Does anyone know where to legally buy multiple sized Sanke kegs?

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WortMonger

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I have searched and searched for a place that sells used or new Sanke kegs in all the sizes they come in. I obviously haven't had any luck, so I know am posting hoping for some information. All the old places I knew about are either out of business, or no longer sell the kegs for anything other than conversions. I simply need a place to buy Sankes to put beer in.

I think it is next to impossible to not have to borrow a keg here and there before you turn it back in to the brewery. In the good old days you could order a brand new keg from Spartanburg Stainless and could even get whatever you wanted (up to a letter limit) indented on the top skirt. It is almost like they don't want anyone but big breweries using them as a storage/serving medium. Sabco never has anything but used kegs, and in the wrong size. Take a look if you want, but other than conversions they have nothing to offer.

I know legitimately borrowing is even wrong, but I do know people who have had kegs in their garages for years and years. If they make it this hard to get them legally, but make it so easy to get them "illegally," doesn't that seem to steer people into doing something that, honestly unless you are another brewery, they wouldn't be able to do anything about other than make you give them back if caught? If they showed up and wanted their keg(s) back for a deposit someone left 5 years ago, and the person gave it back, wouldn't "they" not be in trouble legally? I would never advocate breaking the law, but this seems like a loophole the home brewer would have to skirt around (heheh, kegs have skirts) to use Sankes given what I have seen.

I am so looking forward to anyone's help finding a place where I do not have to "worry about skirting around anything." I do find it funny though that the distributor sometimes doesn't want to make the trip to pick up empty kegs, he just drops off new beer and expects the restaurant to store the used kegs until he is ready to pick them up one day. He has the attitude that, "Oh well, that's how it goes" when the kegs aren't there for him to pick up. The restaurant has started to "let me handle" the kegs since they would be stored in an alley (unprotected) for a week sometimes. They have never made it past a couple of days outside without someone stealing them. I mean, these people aren't doing anything but stealing and selling them to the local scrap yard. WTF, and I can't easily find somewhere to legally buy one? I have seen kegs thrown away in garbage trucks after keg parties. I know just because I would be using them and not making money off them, that wouldn't make it OK for me to keep them because I saved them. It just gets really frustrating seeing it done. Help, lol!!!!!!!! Please!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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c.n.budz said:
Have you tried going to your local Anheuser Busch distributor and asked them if you could buy a couple directly from them?
They hinted that they couldn't sell them to me, but they wouldn't know if I just didn't return one I paid a deposit for. They are only into the selling of the product and don't care about the container once that is done. The stores you buy a keg at all charge a $100-$150 deposit, and won't take a keg as a deposit unless you bought it from them and can prove it with a receipt.

As for kegconnection, I called them. I think that is not reading right on the setup that says 2 kegs. The price definitely doesn't reflect it coming with two kegs. I think it means it is ready to use for 2 kegs. I am waiting for a call back from them right now actually.
 
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olllllo said:
http://sabco.stores.yahoo.net/

Also:
Call these guys if you don't find what you're looking for on the site
http://www.schaeferkegs.com/
I met ??? one of these guys at the GABF.
They said they had a lot of stuff that wasn't on the website.
Yeah, the sabco site it the one I had the link to in my OP. I am going to check out that schaefer site though, thank you very much that looks promising.
 
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c.n.budz said:
I'm not talking about buying one from the liquor store. I meant going to the distributor that sells to the liquor store.
That is who I am talking about. We have 3 distributors in Oklahoma, that sell to everyone, liquor and beer. They said they couldn't sell me a keg shell (first they couldn't sell it full of beer, and they always have some beer remaining in them and I do live in Oklahoma land of stupid beer laws, and second if the keg wasn't up to par they could get sued if it blew up on me), but "hinted" that if I were to buy one from a store and not return it, "they" the distributor or Bud wouldn't know. Thereby telling me the only way I would get one is by "stealing" it in the terms of us home brewers that are against stuff like that.
 

c.n.budz

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Gotcha... I hear you about crazy alcohol laws, I live in CT where up until a couple years ago beer/liquor stores had to close at 8pm.

So, if the company that owns the kegs tells you to just keep a keg or two and forsake your deposit, is it still stealing? *pokes hornet's nest with a stick*
 

Sir Humpsalot

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I don't get it. You buy a keg, you dispose of the beer and you lose the receipt. Then you go to return it to the distributor and they say, "No way, not without a receipt".

