The tap beer industry here in Minnesota and around the country is hopping, and many beer start-ups and craft breweries are hoping to tap into a more efficient means of storing their growing number of kegs. Because of their hefty, oblong shape, keg storage can present a serious logistical challenge to craft brewers, particularly for wholesalers and microbreweries experiencing growing pains. Fortunately, there is a solution available for such brewers. First, however, we’ll dive into a few of the unique challenges posed by kegs, so that we can better understand how to navigate them.
With the relatively rapid development of craft beer in the United States, brewers and wholesalers have had to meet consumer demand by brewing and supplying a wide array of beers.
This, of course, means additional complications when it comes to organizing and consolidating their beer inventory. Kegs are difficult enough to store without the added challenge of an increasingly diverse inventory. Breweries and wholesalers aren’t just diversifying their inventory, however, but adding to it as well, often resulting in a need for additional warehouse space.
As anyone who has spent time handling kegs knows, they are incredibly heavy and are shaped in a way that makes them difficult to store on pallets or on a traditional pallet rack system. This weight, often in excess of 100 pounds, can put a considerable strain on storage systems and brewery workers alike. Because of this, it is imperative that a keg storage system operates in a way that mitigates strenuous effort from workers, and is built to withstand an ever-present barrage of heavy metal beer barrels.
Unlike cartons, which are uniformly shaped without rounded edges and flow neatly when placed on a pallet flow rack, the keg’s weight and unique shape make storing them in a first-in, first-out flow rack particularly difficult. Kegs’ round edges mean that they won’t naturally file themselves behind one another in a rack, but will instead gather in an unorganized bunch, deflecting away from each other, and potentially off the rack itself. To add to the difficulty, kegs must be stored standing up, meaning they have an unusually high center of gravity. While cartons can often be stopped from falling off a rack by a low profile blocking mechanism, kegs must have a blocking mechanism that stops them at their higher center of gravity in order to prevent the kegs from simply tripping over the blocker and falling onto the floor.
While these challenges may seem too large a burden to overcome, this is not the case. There is, in fact, a cost-effective solution to this logistical dilemma. AK Material Handling Systems comes to the aid of brewers and wholesalers with the keg flow rack systems. In order to meet demand from a growing number of brewers, AK has been offering flow rack systems designed specifically for keg storage. Outfitted with large-diameter, high strength rollers, these flow racks are tough enough to stand up to the rigors of holding 100+ lb. kegs. In order to keep kegs organized and in line, keg storage racks are outfitted with high-strength guard rails, which ensure kegs are consolidated and filed into individual lanes. Of course, brewers and wholesalers will find themselves storing kegs of various sizes, so these lanes are fully adjustable in width.
At AK Material Handling Systems, we’ll work with you through each stage of finding a creative and effective solution to your storage problem, from consultation to installation. Using Keg Flow technology and AK Material Handling Systems’ expertise and professionalism, we’ll provide you with a cost-effective and efficient means of getting your keg inventory organized, consolidated, and more productive, making keg storage racks a wise long-term investment for you and your brewery. Get in touch with us via email at [email protected], or talk to one of our helpful sales team members at 888-722-5908.
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About AK Material Handling Systems
We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzanines, modular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908