The online marketplace enables smaller UK brewers to buy and sell pallets of cask ale between themselves.
You get 2 financial benefits – a modest profit on pallets sold (at circa £50 each), and a second profit on incoming guest ales bought at circa £50 and sold at free-trade prices. Add in the deeper relationship with your local pubs because you are a ‘one stop shop’ and the benefits are clear.
We have split the ‘swap’ into 2 steps – a brewer ‘sells’ a pallet to the other party, then ‘buys’ one back to make the balance. Doing it this way means you don’t need to swap at the same time – there can be a delay between the steps. Both steps are recorded online in your trading history, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting. You can also download the history (with beers on each pallet) to a spreadsheet for further local analysis.
Sellers ship the pallet directly to the buyers, using their normal pallet network haulier, so we don’t add any costs by physically operating an intermediate warehouse.
A free ‘flyer’ (brochure) creation tool is included. It taps into our database to give you a quick way to produce simple A4 flyers to send out or email to your local pubs, making it easier to pre-sell guest ales before they arrive. The great feature of this tool is that you can include guest beers you are buying, complete with pump-clip artwork !
Transactions can be planned up to 52 weeks ahead of today, so creating a forward ‘schedule’ of inter-brewery trades. On the sales side, this allows you time to plan your beer production, cask filling and pallet shipment. On the buying side, you will have time to plan your local sales effort, so that as the guest beers arrive they will mostly be ‘pre-sold’ and can go straight out to customers for maximum freshness.
Forget problems with your casks getting ‘stuck’ or lost at the other end – all pallets you send using our marketplace are to be in ECasks under a special agreement we have with them.
We make the following charges only :-
Add your beers to ‘my beers’ – your own private library (no other brewer sees this)
Only beers you have added to ‘my beers’ can be included in any listing for sale.
Posting a new listing
Breweries who are interested in your listing(s) can email you by clicking the link, or by finding your contact details in the ‘brewers’ tab. You can then agree any adjustments (date, beers etc). A potential buyer can add the pallet to their ‘watch list’, then maybe finalise with you any detail changes. When happy, they can ‘reserve’ the pallet, which sends you an email.Reservation
Once reserved, the listing is allocated a ‘trade number’ and will appear in both parties ‘my trades’ area. You can still edit the pallet, but this will send an email to warn the other party you have done this. If you accept the reservation, the trade becomes ‘confirmed’, or you can decline, which ‘un-reserves’ it. Editing is still available, but make sure you agree any changes with the buyer.
When a listing is reserved, you will get an email and you then have 72 hours to either confirm or decline the trade (in ‘my trades’). If you don’t respond in 72 hours, then the trade will automatically cancel and your listing will go back on sale.Unsold listings
A listing expires if it isn’t sold by the end of the ‘shipping’ week.
Searching for a suitable purchase
Fulls should be despatched with a minimum of 5 weeks shelf life remaining, or you may get complaints / bad feedback from other brewers.
The contact details and information they uploaded into their ‘profile’ can be seen for all registered breweries in our marketplace.
All invoicing is done direct from the seller to the buyer at whatever rate they agree (usually £50 per cask)
There is an online ullage process for you to log and handle any ullage you have received or sent
The ullage request then changes status to ‘accepted’. The seller can then issue a credit note to the buyer or agree a short shipment on a future pallet to compensate. Details to be held locally by both parties.
The supplying brewer has the right to arrange collection of the actual cask(s) for analysis and official destruction / duty reclaim, so the buyer shouldn’t tip the beer without emailing the supplier to ask first.
In the ‘my account’ tab, you have space to enter some details about your brewery (e.g. awards won, quality standards held, philosophy) and you can upload a picture (jpeg), all of which are visible to the other users via the ‘breweries’ tab.
When a ‘buy’ trade is completed, the buyer can leave feedback on the selling brewery (out of 5) - for service level such as ease of communication and presentation of pallet. Also 32 characters of text allowed.
Feedback you have left is NOT shared with the brewer concerned, and is logged in your ‘feedback’ tab for your future reference.
Anonymous feedback log on a brewer can be seen in the ‘breweries’ tab.
Average feedback score for a brewer is displayed in the ‘i’ bubble next to their name in each of their listings.
Either the buyer or the seller can cancel a trade via a button in the ‘my trades’ area.
Emails are sent automatically in both cases, but please also contact directly to explain why and minimise disappointment.
The brochure creation tool is a simple way of producing an A4 single sheet brochure to send out to your local pubs, making it easier to pre-sell guest ales before they arrive.
Once created, a brochure is fixed, but can still be accessed.
To create a brochure with 2 pages, just create 2 brochures.
Both the seller and the buyer must
Seller should log serial numbers of casks on the special sheet as the pallet is made up.