So... uhhh... now is it still stealing if they are refusing to give you your deposit?
 
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Sir Humpsalot said:
I don't get it. You buy a keg, you dispose of the beer and you lose the receipt. Then you go to return it to the distributor and they say, "No way, not without a receipt".

So... uhhh... now is it still stealing if they are refusing to give you your deposit?
You return it to a store not the distributor, the store returns it to the distributor when the distributor picks them up empty. The store won't give you money back for a keg that you don't have a receipt for, but if you took the keg to the distributor they would probably argue that it was theirs and they don't owe you any money for it. Makes you want to "steal" them doesn't it?

I "borrowed" a keg for $25 from a guy who was told the information I just said. I followed him out the door of the store and told him I'd give him the money for the keg, and he handed it right over. The store doesn't care, they got their money already for the beer and the keg. If the keg doesn't come back, it isn't the stores responsibility. It seems a messed up system, that the brewery I am sure would love to be cleared up. I walked back in after buying the keg to finish my purchase of a 12pk and the lady started giving me a hard time. She said, "You know you can't get anything for that keg without a receipt don't you?" So, I responded with, "Yeah only about what I just paid for it in scrap value at least when I am done using it for home brewed beer." I told her what SS was going for per pound at the time and you should have seen the look on her face. I then ask if I could leave my number so she wouldn't have any more totally unhappy customers like she just did. She said no, but I could see the look in her eyes like she was going to start "offering" something to the next person for the keg, lol. I smiled real big and told her to have a nice day, oh and that she should probably take down all her old inaccurate beer prices on her windows since it was false advertisement from about 6 months back. I noticed they were down the next day I went by, lol.
 

Brewtopia

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You could try these guys. These companies primarily deal with the craft brewing industry so there may be minimum pushases required.

Thielmann-Portinox Beverage Containers
209 North Main St #442
Greenville SC 29601
864-232-7066

Franke Beverage Containers
3529 Old Conejo Road
Unit 115
Newbury Park CA 91320
805-375-8366

Maissoneuve Keg S.A./Eurosource, Inc.
2351 West Northwest Hwy
Suite 1105
Dallas TX 75220
214-357-4688

Spartanburg Stainless Products
121 Broadcast Drive
Spartanburg SC 29304
888-974-7500

Keg Club Inc/Schaefer Kegs NA
Warehouses in NY, WA, CA, ON
USA/Canada
519-751-1201

Sabco Industries, Inc
4511 South Ave
Toledo OH 43615
419-531-7765

Microstar Keg Management, LLC
5613 DTC Parkway, Suite 1100
Greenwood Village CO 80111
800-245-2200
Microstar doesn't sell kegs but they may have used ones that they'd be willing to sell
 
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Awesome, I have visited a couple of the links you just provided and they were a no-go, but thank you thank you for the others to check out. Wow, the one in Dallas would save me a buttload of shipping costs just picking them up myself. Very nice and very helpful info, but like I said the no-gos don't have any info on kegs.
 

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Does it absolutely have to be new? Chico Company has most style sankes.
I like the way you posed your question. So far you have avoided the wrath that usually accompanies any thread that even smells like keg ethics. I've tried to make the same point and been ignored or blasted, but I think you illustrate the problem much better.
 
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Thank you Germey, I definitely do not/would not advocate stealing of any kind. I am glad you read it like you did because that is exactly how I wanted it read. You see what I am saying though, they basically set it up and show you to do what most of us consider wrong. It doesn't have to be new, but after shipping costs and everything else on a keg, why not? I think this may be the way I go when I order, they have great prices and only $15 to ship a 5 gallon sanke to me, wow. Thanks for the link. Keep em' coming, maybe we can get a majority of infor that could be easily referenced for other people.
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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wortmonger said:
... but like I said the no-gos don't have any info on kegs.
Have you tried going beyond the web sites and either emailing or calling? I've found it's much better to just contact then go only off what's on the site.
 

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If you can deal with used ones try posting a want ad on craigs list or similar sites. I also paid ten bucks and put a want ad in the local Nickel Ads. Got hits from both.

The guy who responded to craigs list had moved into a rental house and the last tenant had left a keg behind. He was just stoked to be rid of it.

