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A lot of my clients are buying steel kegs from China along with their brewhouse order. Plus, I’ve been getting more standalone keg orders recently, too.
As the price of shipping has come down drastically, as we’ve moved away Covid. The costings make sense to order kegs from China, and ship to breweries overseas.
There many keg manufacturers in China to choose from. With the best ones supply the big boys like AB InBev, Asahi, San Miguel plus, Tsingtao and Snow locally, as well.
So, the quality and safety of the kegs is there. Any type of keg/cask required can likely be ordered from China. As seen in the picture below. You can get corny kegs fabricated, also.
Kegs Spears and Safety
When it comes to keg spears/connectors, Chinese manufacturers can supply every spear type. As seen in the picture below. Plus, there are two main spear suppliers to choose from.
Micromatic – A well-known international brand based out of Denmark (more expensive)
Aobaosi – This is local Chinese made brand, which I use for my own kegs (cheaper option)
Whichever spear type you opt for, is entirely up to you. I always go with locally made spears and never had an issue. However, when it comes to keg safety. I’ll always advise to opt for kegs with safety locks.
These locks stop brewers accidently opening a pressurized keg and causing themselves harm. With the keg spear not able to shoot out, and hit them in the face.
The option to not install this safety feature exists, but I’d advise against it. Furthermore, a special tool can be purchased to allow a brewery to open these kegs, in a safe manner.
Keg Branding – Buying Steel Kegs from China
There are typically three ways for a keg manufacturer to brand kegs, which are:
Embossed and engraving – Often can be done for free when the kegs are being fabricated.
Electric Etching – Involves a certain cost per keg to have this done. Price varies from supplier-to-supplier, generally, US$ 0.5 to 1.
Keg Silk Printing and Painting – Color banding or adding unique silk printing design to make your kegs different from other breweries at a glance.
Keg Tracking – HID and Code Scanning
Furthermore, the kegs can also be fitted with HID RFID tags as seen in the image above (the blue rectangle). HID allows breweries to track their keg fleet more easily.
Furthermore, with this system you can accurately account for an entire pallet and even truck load of kegs in seconds. The HID tags are designed to reliably track inventory amidst dense field objects, including items filled with liquid.
Kegs can be manufactured in China and come ready with this system. With the tags placed on the kegs during fabrication. Likewise, QR or barcodes are also available to track kegs too.
Buying Steel Kegs from China – Ordering Process
The process of ordering kegs from China is pretty straight forward. You need to know the following:
The number of kegs required – Ideally enough to fill a container or correct number to fit on full pallets.
Sizes of kegs needed – Most breweries will have two different sizes
Spear type needed – Spear type and preferred manufacturer
The type of branding you want – Embossed, etched, silk printed or painted
Is tracking needed – Either HID tags or QR coded
Once this information is shared with the manufacturer, a quote and later invoice can be made. Usually, there’ll be two payments. Typically, 50% to be paid before fabrication and 50% before shipment. With the order officially confirmed on receiving the kegs.
Once the deposit is paid, the company will ask for you logo. If the kegs have been agreed to be etched. Usually, a PDF or AI file will be asked for. Likewise, color banding will be confirmed if you go with this option.
Depending on the time of year, kegs can take one to two-months to be fabricated. The months leading up to summer are generally busiest for keg fabricators.
In fact ordering in April/May you may need to wait longer. My go to keg supplier sold nearly 920,000 kegs and casks last year.
Shipping times depend on where you’re based, on average it’ll be:
- EU – 25 to 35-days
- US East Coast – 30 to 40 days
- US West Coast – 35 to 45 days
Then you’ll have customs clearance and inland transport to your location. Often the keg supplier can arrange shipment to your nearest port. Then you’ll have to organize pick-up from there, or use a freight forwarder instead.
Buying Steel Kegs from China – Round-Up
That’s pretty much it…
There are a number of keg manufactures in China, and knowing which one to pick can be difficult. Fabricators who can be relied to deliver quality kegs in a timely manner.
As I say I’ve helped arrange many keg buys for clients over the years. I’ve my go to supplier and a back-up, if my main fabricator is too busy.
If you want some help to source kegs in China, get in touch. My email is:
Or you can scan the relevant QR code below, to add me to your preferred network and message me directly.
Happy to have a chat about sourcing kegs and get pricing for you. Even, if you only want to get pricing to see how much it might be, and not looking to buy yet. I can get this information for you so, you have it on file.
Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great day!