When bars across the country closed abruptly because of COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders, many of them were left with half-empty kegs of beer. Now, six weeks in, that beer is verging on undrinkable.
Wisconsin-based New Glarus Brewing Company has come up with a solution of sorts for all that undrunk beer, WISN-TV reports. It plans to buy back all the half-empty kegs (or half-full, depending on your point of view) and replace them with full, fresh kegs. This is part of the brewery’s “Fresh is Best” program, spokesperson Drew Cochrane told WISN. “The half-empty kegs are probably going to have to get dumped. We actually have a relationship with a farmer who will take it out and have it applied on a field, so it’ll end up being fertilizer.”
(At least one gardening website claims that the acid in the beer will kill pests, and the yeast and carbohydrates will help with growing. It’s also great bait for slugs. Others, however, say that alcohol is bad for plants.)
In the end, between 5,000 and 10,000 half-empty/full kegs of beer will be dumped, a great sorrow for lovers of Wisconsin beer. Or, in the words of Tim Pauly, co-founder of Broken Bat Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, “it’s like dumping a little piece of your soul down the drain.”