Friday, July 20, 2007

Brewers Association, other industry groups addressing keg theft.

I'm not in the habit of cutting and pasting, but the dispatch below from Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, is of topical interest.

It pertains to recent grievous losses of kegs at all levels of the beer business. Of course, we know that the current price of items like kegs is governed by increased demand for metals of all alloys and stripes, especially in exploding economies like China's, and that fact in turn has sent demand for scrap metal soaring. recently had this to say on the keg theft problem:

The brewing industry is pushing for legislation that would require scrapmetal recyclers to ask for identification and proof of ownership fromwould-be sellers of stolen kegs. The Beer Institute noticed the problem inthe past few years as it saw more brewers reporting missing kegs, resultingin loss of up to $50 million a year, said Jeff Becker, president of the BeerInstitute. "It really got people's attention because that's a significantflow of our kegs that we'll never see again," Becker said. "We know some of it's very innocent but some of it's not."

Speaking only for myself, I appreciate that the BA has been working with scrap metal dealers and recyclers, who've been abetting this thievery for far too long.


From: Paul Gatza
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 8:29 AM
Subject: Keg Deposit Posts

Hi All,

We have had to reject several Brewers Association Forum posts in the last few weeks that have commented on or asked questions on altering keg deposit prices as a means of addressing the larger issue of keg loss. Deposit pricing is not a topic available for discussion, as any collective attempt to alter pricing, whether it be for beer or for keg deposits would be an anti-competitive activity aimed at fixing prices. I know that this subject is one of great frustration for many of you. There are a great many activities that are appropriate for a trade association, such as surveying and disseminating the results, and promoting a particular industry. This topic is one where we must tread very carefully, so that the trade association is in compliance with law.

That said, there are some activities related to keg deposits that we are working on. The Brewers Association technical committee has approved that the Brewers Association work with Beer Institute and ISRI (scrap dealers association) on a publicity campaign targeted at scrap dealers including trade publication advertisement and posters made available to scrap dealers stating that kegs are stolen property if they are not delivered by a company representative of the company whose name is on the keg. As long as we do not suggest specific keg deposit pricing, there is the possibility to pursue something such as development of sample state legislation. There may be a role for the PR and marketing committee on a proactive public awareness campaign. There has been some activity on stolen metal and keg deposits in several states this year.

Thanks. I'll keep you posted on further developments.

Paul Gatza, Director
Brewers Association
Boulder, Colorado

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