Ironbridge Brewery in Shropshire, UK, has teamed up with Petainer, the specialist plastics packaging technology business, to help it win new business.
The Telford-based microbrewery is to supply a new high-quality English lager in lightweight, recyclable Petainer Kegs. The brewery is targeting sales in the keg beer market through mail order deliveries.
Petainer Kegs manufactured in PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) have been chosen because they are more environmentally-friendly, lighter and less expensive than conventional metal kegs. They are ideal for the mail order business because they do not need to be returned to the brewery when empty – they can simply be crushed and put into the normal plastics recycling system.
Ironbridge uses traditional brewing methods to produce beers and lagers in casks, bottles, mini casks, polypins and now plastic kegs.
The company is offering its new high-quality Ironbridge Craft Gold – a 4.3 per cent alcohol continental-style lager – in 20-litre Petainer PET kegs.
Owner David Goldingay said: “This is a first for a start-up keg beer operation in the UK. The Petainer Keg provides us with a low-cost container to compete against national producers.
“Petainer is a reliable supplier which delivers a quality product. Tests have demonstrated that the PET keg will ensure the Ironbridge lager will reach consumers in the best possible condition. We are confident that the shelf life for this product will be even better than for our cask ales.”
David Goldingay said the plastic keg was chosen because of its cost, quality and reliability. “The Petainer Keg is a more cost-effective and sustainable package for start-up production of draught products.
“With lower energy and production costs, and no fleet of kegs or return logistics to worry about, these PET kegs are considerably less expensive than metal containers.
“No internal cleaning of the kegs is required so hygiene standards are always assured. Disposal of the empty kegs into the recycling stream also saves on administration and logistics.”
Petainer Kegs are available in four sizes – 15, 20, 30 and 40 litres. They are designed for one-way use and have low-cost Micro Matic-compatible fittings which allow the containers to be connected to existing standard tapping systems.
In comparison with metal containers, Petainer Kegs offer substantial benefits to breweries, fillers and other users. These include lower costs and lower environmental impacts.
Petainer Kegs can be supplied either as complete, ready-to-fill containers or as preforms which are blown to full size on or near the site where they are filled. This further reduces their environmental impact and gives them a clear advantage over metal kegs and other plastic formats.
Andy Carter, Petainer’s regional sales director for the UK and Ireland, said: “Companies like Ironbridge recognise that these lightweight, one-way PET containers open up new channels and market opportunities. Using Petainer Kegs makes it practical and economical to expand into business sectors and markets which would not be feasible with metal kegs.
“Apart from providing a step change in environmental performance they offer businesses compelling logistical and economic benefits.
“In terms of saving money, raising value, improving carbon footprint and safeguarding taste and quality these revolutionary PET kegs offer 100 per cent better business.”