We welcome The Steel Keg Association as the official sponsors of Bar Magazine’s Environment Award! Dan Vorlage, Executive Director of The Steel Keg Association, tells us more about the non-profit organisation and their commitment to sustainable hospitality practices, as well as why supporting the BMAs is so important to the brand.
Please tell us about The Steel Keg Association.
We’re a global, non-profit marketing organisation on a mission to shine a light on the benefits of choosing draft beer from reusable steel kegs and casks. They deliver an experience consumers can’t get at home, save billions of single-use containers from waste streams each year, and are highly efficient, providing critical economic benefits to the hospitality industry.
How are you supporting the bar industry and encouraging a better future, setting the standards high – in terms of your commitment to sustainability?
We’re helping the hospitality industry get more credit for the sustainable practices they already have built into their operations. Steel kegs and casks are the original reusable containers! If a pub, bar, or restaurant serves draft beer, they’re already doing a little good with every pint… This is a selling point pubs, bars and restaurants can leverage as they look to engage with their employees and customers in fresh, new ways.
Why is getting involved in the BMAs important to the Steel Keg Association?
Draft beer has long been a unifier for the hospitality industry. However, it’s rarely viewed for the sustainability benefits it delivers. The BMAs provide an excellent platform to raise awareness for the good we all do when we support and grow draft beer from reusable steel kegs.
In your opinion, why are sustainable practices just so important for bars to employ? And what would you say are the qualities of a bar worthy of winning the Environment Award?
Bars want to constantly reduce their environmental impact. However, given the labour, inflation, footfall, and other challenges facing the hospitality industry, it can be difficult to invest in new sustainable practices. Expanding draft beer programs, and featuring draft more prominently in employee and customer communications is a surprisingly easy step to take as it’s good for the planet and good for business. For example, we’ve seen bars rollout “Drink Draft, Save the Planet” campaigns during Earth Week, as a light-hearted way to increase footfall. Another simple way to make an impact without increasing costs is ensuring the draft beer bars order arrives in reusable steel kegs rather than difficult-to-recycle plastic kegs. Any bar can build this kind of thinking into how they operate.