Keg storage, or keg flow, is a guided gravity flow storage solution designed to store beverage kegs. This unique storage design facilitates FILO (first-in, last-out) and FIFO (first-in, first-out) configurations. Keg rack storage improves stock rotation and density for an unusually odd-shaped, hard-to-store product. 

Keg storage solutions have met new demand due to the rapid expansion of the craft beer industry and the growing number of SKUs stored in wholesale warehouses and breweries nationwide. Companies that integrate keg storage in their keg coolers can reduce pick times by up to 50% vs. floor stacking kegs on pallets.

Contact one of the rack systems specialists in our design group to learn even more about keg flow racking. We can provide the materials, consultation, warehouse layout design, installation, and expertise needed to integrate a keg flow rack system into your operations.

Call 800-722-5908 or hit the button below to complete an online quote form!

keg flow storage racking

What is Keg Flow and How Does It Work?

keg storage

Keg racks consist of guided steel roller tracks that integrate seamlessly into roll-formed or structural pallet rack bays. Keg storage keeps kegs tight and upright, increasing storage density by up to 200% and reducing picking time and errors.

For FIFO configurations, kegs are loaded from a designated loading aisle into the proper-width rows and pulled down the roller track via gravity to the pick face. This configuration is similar to pallet flow and requires a stop beam, impact plate, and/or skid plate at the pick face.

For FILO configurations, front loading occurs at the pick face. Operators push kegs back into the lane, functioning more like pushback racking

Standard 96” wide keg shelves facilitate up to eight lanes of brew inventory, storing 1-6 kegs per lane. Beer racking systems may need to hold various keg sizes. Designers can configure keg flow lanes for all the most common keg sizes, including:

  • Home brew (9”)
  • Sixth barrel (9-¼”)
  • Slim barrel (11-⅛”)
  • Quarter barrel (16-⅛”)
  • Half barrel (16-⅛”)

Keg Flow Components

  • Racking Structure: The pallet rack structure is the framework that supports keg flow. Roll-formed or heavy-duty structural upright frames and horizontal beams comprise the racking structure.
  • Inclined Shelves or Rollers: Like carton flow, keg flow lanes may utilize inclined shelves or roller systems. Common roller types include polyethylene, steel, or plastic-coated non-marring rollers. Certain drop-in tracks are designed to fit any beam, channel, or step without hangers.
  • Adjustable Rails: Some keg systems utilize adjustable rails to accommodate different-sized kegs. 
  • Dividers: Vertical dividers create a distinct separation between keg lanes and keep kegs upright to maintain safety and organization.
  • Stop Beams: Keg storage with a FIFO configuration requires an end stop or stop beam at the bottom of the lane to prevent kegs from falling off the system. 
  • Brake Mechanisms: Some keg flow lanes require brake mechanisms spaced throughout the roller track to control the product flow speed.
  • Labels and Identification: Labels help keep keg warehouses neat and organized and increase order-picking speed.
  • Safety Components: Components like end stops, brakes, column protection, and additional bracing contribute to a safe and functional beer rack system.

“We team up with beer wholesalers to tackle the challenges of adding more product varieties (SKUs) to their warehouses. The big issue is that using the same daily routines and picking methods becomes tricky with a larger inventory. Warehouse managers need to decide whether to make their warehouses bigger or find smarter ways to use the space they have. This is where AK Material Handling partners with beer wholesalers to work together on these challenges. We suggest changing how the warehouse is set up and how items are picked, taking inspiration from efficient practices used by grocery distributors. The goal is to make warehouse operations more effective and keep up with the changing demands of the industry.”

Pete Brandon, Warehouse Design Specialist -Pete Brandon: Design Specialist, AK Material Handling

Advantages of Keg Flow

  • Versatile: Keg flow can be a FILO or FIFO system, depending on your needs. It integrates seamlessly with pallet racking or pushback pallet racks to form a combination system.
  • Durable: Beer racking systems are built with high-quality structural or roll-formed steel. The high-strength rollers are durable and do not damage aluminum kegs.
  • Space Optimization: Keg storage rack increases keg warehouse capacity by up to 200%, helping to organize and maximize storage space.
  • Customizable: Beer keg storage facilitates a variety of keg sizes, from slim kegs to quarter keg sizes, to half barrel kegs, and everything in between. Work with a design expert to customize your keg racks.
  • Efficient: Implementing keg shelves reduces order picking travel time, improving overall efficiency and productivity.
  • Cost-Effective: Time and labor savings are just some of the long-term benefits of keg flow. Additional space and efficiency bring other significant cost savings.
  • Adjustable: Some keg flow racking is adjustable, so facilities can expand or change keg quantities or sizes.

Keg Storage Manufacturers

We partner with various quality-focused keg flow manufacturers. See a few of our partners below and contact us for a keg flow systems quote!

  • Mallard Manufacturing
  • UNEX 
  • Steel King Industries

Keg Flow Applications

  • Breweries

  • Beverage distribution centers

  • Bars and pubs

  • Events and catering services

  • Retail stores and supermarkets

  • Cold storage facilities

How Much Does Keg Flow Cost?

Keg flow is typically priced per lane. Because each lane is designed and tested for a specific keg size and weight, it may look different than the lanes directly surrounding it. On average, keg flow racking systems cost $400-$500 per 8’ lane. 

To inquire about keg storage for your facility, call 800-722-5908 or complete an online quote form today! We look forward to helping you design and install a custom keg rack for your needs.

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