Keg Handling 101: 3 Options for Easy Moving

Written By: Greg Conner

With the popularity of craft beer and the growing number of wineries kegging their product, distributors need safe and efficient keg handling solutions.

Keg handling and storage

One of the most challenging and often times dangerous items to handle and store are beer and wine kegs. Not only are they awkward and heavy, but their round, oblong shape leads to very inefficient storage. In addition, the rapid expansion of the craft beer industry has led to a significant increase in the number of keg SKUs requiring storage. With wine makers also jumping on the keg bandwagon, the number of wines being distributed in kegs is also rising.

As more beer and wine distributors must handle kegs, it’s important to do so properly and safely. Below are a few helpful solutions for your keg handling needs.

Keg Flow

Kegs in flow rackTraditionally, kegs have been stored on pallets in conventional warehouse racking or on the floor. Not only are these kegs stored on pallets unstable and dangerous, but they often don’t maximize warehouse storage space.

An alternate to storing kegs on pallets is gravity fed keg flow. Keg flow provides dense, multi-level keg storage – up to 8 kegs deep and 8 kegs wide per 96″ bay – accommodating all keg types and sizes. Each lane can store a unique SKU with first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory rotation or last-in, first-out (LIFO) rotation as needed for push systems. Keg flow optimizes space, provides needed selectivity, while reducing travel time for increased productivity.

Budget Pricing $450-500 per storage location installed

Vacuum Lift Assist

Vacuum lift for kegsKegs result in a significant number of workplace injuries each year. However, there are tools that can significantly reduce injuries and make keg handling more ergonomic. One specific tool that can largely help reduce back injuries are vacuum lift assists. These devices employ suction to allow operators to ergonomically lift and lower kegs in a safe manner. These devices can be floor mounted and also mounted to fork trucks.

Budget Price $12,500 per vacuum lift assist

Mechanical Keg Lifts

Keg lifts and cartsAnother tool commonly used to safely raise and lower kegs are mechanical lifts. Although these devices don’t offer the flexibility and quick motion of vacuum lift assists, they do offer a simple, cost effective solution to help warehouse workers safely handle kegs.

Mechanical lifts also offer the built-in advantage of doubling as a lift and a cart – thus making transportation from a storage location to the dock a more efficient process.

Budget Price $ 1,550 per lift

Regardless of the solution you choose, it’s important the size of the kegs are accounted for. The following chart defines the latest in keg size options, including names, dimensions and weights. Refer to these specifications to define your keg flow requirements.

Keg size chart

Handling of kegs is not an easy process. Bastian Solutions is widely recognized as a leader in material handling specifically within the beverage industry. Our team has the most advanced products and application experience to help you with your specific keg handling challenges. Contact us for help with your keg and beverage handling needs.

I have been with Bastian Solutions since June of 2005, and I enjoy helping our customers find solutions to their material handling challenges. I began my career at Bastian as a Project Engineer before transitioning into a Field Sales Engineer position and now Regional Director. Being in a sales role has given me the opportunity to interact with customers while serving in various roles including business development, system design, and project management / implementation.

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