‘It’s un-Australian and Heartbreaking’: Beer Dumped Due to Pub Closures

May 16, 2020
1108 Views

What's On Invers Business News Presented by and

Millions of litres of beer are being tipped down the drain in Australia as huge quantities of the liquid gold goes off in kegs.

It is news no beer lover wants to hear, but with pubs and clubs closed due to coronavirus restrictions and most not due to reopen to large numbers any time soon, the product is “starting to come up against some of its use-by dates”.

The biggest brewers are trying to repurpose the beer by putting some of it through their wastewater treatment plants, but cannot guarantee some of the product will not be simply dumped.

Beer educator and commentator Matt Kirkegaard said he has never seen the industry in such a slump.

“One of the things that we don’t really think about a lot with beer is having a shelf life, and it’s a fairly short shelf life at that,” Kirkegaard said.

“The beer that they [brewers] haven’t been able to get into consumers’ hands in other ways is probably, unfortunately, going to go down the drain. I’ve seen estimations of millions of litres.

“It seems very un-Australian and certainly heartbreaking, it’s probably even worse than a beer truck falling over on a highway!”

Situation ‘gut-wrenching’
Millions of would-be schooners have been going stale since pubs and breweries closed to drinkers when coronavirus restrictions tightened in late March.

One of the largest brewers in the nation, Lion, said the closures had been “gut-wrenching”.

Lion has credited venues for the cost of their unused kegs, which a spokesperson said has “totalled nearly $A25 million ($NZ27.02m)”.

The ABC understands about 90,000 kegs – or more than 10 million schooners of beer – will need to be emptied by the company.

It is understood the brewer will aim to put the beer into its on-site wastewater treatment plants to produce biogas, but there are no guarantees some of the product will not also just be tipped down the drain.

The country’s other major brewer, Carlton and United Breweries, is refunding its customers’ unopened kegs and providing pubs with bottles to fill beer from kegs.

A spokesperson for the company said “it’s difficult to quantify how much liquid will go to waste”.

Kirkegaard said the big brewers are better off disposing of beer now to avoid paying tax.

“There is so much money tied up in government excise that beer is actually worth more going down the drain and getting the excise back than if they hold onto it and try to sell it later,” he said.

With limited socialising, big brewers are better off disposing of beer now to avoid paying tax, a commentator says. Photo: 123RF

Wasting beer also ‘heartbreaking’ for smaller brewers
Beer wastage is a painful topic for brewer Ben Rylands, who owns the New England Brewing Company in the small town of Uralla, more than five hours north-west of Sydney.

“It either has to be dumped or sold, there’s no in-between … I’m sure a lot of the beer will end up going down the drain,” Rylands said.

“Obviously it’s financial pain, but we’re very invested in what we’re doing, so it’d be pretty heartbreaking.”

Further south in Tasmania, Will Tatchell owns Van Dieman Brewing at Evandale, just outside of Launceston, and he is feeling the pinch of the shutdown.

“One, it’s frustrating; two, it’s annoying; and three, it’s our livelihood,” Tatchell said.

He is adapting his business model by moving beer from kegs into stubbies, but that is costly because he pays an increased excise rate, as well as buying in bottles, labels, caps and cartons.

“A rough estimate, it’s probably in excess of $25,000 for the period of time that this has occurred.

“There are means and ways about it, it’s just thinking forward, thinking positively and staying ahead of the curve – pardon the pun in this situation!”

Craft beer brewers are also facing a painful situation. Photo: 123rf.com

Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.

H&J Smith The Latest Victim Of Covid-19: 175 Staff Affected
Business, News
6391 views
Business, News
6391 views

H&J Smith The Latest Victim Of Covid-19: 175 Staff Affected

News Desk - May 25, 2020

After 120 years in business, H&J Smith is planning to close or downsize all of its stores other than its…

Stuff Chief Executive Sinead Boucher Buys Company For $1
Business, News
846 views
Business, News
846 views

Stuff Chief Executive Sinead Boucher Buys Company For $1

News Desk - May 25, 2020

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1. The chief executive was…

Coworking Spaces to Reopen at Level 2
Business, Covid-19
1143 views
Business, Covid-19
1143 views

Coworking Spaces to Reopen at Level 2

News Desk - May 15, 2020

New Zealand coworking industry association, Coworking Aotearoa, is welcoming the return of coworking in Level 2, saying it will help…

Air NZ Turns Dreamliner Into Inter-Island Cargo Carrier
Business, News
1316 views
Business, News
1316 views

Air NZ Turns Dreamliner Into Inter-Island Cargo Carrier

News Desk - May 14, 2020

Air New Zealand has turned its Dreamliner into a cargo carrier. The airline said it would fly the Boeing 787-9…

Big Glory Bay Salmon Farm Expansion On Track
Business, News
1332 views
Business, News
1332 views

Big Glory Bay Salmon Farm Expansion On Track

Aimee Wilson - May 12, 2020

Big plans to expand the Sanford salmon farm in Stewart Island are underway, with the arrival of a new feed…

New School Taking Shape On Old Waikiwi Primary Site
Community, News
376 views
Community, News
376 views

New School Taking Shape On Old Waikiwi Primary Site

Aimee Wilson - May 26, 2020

New life is being breathed into the old Waikiwi Primary School site more than 16 years after it closed. Construction…

Sport Southland Announce New Board Chair
News, Sports
208 views
News, Sports
208 views

Sport Southland Announce New Board Chair

Southland Sports News - May 26, 2020

Invercargill business advisor and project manager Bevan Ellis has been appointed to chair an expanded Sport Southland Board. Ellis, who…

No New Covid Cases In NZ, Day 38 No New Cases
Covid-19, News
333 views
Covid-19, News
333 views

No New Covid Cases In NZ, Day 38 No New Cases

News Desk - May 26, 2020

There has now only been three new cases in the past 14 days. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said…

Will Home Improvements Be Safe Under New Exemptions?
News, Property
542 views
News, Property
542 views

Will Home Improvements Be Safe Under New Exemptions?

Aimee Wilson - May 26, 2020

Get your hammers out and get building - home improvements no longer need a consent as the Minister for Building…

The Week in Review
News, Politics
370 views
News, Politics
370 views

The Week in Review

Aimee Wilson - May 26, 2020

Well the National Party definitely stole the limelight this week - with the ousting of Simon Bridges, a new party…