Clever kegs, great beer, happy drinkers
Written by Ferment
Written by Ferment
It’s hard to believe that just five years ago Kegstar was a one-man keg rental company, consisting of just 800 kegs and an excel spreadsheet – but with one big idea: make brewing good beer easy.
Fast forward to 2017 and Kegstar has offices trading in Sydney, San Diego and London. Here in the UK Kegstar manage a fleet of more than 50,000 stainless steel kegs and are now working with 10% of the UK brewers and growing fast. They issue thousands of kegs each week and have now introduced cask rental to the business. They’ve also heavily supported several craft beer industry events, complete with their trademark ping pong table. According to the digital marketing agency Hallway, Kegstar “stand out above the noise and engage with their audience in a way that leaves a lasting impression online and offline.”
– Nathan McAvoy, co-founder of Seven Bro7hers.
Kegstar aren’t your typical keg rental company; as the craft beer and cider scene continues to grow, Kegstar’s team of industry experts are simplifying the entire keg value chain with their revolutionary technology. Basically, when it comes to kegging, Kegstar have created an app for that!
Each individual stainless steel keg and cask that Kegstar rents out is etched with its own 2D matrix code and RFID tag. Using app enabled technology, the code is scanned using a smart device, allowing it to be tracked through the supply chain to the venue, creating valuable data insights along the way. All the producer has to do is fill, deliver, scan, repeat.
Kegstar’s simple solution is already benefitting some of the biggest craft breweries on the scene, including Beavertown. “At Beavertown we are really happy to be working with Kegstar,” says Logan Plant, founder of Beavertown brewery. “The service they offer is going to be key to our growth over the next few years. Our keg population is a logistical mission to keep in order at present and a major Cap Ex investment. We believe Kegstar offers an affordable way to grow our keg distribution safely and informatively. It will allow us to track where our beers are going and also work closely with our accounts to help them manage our beers and serve them as fresh as possible!”
CEO and founder of Kegstar, Adam Trippe-Smith, had this goal in mind when initially setting up this now international business. His aim was to help free up valuable time and money spent maintaining, tracking and collecting kegs and casks, something brewers now working with Kegstar have shown great appreciation for.
- Logan Plant, founder and owner of Beavertown brewery, on Kegstar.
“Kegstar showed us what they were offering and how that would completely change what was often a financial and logistical nightmare” admits Nathan McAvoy, co-founder of Manchester based brewery, Seven Bro7hers. “They showed us what they could offer that was different to what our other suppliers were giving us and we jumped on it.” He followed “...the guys at Kegstar are very cool and couldn’t be nicer and more helpful if they tried, the business branding is cool and we felt that they would fit in well with our business model.”
And the brewers aren’t the only ones who are impressed with Kegstar’s business model and app. Kegstar are now working with thousands of venues all over the UK and Ireland – a list that grows bigger by the day – wrangling up all their containers.
Much like the brewer, venue staff simply download the free app, scan their empty kegs and casks and a notification is sent to Kegstar HQ. The team of keg wranglers then arrange for these to be collected so that each keg and cask can start its cycle all over again.
Kegstar are the first to admit they still have a long way to go in developing the UK market and getting their operating model just right. However, even as you read this article there are Kegstar containers full of great beer being sent between the UK & Australia, and more European market solutions being explored among other container innovations.
You can catch up with the Kegstar team in person over the next months as they support the London Craft Beer Festival, Bristol Craft Beer Festival, Dublin Craft Beer Festival and The Great British Beer Festival.
Lagunitas is one of California’s largest and best-established craft breweries, even if it isn’t yet exactly a household name on this side of the pond.Read more
Brown ale doesn’t have the most glamorous reputation in the beer world; a traditional English style, most often found in pubs that smell of complacency or, worse still, in Newcastle.Read more
These days, barely an issue of Ferment goes by where we’re not at one craft beer festival or another. This month we're at IndyManBeerCon!Read more