Around 2.8 Million Pints of Old Beer to be Disposed of

June 23, 2020

Wales' pubs and clubs will need to dispose of approximately 2.8 million pints of out of date beer 

Approximately 2.8 million pints of out of date beer will need to be disposed of from Wales' shut pubs and clubs, according to the Campaign for Real Ale. 

Wales' 3,500 pubs and clubs, along with cafes and restaurants, have been closed since Mar. 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Campaign for Real Ale, it is estimated that Wales' 3,500 pubs and clubs pubs have, on average, 10 barrels in their cellar at any given time. Most of this beer is in kegs containing 11 gallons each and the best-before dates on pasteurised beer, including most lagers, are usually three to four months after delivery. The best-before dates for real ales and other unpasteurized beer are usually set at six to nine weeks, according to BBC.

According to Natural Resources Wales, the beer is “highly polluting" and poses a significant environmental risk if not disposed of properly.

"Beer must not be disposed of to sewer without permission from the relevant sewerage undertaker or water company. Beer must not be disposed of to private sewage works, septic tanks or surface water drains, as this will impact the environment,” said the Natural Resources Wales spokesperson.

Welsh Water is working with businesses to agree how and when the drinks can be disposed of, according to BBC News.

"We are in the process of liaising with pubs across our operating area to see how we can work with them on the disposal of out of date beverages,” said a Welsh Water spokesman to BBC Wales. "While we are keen to support these businesses in whatever way we can, we must also ensure that any disposal into the sewerage network is done in a carefully, controlled way. This is to ensure that there is no impact on the sewerage service we provide all our other customers and also that there is no harmful impact on the environment in our care."

Some pubs have been able to sell beers as takeaway or delivery to the local community, according to Tom Stainer, Camra's chief executive.  

The UK government has temporarily allowed brewers to appoint publicans to oversee the dumping of beer, but they must keep a proper record and provide evidence, such as filming a video as proof it has been destroyed.

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