With restaurants, bars, and tap rooms closed for the foreseeable future, it is likely beer products will age beyond the desired consumption date and will need to be destroyed. Because brewers need to understand products cannot simply be dumped down the drain, several Tennessee-based companies including Keg Hounds, Blefa Kegs, and A Head For Profits have put together a checklist and resource guide of how to go about this process in an environmentally responsible manner.
Here are some guidelines:
· Regulations for beer disposal are site and county specific. Always check with local authorities before disposing of beer in the wastewater system.
· Federal guidelines prohibit dumping any liquid with a pH lower than 5.
· Local regulations may require a higher pH. For example, in Knoxville, TN the lowest allowable pH is 5.5.
· According to recent lab results of decanted kegs from Blefa Kegs, who services hundreds of thousands of damaged kegs per year, the average pH of the beers they dispose of (all styles), is 7.3, and the average BOD is 71,300 mg/L.
· Lab results from other craft breweries suggest beer from many craft brewers has a pH of 4.5.
· In some cases, brewers must provide documentation that disposed liquid was treated.
Additionally, compliance contacts for large Tennessee markets are:
· Nashville/Davidson County- Andrew Welch, (615) 862-4590, email@example.com
· Knoxville/Knox County- Leslie Glover, (865) 594-8285, firstname.lastname@example.org
· Memphis/Shelby County- Tasha King-Davis, (901) 636-4340, email@example.com
· Chattanooga/Hamilton County- Rick Tate, (423) 643-7464, rtate@chattanooga,gov
· Brewers in more rural areas should reach out to the utility company listed on their local sewer bill
· Brewers wishing to have product destroyed for them, contact Justin Willenbrink at Blefa Kegs, (615) 267-1385, firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Establishments needing taproom lines cleaned, contact Jeff Walton at A Head For Profits, (615) 828-6330, email@example.com.
· Brewers needing to track destroyed beer for tax and compliance purposes, or use this slow-down in sales to find out how many kegs they have, contact Mark Carpenter at Keg Hounds, (615) 485-1722, firstname.lastname@example.org. These services will be provided free of charge for a limited time.