Approaching four years in business, Kegstar is gradually streamlining the world of draught – not just craft – beer in Australia and now overseas.
Kegstar was the brainchild of Adam Trippe-Smith – one of the original founders of the award-winning McLaren Vale Beers. Trippe-Smith understood the logistical challenges of draught and kegs, particularly in a geographically far-flung country such as Australia.
The principle is based in the sharing of (keg) assets. Breweries rent them as required and send to venues. Kegstar tracks them using RFID chips, picks them up and sends them to the next brewery, eliminating wasted trips home and centralising their collection.
Not having to invest in enough kegs to service peak times, with unused inventory idle at quieter times of the year, frees capital for the breweries to concentrate on making beer. Data from tracking the kegs’ movements is helping breweries make better decisions on production and distribution.
Having one owner of kegs saves venues dealing with multiple parties to notify and pick up empties.
Celebrating its third birthday last December, Kegstar calculated it has saved 43 million empty keg kilometres. This was with an inventory of 35,000 kegs.
Nearing the end of year four, with a fleet now approaching 100,000 kegs including operations in New Zealand and the UK, Kegstar is eyeing a much larger number of saved kilometres, and targets across the Pacific.
“It’s no secret that the US is the next challenge, and with a total of 4,400 breweries, with more added daily, there is a large opportunity,” Joe Cook, Kegstar GM – Business Innovation & Growth (BIG) told PubTIC.
In mid-2014, logistics giant Brambles made a significant investment in Kegstar, facilitating its growth into an international player in keg management. Cook was the company’s first employee, and has advanced to now be heading up global keg procurement, technology and new markets.
“Any Kegstar keg can be sent to any market in which we operate; this is proving to be a big drawcard to bigger breweries with international distribution.”