Craft Brews

It’s obvious – just look! Craft beer is on the rise in the US.

Craft brew sales have doubled in the past 6 years are slated to reach an all-time high in 2017.

A direct response to high consumer demand……..the craft brew craze has since created blogs about beer, craft beer books, and even craft beer apps and interactive maps designed to help you track down good microbrews right from your phone. Simply type in a location and a list appears telling you where to go!

Wired.com excerpt July 26, 2013 “Fun Facts: California has the most craft breweries of any state with 316. Alabama, Minnesota, and Connecticut had the greatest percentage increase in craft beer production between 2011-2012. The nation’s fastest-growing craft brewery is in Nashville, Tennessee; the next two fastest-growing are in Texas.”

Albeit successful, the craft-brew industry is not without its own unique insurance challenges including:

  • Contaminated Product
  • Brewing Equipment Failures
  • Operator Error
  • Business Interruption
  • Transportation mishaps
  • Fermentation complications

beer1We recently co-hosted a Continuing Education course that focused on how beer is produced in nanobreweries and microbreweries, with a look at what can go wrong. For example: common product problems which can alter the beer for the worse, even ruining the beer under some circumstances.

CASE STUDIES

Forensic investigations involving loss of product and the exploration of subrogation in claims.

Case 1: Failure of brewing equipment

Investigation: Hard Cider Distiller – gasket on a copper kettle failed, allowing several hundred gallons of product to leak out.

End result:  Loss of product and resulting property damage.

Case 2: Mountain Brewery

Investigation: An eye-bolt of a tri-clamp failed due to ductile overload failure in uniaxial tension.

End result: Due to the tri-clamp releasing, over 1200-gallons of fermenting beer leaked through the bottom of the vessel.

Case 3: Operator Error

Investigation: Cider Company – brew master failed to completely tighten the wing-nut on the tank man-way, resulting in over 400-gallons of fermenting cider leaking from the tank.

End result: Did not require a report since it was “user error” and therefore no way to subrogate.

Case 4: Contaminated Product

Investigation: Cider Company – investigated a claim involving a consumer complaint of drinking contaminated beer from a bottle.

End result: Pie engineer determined that the bottle cap had been tampered with and likely after the point of sale.

 

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