Monday, 30 March 2009
The containers we use to get our beer to the pub, and from which the beer is sold are called 'casks'. They're made of stainless steel and cost a significant amount. We need a surprisingly large number of them, typically around 7 to 8 times the number of casks we sell in a week; we need a week's stock for filling, two week's stock for maturing, two week's worth in the pub and a week to get them back. Add in a week or two for flexibility and there you go, hundreds of casks, many thousands of pounds of capital.
Being stainless steel they have a variable scrap value depending on the demand so we must be vigilant keeping tabs on them. Notice the colour banding? Each brewery in the country retains their own 'population' and has them colour coded for ease of recognition. They're all individually numbered - pressed into the steel permanently. The owners name is similarly embossed round the rim, or chime. And they're bar coded and scanned where ever they go.
We still bloody lose some though so if you come across a BBQ with 3 yellow bands, do give us a shout - it's worth a beer or two!