Brew Talk — Boxcars: The Birth of Keg Management

In College Station, Texas while delivering Abita Turbo Dog “hoff stevens” kegs, Chris Sapyta was sitting at a railroad crossing watching a freight train with endless boxcars go by. He thought that beer kegs are a lot like boxcars. It is the product or liquid inside the vessel that is the most important aspect of the keg, not who owns the keg or who owns the boxcar.
The idea of MicroStar was born while Chris was a GM of a beer division of a statewide Texas wholesaler. At that time there were few local brewers in Texas, “In the 90s, to sell craft beer we had to represent brewers from all over the country and returning kegs long distances back home was a challenge,” Sapyta said, “we were fortunate to have the only microbrewery in all of Houston — St. Arnold.” So as empty kegs built up in the warehouse, there was a need to clear space and get the kegs home to California, Oregon, Colorado, Louisiana and beyond, there had to be a better way. Sapyta soon launched MicroStar Keg Management, as the first company to offer breweries an alternative to having to own their kegs.
Fast forward from 1996, today the top craft brewers still sell nationwide but most focus on local and regional sales. With the emphasis on local, most logistic challenges just do not exist for the young brewer. Thus, the industry needed a new keg company, one that offered new keg options for all brewers, and Keg Logistics was launched. Founded with the idea that brewers needed access to the highest quality kegs on the market at a fair price, Keg Logistics offers options for keg ownership, with cash flow friendly rents, empty keg return, and a pay-per-fill program for the brewer expanding sales from local to regional to a national footprint.

Keg Logistics can help you choose the right program.
If you are a brewer just starting out and only selling kegs in your taproom and local accounts, your turns are going to be fast and you should be looking at a Rent-to-own or Straight rental model, that gives you the best European keg available at a monthly rate that is cash flow friendly.
As your brewery grows, Keg Logistics grows with you. Pay-per-fill could make sense if your brewery is selling beyond your local market, keg turns have slowed, and seasonal demands are a challenge. Pay-per-fill could be the answer. Sapyta warns that pay-per-fill contracts are more complex, and the brewery needs to pay extra attention to the business terms. Do not allow for random price increases and pay attention to any onerous exit, termination or required volume clauses.
For brewers whose budget calls for new capital, consider Keg Logistics’ Sale Lease Back option to turn your current keg fleet into cash.

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