Selling the same beer in both my own casks/kegs and rented/non-returnable containers

For the purposes of understanding Breww’s terminology, examples of Non-Returnable (NR) containers may include E-Kegs, Kegstar, MicroStar, PolyKeg, KeyKeg & others. Non-Returnable containers are those you don’t own yourself and don’t need to collect when empty, so this includes rented and single-use containers. In this article, we’ll use Kegstar as an example of a non-returnable container to aid with explaining the process. Breww is not necessarily affiliated with any of these brands in any way.

Use a single product or use multiple products

If you use both your own kegs and NR containers, then you first need to decide if you’d like to sell these as different products to your customers or as the same product (you can still choose which container to give the customer at the point of delivery if you use a single product).

If you use multiple brands of NR container, the same idea applies and you’ll need to choose if you would like them to share a single container type (and product) or not.

Having separate products allows you to set different prices and keep track of the quantity in stock of each product rather than having a single “pool” of stock.

Setting up container types & products

  • If you wish to sell as different products - in this case, you’ll need to create two container types, one for your own kegs and one for the non-returnable, e.g. “30L Keg” and “30L Kegstar” and then create a second product which points to the beer and the “30L Kegstar” container type.
  • If you wish to sell as the same product - this is simpler as you need just the one keg container type and one product for the beer in that container. Breww will still know how many of this product you have in rented kegs and for your own kegs will know the exact keg numbers which are filled with the beer.

Once you’ve got the 1 or 2 products created (as per how you’d like it to work), you simply need to rack into them from the batch.

  • First, go to the batch.
  • Click Actions in the top-right.
  • Choose Rack (package).
  • Select the vessel and relevant product (make sure to choose the product that points to the “30L KegStar”, if you go with the option to sell these as separate products).
  • On the next screen, you’ll have the option to enter or scan containers, but for non-returnable containers, this should be skipped completely.
  • On that same screen, there will be an input box labelled Non-returnable quantity. Here you simply enter how many non-returnables you have filled.
  • Continue to fill in the form and complete the process.

If you are dealing with more than two types of keg, you may choose to use a combination of both approaches. For example, you might treat your own tracked containers and Kegstar containers as a single product, and have another product for Keykegs and Polykegs.

NR container brands (and the Kegstar/MicroStar integration)

In addition to all of the above, you may wish to keep track of which NR containers are from which brand. This is particularly useful if you’re using the Breww integration with Kegstar/MicroStar and have chosen the single-product approach.

If you are using the single-product approach, then you will be sharing a container type, but the Kegstar/MircoStar integration determines which containers to include based on the container type. Following a great suggestion on our feature requests area - Allow specifying a "Non-returnable container brand" when racking NRs and filter on this in the Kegstar/Microstar integration - you now have the option to record which NR containers are from which brand when racking. This then allows you to configure in the Kegstar/MicroStar integration which brand should be included in the reports sent to Kegstar/MicroStar.

You can set up and manage your NR Container Brands from within the Containers area of Breww.

Hi Luke, thanks for the handy guide. I have a quick question:

If using the single product approach, is it possible to pull a report which shows where non-returnable containers have been sent? Obviously this is possible when using a dedicated separate product for non-returnable containers, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to trace/report on non-returnable sales without having to split them out like that.


Excellent question, thanks Greg!

Currently, the only way to report on the difference between the sales of the two would be for them to be separate products. If helpful, we could certainly look to create a report that allows you see, for a set date range, something along the lines of:

Product Number of returnable containers delivered Number of non-returnable containers delivery
NEPIA 50 120
Bitter 190 10

This would then allow you to use the single product approach and get to this sort of data, but it would be in just the one dedicated report, whereas when using multiple products, you’ll be able to access the split in many different reports and places that can already report based upon different products (like you suggest).

Would a report like this be useful for you, if so, we can add this onto the requests list. Would another report be of more use instead (e.g. seeing the actual customers rather than a grand total of containers)?


Hi Luke,

Thanks for confirming what I suspected! Ideally I’d prefer to go down the single product route to reduce clutter on the system (from having to create duplicates of every product sold using non-returnable containers), but would need to retain the ability to see a breakdown of the following in a report:

  • dates (issue, scheduled delivery etc.)
  • order/invoice numbers
  • customers (name, postcode etc.)
  • number of non-returnables delivered
  • products

Might that be doable? No need to go beyond a single dedicated report I don’t think!


Thanks Greg,

That all makes sense. We should be able to put this report together for you, and I can fully see the benefit of the single product approach, especially when this data is then available to you.

We’ll get this added to the list and try to get it scheduled in soon, but I can’t say just yet when we can expect it to be completed. It’s up to you if you’d like to go with the single product approach in the meantime, or if you’d rather split them until the report is ready and then consolidate the products later (marking one of each as obsolete).

If you go for the single product now, then when the report is ready it will know the container split for all orders, so you will be able to look back and see the split on orders delivered before the report is live. I hope that makes sense.


Hi Luke,

Really sorry I missed your response here! This sounds perfect, especially the fact that it would work retrospectively.

We’ve just made the decision to start using the single product approach for a recent batch of non-returnables. We should be able to make do without the report for a bit, but it would be really great to have as soon as you guys can squeeze it in!


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Hi Greg,

This report is now live in Reports > Pre-built delivery reports. Hope that helps, but any questions on it, just let us know here!


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Hi Max,

Wicked, thank you! I’ll have a play around with it over the next couple of days and will let you know if any questions/issues come up!


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8 posts were split to a new topic: Allow specifing a “Non-returnable container brand” when racking NRs and filter on this in the Kegstar/Microstar integration

Bit late to the party but can anyone explain if we’re using e-cask as single product route… do we raise PO and inventory receipt the qty of e-casks received in and add them as consumable inventory item during racking??
Or would we set the e-cask up as a service item and just do a PO so we have it raised for PO ledger and costs? Would any costs then be associated with the e-cask product?

I’d recommend adding these as an inventory item/stock item and consuming them during racking. This would be the simplest way to ensure your costs are brought through.
If you use just one brand per container type, you can simply add this stock item directly to the container type to be used automatically. If not, you’ll want just to select the brand used during the racking process, when you’re prompted for the ‘stock items used’.

A post was split to a new topic: Set unique weights for container brands

I have a question - you say “you can still choose which container to give the customer at the point of delivery if you use a single product”, is there a way of seeing the number of different container types of a product in stock before delivery?

The only way I could find this data was to start a product stock take and then cancel it.

A bit of background to my question - we’d prefer a single product for our different container types to avoid clutter but have customers that can only take delivery of a certain type of container, before taking an order from said customer it’d be useful to quickly see if the container type they require of a product is available or not.


Hi Gemma, thanks for your comment. When assigning stock to a delivery, you can either select from your own tracked container stock or non-returnable container stock for a single product, and the NR and tracked container codes will be shown when adding the required stock. You will be able to see your current stock level on the Stock breakdown tab on a product, which will list all your non-returnables and tracked containers in stock, which can be sorted by Container/packaging. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give you a total number of non-returnable or tracked containers in stock and only shows the total combined stock. The stock breakdown is currently the best place to see your NR and tracked container stock. If you would like to see an addition to Breww on the stock breakdown, where you can see the total number of non-returnable or tracked containers in stock for this product, then it would be great if you could raise this as a feature request! Cheers!

Like Gemma said, how to see “the number of different container types of a product in stock before delivery?
I’m also struggling to think of how we’d manage with a single product covering Returnable & NR containers. In fact, it’s bad enough with one product for beer in our own “fleet” and another for non-returnables (of various “brands”) This could usefully be on the Available Products report. I’d have thought.