Did you know there are currently 2,031 breweries in the United States? That’s up by 1,983 breweries in the last 30 years. Amongst them, the craft beer industry is one of the fastest growing segments with 97% fitting the Brewer’s Association’s small and independent craft brewer definition, and representing 10.2% of American overall beer sales.
What is Craft Beer? According to the Brewer’s Association, craft beer is small, independent, and traditional. Small translates to an annual production of six million barrels or less; independent means the brewery cannot be owned by a larger alcohol entity that is not a craft brewer (or ownership needs to be 25% or less); and traditional, according to the Brewers Association “a brewer who has either an all-malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50 percent of its volume in either all-malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.”
Craft beer, as its name suggests, appeals to the creativity and passion of the brewer, as well as the complexity and versatility of the fermented beverage. Craft beer has been described as “10 minutes of pleasure,” “pure happiness in a glass,” “authentic,” and even an “intellectual beverage”, all in moderation.
This industry has its fair share of success and challenges. Passionate beer lovers supporting their local breweries have fueled its growth in the United States and elsewhere in the world. One of the industry challenges involves handling of the “sixers” or smaller 5-gallon kegs. Craft beer patrons tend to like their beer “on tap” or drought. The smaller size allows breweries and other places serving craft beers to offer more flavors and brands of craft beers. Bluff worked with North American Handling to devise a solution for easy handling of the kegs based on the simple law of gravity (move over, Newton).
Bluff Manufacturing’s Keg Flow Rack is the optimal storage and handling solution for “sixers” and different keg sizes. It’s the best solution for craft beers because it allows storage of a variety of beers and smaller kegs. It’s flexible, durable and maintenance-free! Because the Keg Flow Racks sit at an angle – with an elevated rear and front sloping downward, gravity does the rest, and employees have easy access to the kegs at the front of the rack. As soon as the front-most keg or “sixer” is picked, the next one rolls down and replaces it. Pallet racks up to 60” deep can even be front loaded allowing the rack to be pushed up against a wall to create additional space.
We have been selling the units through North American Material Handling and will be showcasing them at the 76th National Beer Wholesalers Association convention and trade show in Las Vegas on October 1– October 2nd, 2013 at booth #619. If you are in town, drop by or contact Bluff for information about this great unique product that creates storage and efficiency while providing an ergonomic solution to picking sixer kegs.