Why not own your own beer dispense equipment ??


Just read an article on this site and it seems to make a great deal of sense. The normal practice when setting up a pub or bar is to contact a brewery or wholesaler who then arranges for dispense equipment to be installed, provided that your enterprise is seen as viable. The downside of this arrangement is that you are stuck with that wholesaler or brewer and have to pay their prices. My question is this, what if I paid for my own equipment and bought my beer from who ever was the cheapest.
Thinking about this for some time I asked a contractor who came to do work at my place how much did he think it would cost to have my equipment relaced. He estimated it to be anything from £2000 to £3000 maximum. Quite a bit of money ok, but this cost could be recoved relitively quickly when you look at the cost savings on buying my beer from the cheapest supplier. Also it gives me the flexibility to change my products as and when.

As for maintenance the contractor mentioned said he could look after things no problem. Is it just me or does this seem a good idea. Does any brewery dispense contractors out there offer this service? Maybe the equipment could be leased over a period, this would still save you money. If this practice was the norm I am sure pubs and bars would not be in the declining state they are. Would this work do you think ???


  1. Well in principle the idea is great because you won’t have a loan with the brewery. The only issue I can see is that you will still need to buy from them anyway otherwise you have little or no supply chain. In practice the brewery prices are little different whether you have their kit or not because they recoup over time and it costs them much less to supply the kit. I guess it boils down to what they want to charge for a barrel. As for supply chains my experience is that they hold kegs towards their sell by date and can lack shelf life and freshness. Bookers are good but range limited to about 8-10 lines (Carl’s, Carling, Guinness peroni etc) but reasonable on price. They do deliver but you need to buy quite a bit from them. Secondhand kit is fine and EBay is awash it so don’t rule out buying from there and having you tech guy fit it for you. Dave

  2. I have experience of one landlord who did just this. He bought his own kit and would ring around the wholesalers and buy stock that had a short shelf life, beer that the wholesaler wanted rid of quickly. It got that way they would ring him. He had T bar’s and a selection of plaques and couplers and would just change these to suit.
    Also when the brewery reps came calling they new that if they wanted their brew on the bar then they would have to give this bloke their best price. He was a canny sod, but he used to drive around in a really nice Merc.
    Im not saying it would suit everyone but if i was still in the game i think I would give it a go.

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