American Keg Co. touts that it’s the only stainless-steel beer keg manufacturer in the United States of America, building 1/2- and 1/6-bbl kegs with domestically sourced 304 stainless steel. Now, global keg provider Blefa, which is headquartered in Kreuztal, Germany, with American operations in La Vergne, Tenn., and Vancouver, Wash., has acquired “a major stake” in American Keg LLC, according to the press release.
“I’m very pleased that we could work with Blefa on this investment of equity and know-how,” said Scott Bentley, owner of American Keg. “While I’m proud of establishing American Keg as the only manufacturer of kegs in the U.S., there is a lot we can learn from Blefa to make our production more efficient. I’m excited to see what we can achieve together.”
In should be noted that American Keg made headlines in 2018 and beyond after filing antidumping complaints against Chinese, Mexican and German keg makers, saying it was struggling and laying off employees because of unfair trade practices. In November of 2019, The United States International Trade Commission penalized both Chinese and German stainless-steel keg makers with unfair-trade tariffs, saying that those makers dumped below-cost kegs into the American marketplace. Was there any trepidation about investments coming from a German keg maker?
“I wouldn’t say there is any trepidation on our part,” said Brian Luzzi, director of sales and marketing at American Keg. “We had several options on the table to expand the business, and we felt that the Blefa option would quickly bring the most to our company. Blefa Keg’s seasoned industry expertise and well developed relationships with large breweries and logistics companies will pair well with American Keg’s grit and dedication to the small- and medium-sized craft brewer, creating a keg producer that should dominate the domestic industry for years to come.”
American Keg LLC is based in Pottstown, Pa., and according to the press release, all of the investment from Blefa will stay in Pottstown and be invested over the next two years. A lot of public officials were involved, led by Peggy Lee-Clark, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development.
From the press release:
“We are excited that Blefa picked Pottstown and American Keg. We look forward to continuing to support the growth of this innovative company,” said Lee-Clark, who acknowledged help from Senator Bob Mensch — PA State Senator 24th District, Commissioner Ken Lawrence — Montgomery County Commissioners, Dave Zellers — Commerce Director-Montgomery County, and Justin Keller — Borough Manager of Pottstown.