How does ullaging lost beer work?

A note on duty and manual adjustments

The duty for a sale doesn’t become liable until the beer leaves the brewery (usually for delivery), so producing beer and manually increasing stock levels will never trigger any duty liability. This also in turn means that a reclaim is only needed if the beer was delivered before it was “lost” (for whatever reason).

If you reduce your stock levels using a manual stock adjustment (or stock take), and this reduces stock where duty has already been paid (e.g. it was previously returned from a customer), then this might trigger a duty reclaim. For casks/kegs, this will be done if you pick a specific tracked container that’s been returned. For other items where specific units are not tracked (by you - we track everything behind the scenes), Breww will look first for items where duty has been paid already and put in a reclaim for these (if there are any) before it looks at items where duty hasn’t been paid yet.

Ullaging lost beer

To make an ullage, when the beer is lost having previously left the brewery for a customer, you should use one of the ullage tools in Breww so that Breww can track this for you and save you time. When using an ullage tool, Breww will ensure the duty return is correctly updated automatically. This can be done in a couple of ways:

  1. Go to ContainersActions & toolsUllage a container, find the customer, and mark the correct container as ullaged.
  2. If you’re making a container collection, it’s usually easiest to go to the customer, then Containers in trade & uplift orders tab and raise an Uplift order. This uplift order will be scheduled into a date and can be added to a delivery run. The driver can then confirm the collection of the containers and which (if any) are needing to be ullaged (along with the ullage volume in Litres).

If you sell a container of beer to a customer (and deliver it to them), then the duty will be added to your return for this. If they then return the beer for some reason, but it’s not actually lost and can be re-sold, you should use the Return items button on the original delivery. This will bring the container back into Breww still full of beer so that it can be resold. At this point, as per HMRC’s rules, the duty cannot be reclaimed but Breww knows you have already paid duty on this container so when it is subsequently delivered to another customer, Breww will not add it to your duty return again. If in the event that it’s not resold and instead is subsequently ullaged, Breww will reclaim the duty for you, so either way you shouldn’t lose out on the duty.

Ullaging beer sold before switching to Breww

If you sold some beer before using Breww and this now needs to be ullaged, Breww’s ullage tool won’t be able to handle this (as it doesn’t know about the original sale). In this case, your best option is to make a manual adjustment to your duty return. For more info on this please see the “Notes & manual adjustment” section of 📘 Introduction to beer duty

Admittedly I have not looked into this just yet, but is it as easy to ullage part of a container, rather than a full one?

Yes, in both methods, Breww will ask you for how many Litres need to be ullaged.

You can also add your own “inspection” comments and customer comments if you’d like to record these details in case you ever need to look back at them.

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A post was split to a new topic: Allow ullaging from the mobile app container scanning

I’ve logged an ullage against a customer but the page states there are no containers out in trade with this customer so I am unable to select any containers to ullage. Any ideas where we’re going wrong please?

EDIT - I was mistaken; you can actually ullage non-returnable containers. Apologies! It’s only smallpack (bottles/cans) that can’t be ullaged. Go to Containers > Actions & tools > Ullage a container, and you should see your returnables and non-returnables there. The containers in trade will only show returnables, however.

The ullage and ‘containers in trade’ tools are specifically for returnable containers. Is the container you’re trying to ullage a ‘non-returnable’ keg or similar? Smallpack can be returned from the delivery’s page and destroyed using a ‘Stock adjustment’ from the product’s page. If you’re still unsure, please could you open a support ticket and let us know the order number and container so we can look into this for you?


Ohhh that makes sense, thank you!

Apologies! I made a mistake in my previous post, please see the edit above!

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Awesome, thanks Matt! And no worries :slight_smile:

We’re still having issues with getting the ullage process correct, we’ve raised several uplifts and selected ullage, but when the cask is returned to the brewery and return scanned it is just seemingly getting marked as emptied along with all the others and doesn’t appear on the duty return?
Firstly is there a way for me to reverse this and have the cask properly ullaged?

How is the ullage cask meant to be be handled differently by the dray using the app / brew floor team?
Sometimes they don’t even know it was ullage as if the keystone has popped, or had to be emptied at venue it could be just like any other empty.
Obviously when it comes back full the brew team test it to see if there is an issue etc so can let the sales staff know but can anyone elaborate on how in Breww they ensure that after the ullage has been requested uplift they ensure it is actually formally ullaged not just emptied.

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Hey Claire,

Just wanted to go over a few things regarding the uplifts and ullages process. When you create an uplift as an ullage, it’s convenient because it gets added to the delivery run. However, there’s an important point to note: you can’t scan ullages back in using the containers function on the app. The containers function is mainly for returns and moving containers, not completing ullages.

