Saturday, February 18, 2012

River-Weary Beer Keg Home at Last

The tired and beat-up looking beer keg found in the Sudbury River on February 10th is finally home.  It was delivered to the Anheuser-Busch facility in Medford, MA (photo at left) this past Wednesday, ending what, most likely, was a long and interesting odyssey: possibly filled with beer at the Anheuser-Busch brewery near the Merrimack River in New Hampshire; found floating in the Sudbury River in Wayland, MA; returned to Anheuser-Busch at their facility near the Mystic River in Medford, MA.
Unlike most of the beverage containers I find in the river, this one's owner actually wanted it back despite its integrity having been compromised.  By that I mean the 15.5-gallon keg was found nearly full of river water and there were three cracks in the stainless-steel shell.  It took six days to thaw and drain the majority of water out of the keg. (Note: Freezing temperatures slowed draining process as keg was not allowed in house.) 

Here is a photo of the keg in question...
The date stamp on the container indicated it was manufactured in 1984.  That leaves me to wonder just how long kegs are kept in service and consequently how many gallons of beer a keg may convey over the course of its useful life.

I knew very little of "kegology" before finding this keg.  Since adopting it, I found out the following:
  • A 15.5 gallon keg contains enough beer to fill 168 12-ounce cans or bottles
  • It weighs 160 lbs when full and 30 lbs when empty
  • There is no easy way to get liquid out other than displacing it with air or gas
  • New kegs can cost breweries as much as $ 150
  • Deposits on kegs can run anywhere from $ 30 to the full cost of the keg
  • Kegs, both full or empty, are the property of the brewery
  • Kegerators are used both commercially and residentially to keep kegs cold
  • Kegs are the ultimate re-usable container
  • Beer kegs were once made of wood, such as the ones delivered by the Three Stooges for the Panther Brewing Company

Thanks to Anheuser-Busch Customer Relationship Group and August A Busch Co. of Massachusetts for their help in properly disposing of the beer keg.


BERNIE said...

Just what we do need. More companies using multiple use re-use containers and accepting the containers (packaging) back for re-use or recycling.
I remember when bar bottles were washed and refilled. Don't think they are used more than once any longer.

BERNIE said...

No empty kegs on your street? You can always redeem this CLEAN UP COUPON @


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