Budweiser Budvar is launching non-returnable KeyKeg barrels on the market
Budweiser Budvar Brewery is launching 20 and 30 litre non-returnable beer barrels of the KeyKeg system on the market. They represent a radical technological novelty in the field of packing and distributing draught beer. In the case of non-returnable kegs the financially, administratively and time-wise demanding transport of the packaging back from the salesman to the brewery need not take place. Furthermore, the KeyKeg is also significantly lighter than a regular stainless steel keg, as with the 20 litre keg the weight of an empty packaging comes to 1kg while the regular stainless steel keg weighs 9kg. The KeyKeg thus in addition protects the environment, since it decreases the fuel consumption for transporting beer/empty packaging. Moreover, it is made of fully recyclable materials.
“From our as well as the customer’s point of view, the most important fact nonetheless is that the KeyKeg can keep the microbiological and sensory stability of beer in the same way as the regular stainless steel keg,“ says Budweiser Budvar’s maltster Adam Brož, Ph.D. The KeyKeg system works on the same principle as the popular beer tanks. The beer is filled into the inside sterile capsule made of a special multilayer foil, which is completely gas-proof. During the drawing, the compressed gas never comes in direct contact with the beer, but only compresses the inside casing with the beer.
Budweiser Budvar is going to use the non-returnable KeyKeg barrels only as a strategic tool to develop its global export. The brewery anticipates no supplies of beer in such a type of packaging to the local market as yet. “The first consignment of 384 non-returnable kegs KeyKeg has been despatched to Russia this week,” says Budweiser Budvar’s export sales manager Renata Pánková. “By no means do we want to fully replace returnable kegs by KeyKeg barrels. We see the major potential of the non-returnable kegs in remote territories or in places where the secondary distribution of returnable packaging is either expensive or complicated. The interest in the KeyKeg has already been indicated by our partners in China, Australia, Greece and Cyprus,” adds Renata Pánková. Budweiser Budvar anticipates selling only in Russia over 6,000 KeyKeg barrels this year.