Collecting empties from the pubs
The brewery receiving the beer should collect the empties from the pub, ready to refill, log and use again.
Reusing ECasks after recovery of empties from the pubs
Use the 'serial number log sheet' to notify us of ECasks palletised ready to send out on another trade.
Getting more ‘fresh’ ECasks in
Order in the normal way from ECasks. It is cheaper for you to use as many ‘refills’ as possible rather than fresh ECasks, as that way you avoid the delivery charges.
The price is just £4.50 per use (invoiced directly by ECask to the seller only) This is a special low rate and reflects the special ‘closed nature’ of beer trades between brewers
Allocate the serial numbers to your ECasks account, and categorise a) or b)
Invoice / Credit direct to you
|a) Refill||Invoice £4.50|
|Fresh ECask already on site as delivered by ECasks on a recent order (within last 4 weeks)||Credit £1.50|
Beerswaps will then:
Can I use my own casks ?
No – the buyer will be very disappointed, as they were expecting ECasks and you will have to recover your empties from them at significant expense.
I have a few of the buyers own casks in my yard – can I fill them and use them as part of the pallet ?
YES – the buyer will be very happy to get these back. Just make a note on the ECask log sheet that X qty were in buyers own and not in ECasks – you won’t be charged for these.
What if I don’t get all the casks back from the pubs from an incoming guest pallet?
Just as you would if you received other brewer’s casks on an incoming swap, you should do your best to recover any ECasks that you have delivered directly to your pub customers on a Beerswap. If you end up unable to collect them all because some have been uplifted by, say a wholesaler, then you are permitted to make up the shortfall by uplifting a FEW other ECask empties. You are NOT permitted to uplift in bulk, and it must only be to make up casks for your next Beerswap. Please note - you are not charged until you send us the serial numbers for a future delivery, so if thers collect the empties instead of you, if you have done everything that you can to collect, we accept that risk and liability on your behalf.
Do I need to keep recovered empties separate from ‘fresh’ ECasks received in from ECasks ?
YES - because if you mistakenly send them out to a wholesaler, the incoming scan process used at the ECasks depot will log a possible misuse and you may be charged an unauthorised fill fee – something we all want to avoid.
Can I use the serial number log sheet to fill and send recovered empties on a normal wholesale order ?
How will Beerswaps know which category the casks fall into for charging ?
As we input the serial numbers to the ECask tracking system, it will tell us the last account they were on. If a number is on your account and it was within the last 4 weeks, then it must be a fresh one you got direct from ECasks. If it wasn’t on your account, then it must be a ‘refill’. This unique information ensures that you are charged the correct fee or given the correct credit.
Will I pay twice for ECasks ?
NO – If you send ‘fresh’ ECasks out on a beerswaps pallet, you get a credit of £1.50. Refills are charged at £4.50.
Where do I get the blank log sheets from ?
You can download from your ‘home’ screen online in our marketplace, or we can email it to you.
How do I fill in the serial numbers ?
Handwritten is fine. Refer to the ‘visual aid’ for help on where to find the serial number and what format it is in.
What about mistakes with logging a serial number ?
All invalid numbers or sheets not sent in are charged as refills, so it’s in your interests to be as accurate as possible.
What if we forget to do the ECask log sheets ?
Repeated failure to send in log sheets invalidates our agreement with ECasks, so we would then have to suspend your account with us and cancel all your forthcoming trades.
Who will update the ECasks ‘portal’ ?
BEERSWAPS As you confirm despatch of a pallet in the ‘online marketplace’, we will do this for you as part of our ‘Beerswaps’ service to you. So, we offer a genuine ‘fill and forget’ service to make your life easier! You will still need to do the portal updates for normal despatches to wholesale, as that is nothing to do with us.
Use your choice of pallet network haulier and send direct to the buying brewery. Make sure that the pallet is built up and banded securely. It will weigh about 960Kg, with the pallet. Best to use a EURO style pallet and build 3 layers of 6 casks, with plastic locators between and on top. Band securely in both directions, then shrink-wrap for protection. Stick 2 large address labels (on adjacent sides).
List of major pallet network operators and links.
|United Pallet Network (UPN)||http://www.u-p-n.co.uk/upn-enquiry-form|
|The Pallet Network (TPN)||http://thepalletnetworkltd.co.uk/|
|XPO (Norbert Dentressangle)||http://uk.xpo.com/Transport/Domestic-Pallet-Distribution-Network?gclid=CJLj9cPOuMoCFSHmwgod1P0JFw|
We reserve the right to suspend the account of any brewer who :-
Suspension of an account is solely at our discretion, and we undertake to make such decisions only in the best interests of the whole marketplace and it’s trading brewers.
We may re-instate an account if we are satisfied that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect us and the future integrity of the marketplace for all the other brewers.