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Am I too concerned about this?

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  • Am I too concerned about this?

    I bought some used kegs from Brewery. They arrived. The majority are spray painted with the name of Brewery but also embossed with other breweries' names. This post isn't about shaming or naming so I'm not going to mention who the spray paint is. Let's call it "Beerco."
    So I have Ballast Point kegs spray pained Beerco, Paulaner and a bunch of others. I'm concerned about using them with my company.

    A) If I saw them in use I'd wonder if my company stole them.
    B) Even if that is not a worry I'd worry that distributor reps would return these kegs to the brewer with the embossed name.

    Do you share my concerns?
    Mostly wondering if I'm over reacting.
    Chief Fermentation Officer
    Oregon Mead & Cider Co.

  • #2
    I have some kegs that are on their fourth brewery now, it's not unusual. Technically the old owner should de-brand it before sale, but nobody does.
    • If it's got an old wrap of keg tape or a sticker, peel that sucker off. Propane torch can be helpful.
    • If it's been spray painted with someone's logo, just paint over it.
    • If it's embossed, it's a bit trickier. I've seen people TIG weld a pattern over it to obscure the old embossing. Maybe you could use an angle grinder to obscure it.
    • If it's an old black german 50L poly, most people just leave the old 'Koenig Brau' or whatever painted on the top (going to be covered by a keg collar anyway) and keg tape or spray your own logo over the one on the side.
    Russell Everett
    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
    Bainbridge Island Brewing
    Bainbridge Island, WA


    • #3
      It never occurred to me that the lettering on top of those black 50L was another brewery. I just never thought about it. Does anyone NOT have at least a few of those black 50L Kegs?
      Justin Crawford
      Head Brewer
      Valholl Brewing Co. LLC
      Poulsbo, Washington


      • #4
        remove other brands

        i don't think you are being overly concerned here. There is a potential legal issue with your kegs having another brewers name on them. The TTB could see this as misbranding. Imagine you take a bottle that has another brewers name embossed (blown into the glass) on it and you recycle it and put your paper label on it, no different than the keg situation you are describing. Here is the legal reference from title 27:

        7.21 Misbranding.
        Malt beverages in containers shall be deemed to be misbranded:

        (a) If the container fails to bear on it a brand label (or a brand label and other permitted labels) containing the mandatory label information as required by 7.20 through 7.29 and conforming to the general requirements specified in this part.

        (b) If the container, cap, or any label on the container, or any carton, case, or other covering of the container used for sale at retail, or any written, printed, graphic, or other matter accompanying the container to the consumer buyer contains any statement, design, device, or graphic, pictorial, or emblematic representation that is prohibited by 7.20 through 7.29.

        (c) If the container has blown, branded, or burned therein the name or other distinguishing mark of any person engaged in business as a brewer, wholesaler, bottler, or importer, of malt beverages, or of any other person, except the person whose name is required to appear on the brand label.
        Luch Scremin
        Engine 15 Brewing Co.
        luch at engine15 dot com


        • #5
          Luch, thanks! I was worried about Paulaner, or Blue Point or whomever thinking I have stolen kegs that belonged to them. I wasn't focused on the mis-branding aspect at all.

          End of the day - the kegs are much, much more beat up than I expected from the photo and appear to have huge amounts of beer stone in them. Adding time to grind off names makes them uneconomical. I'll call it lesson learned. I'm going to recycle them to recover a bit of my money, count this as a learning experience and move on.

          Thanks for your input. Always a good day when you learn something!
          Chief Fermentation Officer
          Oregon Mead & Cider Co.


          • #6
            When I sold kegs with any other brewers name on the chimes I was asked to provide a bill of sale from my purchase of said kegs which I did. Your situation sounds sketchy, I would ask the seller for a bill of sale for the kegs you bought from him.
            Joel Halbleib
            Partner / Zymurgist
            Hive and Barrel Meadery
            6302 Old La Grange Rd
            Crestwood, KY


            • #7
              I don't know how it is in your state. But I'm pretty sure that in CA its not illegal to scrap a keg unless it comes from the brewery on the chime. If I remember correctly the state law here also says you can't sell kegs to another party without removing/making the chime unreadable.
              Don't quote me on that though, I haven't bought any used kegs in quite some time.


              • #8
                Your local home brewing community may pay more for kegs to convert to brew systems than you might get for them as scrap. Might be worth the effort to connect with a few of the larger clubs in your area. https://www.homebrewersassociation.o...homebrew-club/

                I would still seek a bill of sale from the seller.


                • #9
                  I've bought/traded/received a handful of old kegs from my distributor that seem sketchy to me as well. Currently I'm using them within the brewery/tap room and I've sold off a handful to homebrewers. I too am nervous about sending them out.

                  And what is it with used Major Brand kegs and the *massive* amount of beer stone?? I've been flogging my kegs for three years now and they are shiny and clean inside...
                  Justin Smith

                  President & Business Development
                  Ten Sleep Brewing Co., Inc.
                  2549B Highway 16
                  PO Box 406
                  Ten Sleep, WY 82442