The lady who responded to my Nickel ad had one in her barn. Looked like it had been there for a long time but it cleaned up good as new.

Either way, your not the one "stealing" the kegs. Personally, I wouldn't consider it stealing anyway becuase the distributor is getting your deposit in exchange for the keg. That sounds like a purchase to me. But maybe I'm just rationalizing bad behavior.
 

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I luv ya WM, however, I think I need to bring something up to you that will make you a more 'read' poster...



Please avoid the "Block O'Text" syndrome and break up your thoughts in 'logical breaks'.


I have passed over threads of yours that I really wanted to read that I simply could not 'wade through' the sea of text that was on my screen.



Just a suggestion...I opened with "I luv ya"...

:mug:

:D
 

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Called the local Bud Distribie, they said they send every keg, regardless of shape or condition back to the brewery.

Called one of the Bud Breweries (Houston) and talked to an operation manager who said that they send them to get repaired. The ones that can't are then put in a tracking system for the Corporate. He could not say what happened to them.

I then called the general purpose number for Anh.-Busch and talked to a very nice, very clueless rep that stated the kegs were to remain Buds regardless of shape. I tried to explain what I had been told and was given a confused answer of the the local distribie decides what happens but the company decides what to do with retired kegs.

I'll try to find someone who might be a little bit more "empowered" as well as try Miller/Coors. I doubt I'll have any success but worth noting I suppose?

Anyways I'll post the results of those here and plan on calling Microstar tomorrow.
 
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AllHoppedUp said:
If you can deal with used ones try posting a want ad on craigs list or similar sites. I also paid ten bucks and put a want ad in the local Nickel Ads. Got hits from both.

The guy who responded to craigs list had moved into a rental house and the last tenant had left a keg behind. He was just stoked to be rid of it.

The lady who responded to my Nickel ad had one in her barn. Looked like it had been there for a long time but it cleaned up good as new.

Either way, your not the one "stealing" the kegs. Personally, I wouldn't consider it stealing anyway becuase the distributor is getting your deposit in exchange for the keg. That sounds like a purchase to me. But maybe I'm just rationalizing bad behavior.
AllHoppedUp-I am in no way judging you for what you said and don't want to get into a debate, but..... If something doesn't belong to you, and someone else's name is engraved on it saying it is their property, what is that called if you take it and say you own it? A deposit is a deposit, it is not payment for a keg because it isn't even close to market value for that much 304 SS! I have a small feeling of guilt for having borrowed kegs for a short time.

You can look at other threads having to do with kegs, but I am not going to even entertain the idea that what you are saying is honest. This thread is about obtaining kegs legally, and so I would respectfully appreciate any further input to not have any negative side even if you have no problem with it. If a brewery wants to sell me a keg then I will buy one, other than that (see other threads about kegs). I do appreciate you trying to help though, and don't want you to think I think anything bad. :D



ClutchDude- I appreciate you calling the breweries, and I hope you aren't just doing it for me. I know however, they won't sell you a keg that can be used for serving beer. It is entirely too much trouble for them to help anyone out by selling a unusable keg as well.

Sabco and other alike companies recondition kegs for breweries, and are already set up to buy for unusable kegs for scrap value taking them out of use. They roll the skirts to remove any name and the top is already cut off removing the "property of" statement. They legally bought the kegs from the brewery and have made a side business of selling brewing equipment. Microstar is the only one you mentioned that I would think I would have a chance to buy a new keg from, but I bet they are expensive unless you buy in bulk (like if you were buying for a brewery).

I heard a few years ago that Microstar is taking over the keg management for numerous breweries (not all), and that the breweries themselves are not owning their kegs anymore. They pay Microstar to pick up and clean the kegs for them from their breweries. So, the distributors pick up the kegs as they are dropping off full ones and then take them back to the distributorship. There they make their way back to either the brewery that cleans and refills them, or Microstar picks them up in bulk and cleans and purges them before renting them back to the breweries. This takes a load off the smaller breweries, and is actually cost effective in saving machine overhead for the keg cleaner and storage space which is expensive. The brewery orders the kegs right before they are to be filled and sent out for sale. It was a while back that I heard this so I don't know how much I remembered right, but I think this is the general gist of the thing.

