Author Topic: Going extinct?  (Read 1751 times)

Offline gsandel

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Going extinct?
« on: February 21, 2011, 09:03:34 AM »


After reading many posts and other stuff on line about corny's going extinct, I wonder if it is true.  Recently a shop near my house that deals in volumes of kegs raised their prices to match all of the LHBS after getting a shipment, stating that they were going to get harder to find, but I see mountains of them at all of the LHBS, on line, and on craigslist.  And, if I lived in Seattle, I could get them from Tom for $25.....

I understand the beverage makers are not using them anymore, or retiring them, but shouldn't that just make them more available to the homebrew trade at nearly the scrap metal value?  Lastly, is it disingenuous to say that they are scarce when you can also buy them new (at 3 times the price, however)?  I posit that they someday might become scarce, but they are nowhere near at this point, and treating them as rare precious metal and the price inflations are just plain wrong.  I also understand that once upon a time, you could get them for practically nothing, requiring nothing more than a little elbow grease.

On another note, I was at a local craft brewer and noticed that they have elected to use plastic kegs (I don't know what types of plastic)....does this mean that stainless kegs will also go away altogether eventually?  I am not worried, as how many years would it take to replace the quadzillion kegs in circulation?

Also, as canning becomes more prevalent in craft beer, will the opinion of cans improve, and will that eventually mean the end of glass bottles?  I am surprised this hasn't happened already in BMC world (it would be so much cheaper to only deal with one packaging line).  They even have cans shaped like bottles.  Again, hard to worry about these things....it would take years to make them rare.

Kind of like the gasoline powered automobile....if they stopped making them tomorrow (which they won't), how many years would it be before you couldn't find a gas station?  In fact, the reason alternative fuel vehicles are a hard sell is that there are a million gas stations that would need to convert, and they wouldn't convert until there is a majority of vehicles to serve, and there won't be a majority of vehicles to serve until there are reliable numbers (at reliable intervals) of places to fuel them.  Electric vehicles have the only real chance because you can charge them at home overnight breaking the status quo cycle somewhat.
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Offline denny

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 09:20:33 AM »
I don't know how long you've been in brewing, but compared to 10 years ago cornies are much harder to find and more expensive.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 09:22:53 AM »
I don't know how long you've been in brewing, but compared to 10 years ago cornies are much harder to find and more expensive.

+1

I just picked up a corny this past weekend for $39.99 which is relatively cheap these days.
Ron Price

Offline denny

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 09:25:48 AM »
10 years ago I could go to a soft drink distributor and buy hundreds at a time for $2-5 each.  Our club bought about 200 10 gal. cornies for $10 ea.  No way these days.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 09:47:25 AM »
My supplier (a beverage company that supplies co2 to retaurants & bars) tells me that the Cornies started getting largely phased out by the beverage industry at least 20-25  years ago.   So I'd say that used ones will indeed start to become rarer in the coming years. 
Even though the beverage industry has abandoned them, new ones are still being manufactured, but they sure are pricey!
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 10:04:29 AM »
My supplier (a beverage company that supplies co2 to retaurants & bars) tells me that the Cornies started getting largely phased out by the beverage industry at least 20-25  years ago.   So I'd say that used ones will indeed start to become rarer in the coming years. 
Even though the beverage industry has abandoned them, new ones are still being manufactured, but they sure are pricey!

so the question that comes to my mind is..... who (what industry) is buying these new cornies? certainly they aren't all being bought by homebrewers (we're too 'frugal' a bunch). if we knew what industry is using them, that might provide a source for used kegs down the road. anyone know anything about this?
Mark Tumarkin
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Offline denny

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 10:32:47 AM »
My supplier (a beverage company that supplies co2 to retaurants & bars) tells me that the Cornies started getting largely phased out by the beverage industry at least 20-25  years ago.   So I'd say that used ones will indeed start to become rarer in the coming years. 
Even though the beverage industry has abandoned them, new ones are still being manufactured, but they sure are pricey!

so the question that comes to my mind is..... who (what industry) is buying these new cornies? certainly they aren't all being bought by homebrewers (we're too 'frugal' a bunch). if we knew what industry is using them, that might provide a source for used kegs down the road. anyone know anything about this?

I read that they're largely going to China as scrap.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 11:08:49 AM »
I read that they're largely going to China as scrap.
The new ones are being made in China, not sent there as far as I know.

As for cornies being phased out, that is mostly true but there is a restaurant near work that still has a bunch of them out back.  They definitely still use them, and they can't be the only ones in the area.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 12:29:20 PM »
The soda distributors aren't using them anymore. They've been sold for scrap. I've got 16, which is probably plenty. Almost everything was much cheaper 4 years ago.

I say if you find some cheap cornies in good condition snap them up.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 01:08:22 PM »
I have 16 Ball Locks as well.  I'm hoping they will last me for the rest of my brewing lifetime. They came from here & there and were "cheap" by today's standards.  I can see why there might be a panic based on some of the prices I've seen lately.  Anyway, I'm thinking a bunch of years from now my wife or estate will be making a fortune off these 16 kegs.   :o I keep telling the wifey it's all an investment.  ::)  Cheers!!!
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Offline gsandel

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 02:07:37 PM »
Quote
I don't know how long you've been in brewing, but compared to 10 years ago cornies are much harder to find and more expensive.

I have been brewing for just shy of 20 years....kegging for 1 month.  I am just paying attention now.  Understanding that scoring a bunch of used corny's from some coke distributer or restaurant for dirt cheap is rare, the scrap steel is probably worth more than $10 per alone....but is there a shortage?  No HBS seems to ever be out of kegs to sell for between $45 and $49.  Pricey (or not depending on perspective), but not at all hard to find.  I think that this is a manufactured shortage....and if you look at any other 5 gallon stainless vessel (a basic brewpot for instance) of any quality is $30-$60 new (or over $200 with fancy pieces-parts), which used might be $15-20.  Technically, a new keg at $110 should make a used one about $55....so maybe the $50 price isn't so bad.

Tell me that the price of steel is the factor of the keg price, not shortage.
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 02:17:43 PM »
Anyway, I'm thinking a bunch of years from now my wife or estate will be making a fortune off these 16 kegs.   :o I keep telling the wifey it's all an investment.  ::)  Cheers!!!

Wow, so you mean that between my corny kegs and my collection of carboys, I'll actually have an 'estate' to leave my kids. Too cool.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 02:51:06 PM »
Anyway, I'm thinking a bunch of years from now my wife or estate will be making a fortune off these 16 kegs.   :o I keep telling the wifey it's all an investment.  ::)  Cheers!!!

Wow, so you mean that between my corny kegs and my collection of carboys, I'll actually have an 'estate' to leave my kids. Too cool.
Ohh definitely, and if you hang on to them long enough they'll be museum worthy antiques... That's where the money is....  ;)  Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline gsandel

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 04:29:58 PM »
their real value is in that they help make good beer cheaply.  :)
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

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Re: Going extinct?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 08:02:29 PM »
13 years ago I went to the Coke Distributor and got 75-80 for free!