So here’s how you can process an ullage from an uplift. Depending on how you use the app, the flow may vary. I suggest arranging the uplift as an ullage and assigning it to a delivery run. When your dray goes to the delivery location they can select “manage” for the uplift on that run, they will then see a pop-up message saying that the Breww mobile app doesn’t currently support uplifts natively. They’ll be redirected to the web-based version of Breww (shown below) for handling the uplift. They can mark it as complete there, including providing ullage details, inspection notes if you want them to, and the amount to ullage. Keep in mind that if you prefer your dray not to complete this on the road, they can do it back at the brewery within the same uplift on the delivery run. I would suggest doing this however on the app at the location as although the uplift page isn’t natively supported on mobile, it’s still pretty usable.

Once the uplift is completed, the ullage container will appear as an incomplete ullage on the Ullages page. You can find it under Container > Actions & Tools > Ullage a container. From there, you can mark the ullage as completed. Just make sure not to scan the container back in at the brewery or by the dray, as it will be considered empty. Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix this and convert emptied containers back into ullages. If needed, you can make a duty adjustment instead.

I hope this clears things up. Let me know if you have any more questions or need any more support with this.

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is it possible to delete an ullage?
I have incorrectly assigned an ullage to the wrong customer and can’t seem to remove the ullage.


Hi Lorin. Are you trying to delete an arranged uplift of a container to be ullaged or undo the action of ullageing a container? If you want to delete an arranged ullage uplift, you can go to Containers & uplift orders on the customer’s page and delete the uplift. Unfortunately, if you are looking at reversing the action of ullageing a container, this cannot be done, as an ullage directly affects your duty report. You make manual adjustments on your duty return to counteract the duty reclaim made from the ullage. If you need to bring the container back into stock, you can also make a stock adjustment on the product by selecting Actions > Stock adjustment .

Hi Matt, will there be a function to Ullage Smallpack items in the future? This would help save a step in returning stock then Stock Adjusting it out. Especially as I am unable to add more Reason Codes to the Stock Adjustment section of Breww. I’d ideally like to be able to track if an ullage was due to a faulty container (i.e. keg/cask or smallpack), or if it was an infection.

Yes, we have been thinking internally about a streamlined returns/replacement process for all product types. It was also requested on the community (point three specifically) - Return Workflow Improvements.
Please give it a vote and add any extra comments if that sounds like what you’re asking for!


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Hi Ben,

I am trying to delete the ullage of a container, as I have incorrectly assigned an ullage to the wrong customer, but as you say, this cannot be undone.
So in this case, please could you advise on my next steps? Do I simply need to speak to the person that does the duty return to tell them I did this and it can’t be undone? If that’s the case, is there any scope to make it so an ullage can be reversed/undone/deleted?

I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think I need to do a stock adjustment because the beer has been sold to the customer, they are selling it and we aren’t issuing a credit note, so it wont be returned. Is that correct in this instance?

Thanks for your help,

Hi Lorin, thanks for your reply. The ullage can’t be undone or deleted, but the duty can be corrected in Breww. You can adjust the return to reinstate the amount against the reclaim from the ullage. If you head to Beer Duty → Current return → Beer duty breakdown , you will see the reclaimed amount against the ullage. If you go back to the Current return , you will be able to select Adjustment , enter the amount, and give an explanation for the adjustment. Once you have done this, you can ullage the correct container, balancing out the duty side of things.

In Breww, the return of a container is not controlled by issuing a credit note, and the ullage of the container will mean that the barrel has already been returned (if a tracked container) to the brewery and is now empty. If it was a non-returnable container, it would now also be empty and the container removed from Breww. If using tracked containers, this container number will no longer be listed at that customer site. If you want me to look into this further, it would be great if you could raise a ticket, so I can see exactly what has happened.

Hi all, I have just tested ullaging a product in our Demo account however there is no record of the ullage coming up on the Customer page. Is this normal? We would need to be able to track how many ullages a customer raised from within the account page.

Hi Alice, you can see how many ullages a customer has had by creating an ullage report in the Raw data explorer and filtering on the customer. Doing this will tell you the number of rows in the report, representing the total amount of ullages for the customer. This report can be saved for future access, with the customer name being the only field needing to be manually changed accordingly. You can find this report by heading to Reporting > Ullages (in the Raw data explorer) and using the Breww QL filter to search for the customer. All ullages are automatically applied directly to your duty return, which records the customer, invoice and container number.

Hey all. We delivered some casks and kegs to a non bonded werehouse. The duty was therefore paid as it went out. Due to an intitial over-order some of the casks and kegs are being returned to us. It was a slow process getting them back and some are out of date. I want to be able to dispose of the out of date casks and reclaim the duty. They are already marked down as returned to our main prodcution/storage site. How do I proceed?