect customers to take responsibility for
empty containers if the owners do not ensure that all empties are
collected on a regular basis. Keg Watch suggests minimum standards
which companies might be expected to follow:
Uplift a minimum of 1 for 1 draught beer containers on normal
Crews should uplift all available draught containers, within
loading capacity of the vehicle.
Crews should communicate with the depot to arrange uplift of
surplus empties on a future date or on the return journey (where
the delivery route is linear).
Customers reporting surplus empties to telesales/ depots/ customer
service centres should get uplift within one working week, or
sooner if quantities are significant.
It is imperative that employees who are likely to receive an "uplift
request" from a customer are made aware of the owning company's
policy on the collection of empties and have a point of contact
for communicating the uplight request.
Where an account is lost or closed, sales staff
should ensure that the appropriate department knows how many containers
need to be collected. Uplifts should be made within one working
All losses/thefts of containers from brewer's sites or vehicles
should be investigated at the earliest opportunity.
Where containers are stolen from a customer's premises,
the customer should be responsible for ensuring that the local police
and the owning brewer are informed. The owners must therefore ensure
that each customer knows who to contact.
Reports of theft or loss must be recorded by the
Where an account has an unusually low rate of container
returns, this should be brought to the attention of the relevant
company department and investigations should be made as soon as
Brewers should ensure that a robust system of recording empty container
movements is in place.
Only reputable hauliers should be used to transport
containers and in all cases hauliers should have strict conditions
of employment placed upon them. These conditions should include
restrictions on the parking of unattended, loaded vehicles on insecure
sites, lorry parks and in lay-bys.
Brewers should also ensure that wherever possible
either curtain sided or enclosed trailers are used and that the
curtains/doors are secured throughout the journey.
On arrival, loads should be checked against documentation
and any discrepancies investigated.
All empties returning on dray vehicles should be
checked in against the documentation held by the dray crew.
KEG SPEARS (STEMS)
All brewers should have a strict policy for the disposal of keg
spears (stems) and should ensure that all instructions on disposal
are followed to the letter. Keg spears found anywhere other than
on a brewer's premises or those of an authorised agent can damage
any keg theft/smelting case being prosecuted either now or in the
REFILLING OF CO2/MIXED GAS CYLINDERS -
The unauthorised re-filling of brewers' gas cylinders has for some
time given cause for great concern. Under the auspices of Keg Watch,
the industry has taken action against companies who blatantly re-fill
these cylinders. Although several major brewing companies no longer
supply gas to their customers, for other brewers this remains a
The fact that some companies involved in re-filling
cylinders pay little or no attention to the condition of the cylinders
they re-fill nor the quality of the CO2/mixed gases they use, does
cause great concern to all brewers. The health and safety implications,
for instance, the risk of a cylinder exploding under pressure, or
the affect the inferior quality gases have on product quality, does
indeed involve all brewers.