We were thinking about doing this for the brewpub I worked at, because we didn't have to track the kegs. We only had to take the information for where the keg was going, and Microstar sends someone out to get the empties. No distributor was needed for a brewery of that scale in Texas, though I don't know how other state laws are. Amazingly, Oklahoma has freed up the smaller breweries to do their own distribution if they choose to.


Spyk'd- whatever man, LOL. I can't help it sometimes, I just write and write. It is so bad isn't it. I looked back after I read what you said and was like, "Dang!!!" I will try harder, because I want people to read so I can get the information from them. ;)
 
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That is why I don't want to debate the issue. I will pick up a keg I know is going in the garbage truck, because that is just stupid on all different kinds of levels. I just won't buy a keg from someone that put a deposit down without knowing I am borrowing it and paying money I will never get back if I have to turn the keg in.

This being said, I hope all future input is in the form of information to get perfectly legal kegs. Please!!!!!!
 

BlackenedBrew

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Ok, I hope no one smacks me for this question... I will admit upfront that I am a noob and know nothing. I have never brewed a batch (yet) either. I stumbled upon this site one day, and now I would really love to brew.

All of this being said... can anyone explain to me why is it that kegs seem to be such a hot commodity (to liquor stores and large named breweries)? Why is it that honest people have to "steal" kegs?

I'm mainly asking, because I'm interested in making a set-up that uses kegs, and after talking with my future father-in-law, we were going to go to the scrap yard and pick up a few. But now that I read this post, and hear some of the hints that have been said in other posts, I'm afraid that if I do go pick up some kegs at the scrap yard, some members on here would pistol-whip me.
 

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I think it's quite admirable that you're going through so much trouble to make sure you get legal kegs. I wish it weren't such a daunting task.

For TheGAC - How can someone cyber-pistol-whip you? You actually don't have to divulge anything to anyone. I personally think the scrap yard is an acceptable place to pick one/some up IF they actually still accept them. I know for a fact our local scrap yard does not. I also wouldn't feel bad about picking one up off craigslist. You gotta make those calls about the grey areas yourself, though.
 

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wortmonger said:
ClutchDude-It is entirely too much trouble for them to help anyone out by selling a unusable keg as well.
I have to totally disagree with this statement. I contacted three local breweries here one day on a whim. Within 10mins I had responses back from all three. Two didn't have anything at the time (but do sell "retired" kegs). The third actaully has a waiting list that they had gotten completly through and had 4 kegs available to sell. I picked up 2. And beyond that I had the choice of 1/2 barrel or 1/4 barrell.

You never know till you try. But try the little guys first.
 
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Kilted Brewer said:
I have to totally disagree with this statement. I contacted three local breweries here one day on a whim. Within 10mins I had responses back from all three. Two didn't have anything at the time (but do sell "retired" kegs). The third actaully has a waiting list that they had gotten completly through and had 4 kegs available to sell. I picked up 2. And beyond that I had the choice of 1/2 barrel or 1/4 barrell.

You never know till you try. But try the little guys first.
I was talking about BMC, local breweries want to make money and they would sell you something they couldn't use anymore no problem. You think they would have time to talk to you if they were as big as BMC? Also, as I said earlier, BMC use a company like Sabco to recondition their kegs and they sell them to Sabco when they aren't worth reconditioning anymore. One more thing, if the are retired, why would you want one? They don't do what I asked for, which is hold pressure and serve beer. That is why they are retired.
 

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c.n.budz said:
So, if the company that owns the kegs tells you to just keep a keg or two and forsake your deposit, is it still stealing? *pokes hornet's nest with a stick*
I was meaning to respond to this when I saw it, but did that other question instead...

I used to be a cop for the Marine Corps... If I would have told Lance Corporal Steve that it's ok to drive 45mph on this road, even though the speed limit is 25mph... does that mean it's legal for him to drive 45mph? The answer is NO, because I do not have the authority to do so. Because Joe Smith works at the brewery, and he tells you to just keep a keg or two, still doesn't make it right. I bet if you were to talk to his boss and explain what had been said, his boss would be pretty pissed.

I'm also guessing because you put in there *pokes hornet's nest with a stick* that you weren't entirely serious about that statement. So don't ge me wrong here, I'm not trying to get all high-and-mighty on you. :D
 

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Oh, didn't catch that you were going to use them for storage/serving, I thought we were talking keggles here. My bad...
 
