Common Brewery Claims

I pulled this excerpt from a good article found in a newsletter I receive called Property & Casualty 360. The entire article can be found here:

If you’d like some additional information about these topics, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
-Ted Enright

1. Kegs freezing and exploding inside the walk-in cooler

Beer and the containers it is stored in need to be kept at certain temperatures, which can be regulated with temperature gauges. “In this case, the temperature gauge was old and faulty, and could've been avoided by routine refrigeration service,” explains Rheiner.

2. 200 kegs recalled because of over-carbonation

Modern brewing uses technology to regulate carbonation — but brewers still need to be attentive.

“The wrong carbonation level was chosen on the computer system and could've been prevented by paying better attention to detail,” says Rheiner.

Contract brewers want to make sure they have a contract in place with the brewery that's manufacturing their beer to determine who's liable with errors occur in the manufacturing process, he explains.

3. Bottles broken during distribution

To prevent broken bottles, Rheiner suggests using better quality packaging or even canning beer instead.

4. Bottle tops broken/chipped while opening

These claims are often caused when the wrong caps are used for certain types of bottles. Brewers should check that they are using the right caps for the bottles they are using. Again, this type of claim can be prevented by using cans.

5. Moldy beer under bottle cap because of bad sealing

Caps can seal improperly if they are defective or not the appropriate caps for a particular type of bottle. According to Rheiner, brewers can prevent mold by inspecting each bottle cap, using caps that are appropriate for the bottle they are using, or by canning the beer instead.

6. Contaminated beer because of unsanitary procedures

Brewers should have a cleaning checklist to ensure proper sanitation. Adding a supervisor to double check cleanliness of kegs is also helpful, says Rheiner.

7. Beer ruined because of power outage and temperature changes

During fermentation, beers need to be kept at certain temperatures, which vary depending on the style of beer being brewed. These temperatures can be closely regulated in fermenters. A power outage can cause a disturbance in temperatures, so Rheiner recommends having a backup generator to keep refrigerated conditions, or in extreme cases, to move beer out of fermenters before a potential storm.

8. Claims from dogs fighting at breweries

Most breweries have tasting rooms where customers can sample beers. Oftentimes with the laid-back atmosphere that comes with breweries, dogs are welcome in the establishments.

Unfortunately, Rheiner says they have seen a number of claims involving dogs. He recommends breweries implement rules to keep pets and customers safe, or ban animals from establishments altogether.

9. Workers’ compensation claims

As with any business that requires physical labor, breweries need to educate employees on the risks they face. Many craft breweries file workers’ compensation claims that result from improper lifting techniques, pinching fingers between kegs and knees banging against kegs. Rheiner recommends breweries hold safety meetings and use safety training videos provided by insurance companies.

10. Burns from the steam during the brewing process

Burns are another workers’ comp claim Rheiner sees frequently. Before fermentation, beer is boiled as its main ingredients are added. Burns can be prevented by using proper safety equipment, including wearing protective glasses, gloves, long sleeves and proper boots.