Originally Posted by bd2xu
This is just not true as a blanket statement: If you see a kegs on Craigslist, it IS stolen
Many kegs on Craigslist I'm sure were not obtained legally but others were. Also, if this was that big of a deal to breweries then they would be pursuing these postings on Craigslist and eBay. I'm not saying its right to ignore a law but there are a lot of laws on the books that are not enforced. Bottom line I don't agree that this is really hurting the "entire brewing industry" that is way overblown. If it were then they would be doing something about it.
Please read this article I linked to earlierKeg Shrinkage
Here are highlights from the article:
Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman, arguably the grandfather of the craft industry, said this to BBD yesterday:
"Keg theft has been a major thorn in my side for years. I have been on a warpath over this issue on behalf of our brewery and the industry. It's bad enough seeing our kegs stolen and misappropriated for use as furniture in frat houses, homebrew kettles, or just plain scrapped for a few dollars. Ebay and CraigsList often have stolen kegs listed for sale for a $15-$20 that might have been left over from a party or stolen from behind a bar or restaurant. It's a real issue for our industry, with new kegs costing over $100.
"Recently, I have been outraged at seeing our kegs being used by other breweries. In some cases there is no way they were mistakenly filled. They had obviously known the kegs had been stolen since they had attempted to cover up our embossed name and our identification colors had been painted over. In one case, they took the effort to grind off our name and use "Bondo" to try and obfuscate the evidence. There are even YouTube videos showing how to remove keg valves on illegally obtained kegs (some are mine), so they can be used for all sorts of other purposes. We have never sold any Sankey style half barrel kegs, so I know they weren't obtained legally. When I can track them down, I have personally called and unloaded on these brewers. Stealing from anyone is not OK." Bam!
"The fact is, you buy a keg with another brewer's name on it, the chances are it was probably stolen at some point in the supply chain, usually at retail."
How much does keg loss cost craft brewers annually?
According to Brewers Association member brewery data, keg loss costs every brewer between $0.46 and $1.37 per-barrel of annual keg production. This varies depending on the size of the brewery, percent of beer produced that is sold in kegs and other factors. Assuming 2011 craft beer sales of 11.5 million barrels, that is a total direct capital charge to craft brewers of $5.3 million and $15.8 million annually.
The indirect costs of product outages at wholesale and at retail caused by a shortened keg float are likely far higher.
Why is keg scrapping and the illegal traffic of kegs such a big issue?
Many brewers have observed both the public and other brewers scrapping kegs that dont belong to them. Depending on the current price of scrap stainless steel, the scrap value of a keg may be substantially more than the deposit cost. If a keg is in fact stolen, the scrap value is pure profit.
Many brewers favor legislation prohibiting the sale of kegs by anyone other than the titled owner, and in fact several states have such laws in place. Ebay and Craigslist routinely list kegs for sale, often explicitly showing the owners label or stamp. These kegs are destined to become furniture, barbecue grills, brewing equipment, or other uses not intended by the legal owner. The Brewers Association plans outreach to companies that facilitate the sale of kegs, requesting that they notify sellers that they must have legal title to kegs they sell.
Most brewers will request that other brewers simply provide them the opportunity to pay for the return of their kegs, with a phone call or an email. One brewer has suggested the development of a standardized email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
could help. Imprinting this information on each keg might simplify the notification process enough to help grease the wheels.