Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Keg o' My Heart

The latest victim of rising scrap metal prices:

... beer makers say they expect to lose hundreds of thousands of kegs and millions of dollars this year as those stainless-steel holders of brew are stolen and sold for scrap.

....The Beer Institute, the industry's main trade group, noticed the problem as more brewers reported missing kegs, resulting in an annual industrywide loss of as much as $50 million, said Jeff Becker, the group's president.

....Some average keg-buying customers opt to forgo their deposits, which can sometimes range from $10 to $30, because they can cover that expense, and then some, if they sell to scrap dealers.

....The Beer Institute supports legislation in states that require scrap-metal buyers to ask for identification from would-be sellers of kegs, among other items. Ten states so far this year have passed such laws.

Another option is to raise keg deposits, which are set by either states, brewers or distributors and wholesalers.

....But Becker said raising deposits is a last resort, because it could deter drinkers.

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