The IBA is sending out a one-page note to all those working with kegs in on-trade outlets around the country, offering tips on how to work with frozen kegs.
Handling Kegs in Cold Conditions advises against storing kegs outside, even when empty.
“Store kegs on a pallet inside in ambient conditions of plus 7 degrees C,” the IBA advises.
If a keg has been left outside in temperatures below freezing or if a publican suspects that a keg’s contents may be frozen, he should avoid moving the keg as not all kegs are fitted with a safety spear to prevent spear ejection.
Kegs should not be moved until they’ve been exposed to temperatures of plus 5 degrees C for a least 12 continuous hours and should not be used at all when frozen.
“Once it has thawed, contact the brewer for advice on whether use is possible,” states the leaflet.
“After the last two very harsh winters, we met with the VFI and LVA about this and they were very supportive of this project,” commented IBA Senior Executive Stephen Lynam.