Leuven, Belgium-based AB InBev, through its Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITEC), is introducing PureDraught, a one-way, polymer keg system that keeps beer fresher up to four times longer than a traditional steel keg and reduces the carbon footprint of shipping beer — all while offering more versatility and variety for bar and restaurant owners, it says.
Although beer delivered in a traditional steel keg still is preferred for beers produced and consumed locally or regionally, it produces a number of costly logistical and environmental issues that are magnified when shipped internationally, according to the company. First, there’s the expense of the keg itself, then shipping it to its destination via ocean vessel, locating and returning it via that same vessel months later, as well as the impact on the global carbon footprint of moving heavy steel kegs across the globe twice, it explains. Meanwhile, once the beer is tapped at its destination, the clock starts ticking on the beer’s peak freshness of seven to 10 days.
AB InBev’s GITEC division offers a solution to both problems with PureDraught. Using a custom-molded, double-walled, bottle-in-bottle polymer keg, PureDraught allows air or gas to be fed into the outer bottle, which keeps its shape and pushes the beer out of the inner bottle, the company says. This innovation prevents any air or dispense gas from touching the beer, allowing the beer to remain fresh for 30 days after being tapped instead of just a week.
Further, PureDraught comes in 6-, 12- and 18-liter sizes rather than the standard 30 liters or larger steel keg size, allowing for more flexibility and less wasted product by bar and restaurant owners, it says. The kegs can be stored and dispensed from upright or on their side on a shelf, making them more versatile.
“For a consumer, PureDraught means a fresh beer experience for up to four times longer, since the first time air or gas touches the beer is when it’s poured into their glass,” said Daniel Ingram, global director of draught capabilities at AB InBev, in a statement. “For bar or restaurant owners, PureDraught means no keg deposits, less waste, right-sized products for beers with slower turnover, more efficient storage, and no reverse logistics of returning a keg — they can simply put the used kegs in their local recycling bin, reducing the carbon footprint of the process considerably.”
Rodrigo Sozo, Vice President of AB InBev GITEC added: “PureDraught is a technology that has the potential to transform the consumer experience when enjoying draught beer: superior quality, less carbon footprint and more variety of beers on tap. This breakthrough is the result of the vision, passion, resilience and knowledge of our GITEC team — they are our greatest asset and are obsessed with transforming dreams into reality.”
There are no additional costs for a bar to use the PureDraught system or the beer in the one-way kegs, and in most markets, the system’s custom keg coupler is provided and connected to a bar’s existing beer and gas lines by AB InBev free of charge, according to the company.
Currently, PureDraught is in use with AB InBev brands in more than six countries, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China, Italy and South Korea. PureDraught will be rolling out nationwide in the United States later this year. It also debuted in Colombia and additional areas of Europe, Africa, and Japan this spring.