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TheGAC said:
I was meaning to respond to this when I saw it, but did that other question instead...

I used to be a cop for the Marine Corps... If I would have told Lance Corporal Steve that it's ok to drive 45mph on this road, even though the speed limit is 25mph... does that mean it's legal for him to drive 45mph? The answer is NO, because I do not have the authority to do so. Because Joe Smith works at the brewery, and he tells you to just keep a keg or two, still doesn't make it right. I bet if you were to talk to his boss and explain what had been said, his boss would be pretty pissed.

I'm also guessing because you put in there *pokes hornet's nest with a stick* that you weren't entirely serious about that statement. So don't ge me wrong here, I'm not trying to get all high-and-mighty on you. :D
Joe or no Joe, you put a deposit on a keg and you buy the beer from a store that doesn't own the keg. When you return the keg and get your deposit back the store still doesn't own the keg. The store wants to sell more beer so they turn it back into the distributor, who doesn't own the keg. the distributor makes sure the keg gets back to the brewery, who owns the keg! I guess we can turn this into a grey area conversation and debate it till the sun goes down, but I started the thread so someone reading it, me included, could find a GD new/used keg for use in serving beer that was purchased (and I am only going to say this one more time) legally. That means no grey area to be discussed, because it is legal! Get it? I have asked now numerously to please respond with information on the specific question on hand. If you want to debate legality there are plenty of grey area threads on keg ownership. No need to respond to this post, I am not angry at anyone, just trying to stick to what was asked. That is why I went into so much detail in the first effing post.
 

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wortmonger said:
....the distributor makes sure the keg gets back to the brewery, who owns the keg!
I understand the brewery owns the keg... doesn't mean that Joe who works there is allowed to tell you to keep the keg.

I totally get what you're saying, if he told me to keep it, I probably would and I would say, "He told me to!" to anyone who asks me why I kept it. Doesn't make it 100% right to do so though... but I'd try to twist it around to as close to 100% as I could.

If the glove doesn't FIT, you must ACQUIT!
 
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TheGAC said:
I understand the brewery owns the keg... doesn't mean that Joe who works there is allowed to tell you to keep the keg.

I totally get what you're saying, if he told me to keep it, I probably would and I would say, "He told me to!" to anyone who asks me why I kept it. Doesn't make it 100% right to do so though... but I'd try to twist it around to as close to 100% as I could.
It doesn't make it 1% right. People do it, I don't judge, but I also don't gold plate a terd by calling it something it isn't.
 

BlackenedBrew

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Hey, gotta appologise for my last post... when I looked at the post I used in my reply, the part about 'no grey area' and 'drop it if it's grey area' wasn't there. Sorry, I'll shut my hole now.
 
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Yeah, I posted prematurely, lol. It happens from time to time :) I had to put that in there, and I am kinda being a d!ck now because there are other threads discussing the grey area and they turn into a moral discussion. This is what I was trying to avoid, apparently to no avail.
 

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Hey WM,
Have you looked on Probrewer? I've seen small breweries buying and selling sankes on there. Not sure if you will find someone that will sell you just one or two though. Since you are buying from the brewery that owns them, you won't have any legality issues.
 
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TheGAC said:
It's all good... sometimes you gotta lay out the smack-down!

If I find anything on 100% legal, I'll give you a heads up Sir.
I appreciate it, and like I said I am not mad at anyone. I get off topic on a lot of threads myself, I am just trying to keep this one shorter with it still being packed with info.

Thanks for the probrewer reference, they do like to sell in bulk.

Bobby_M, no problem man. :D It takes a lot to piss me off, I was just getting frustrated.
 

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You could try putting a wtb post up on Probrewers classified section. I did that and got a couple of responses when I was looking for a 15 gallon corny.
 
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WortMonger

WortMonger

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They make 15 gallon cornies? Wow, I never would have thought. That is a good idea about the wtb post, I may have to do that.
 

AllHoppedUp

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Okay, think of it this way. The keg I bought out of that lady's barn looked like it had been there for at least 10 years. If I hadn't bought it, it would still be sitting there and may never have seen the light of day - or beer - again. I did that keg a favor . . .

Maybe I'll change my handle to KegLiberator.
 
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