It’s been awhile, but I’m back. Bigger and better than ever. Well, maybe not better, but certainly sporting a few extra pounds.
This posting is really important. Why? Because an era of home brewing is ending. As far back as anyone can remember, we as home brewers have recycled old Pepsi and Cocoa Cola product tanks as keg vessels for our precious home brew. That time has now come to an end.
From this day forward, the only product tanks that will be available will be bright and shiny new. No more recycling old kegs in the interest of good beer. They are all gone. Gone forever.
How does this change things? For starters; the new are going to cost considerably more. A used keg was selling from $50 to $60. The new ones sell for $130. For someone wanting to get started kegging, the change will be glaring. The price of the system will jump $80 by inserting a new keg in lieu of the used one.
The soda industry started switching to a disposable method of dispensing its beverages about twenty years ago. Over that period of time, they have discarded our ever valuable product tanks in favor of a bag system. Instead of refilling a keg, the bag which is secured inside a box as a unit, is simply removed and tossed out.
The home brewing industry has been the beneficiary of this transitional change the entire time. But there are only so many kegs and over the years they have been grabbed up to the point of extinction. What didn’t fall to the home brewers have been sold overseas or sold as scrap and crushed. Now they’re all gone.
Because our soda industry has not had any need for product tanks, American manufacturers ceased producing them a long time ago. However, new ones are being manufactured in Italy. These are the product tanks of our future, if we plan on continuing to keg our beer.
It’s a brave new world. Not only has the vessel itself jumped from $50 to $130, a new kegging system will rise from $219.95 to $299.95. Kirk’s Brew will stock new product tanks in all three sizes. Available are a 2.5 gallon for $110, a 3 gallon size for $120 and the 5 gallon for $130. While collecting more dollars at each ring of the register, Kirk’s Brew will actually put less toward the bottom line than before.
A brave new world indeed.
The good news is that we’ll still be able to keg our liquid gold.