A keg “repatriation” scheme aimed at ensuring beer containers are collected swiftly from licensed outlets that stock Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) member beers is to launch on 3 January. Under the terms of the National Container Repatriation Network (NCRNet), an operator can make a request directly to SIBA to have an empty keg collected if a SIBA member has failed to collect the container. All 500+ SIBA brewers will be required to agree to NCRNet’s terms as a condition of their membership. A network of SIBA regional ‘hubs’ are to be created where member’ kegs, which will be identified by distinctive orange labels, can be stored before being collected by their owner. The ‘hubs’ will be provided by eight SIBA brewers nationwide. The scheme follows concerns that some kegs were not being ‘repatriated’ to their brewer quickly enough, leading in some cases to containers being stolen. Nick Stafford, SIBA commercial director, said: “Containers removed by the wrong person can take months to recover or disappear, putting major strain on the limited resources of small brewers and ultimately adding to the price of beer. “We are pleased that NCRNet will return containers closer to their owner. Collection should become a less onerous chore for our members.” NCRNet is supported by the British Beer & Pub Association, Kegwatch, and major beer distributors.

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