The Office Space: Can you tell us about Kegstar and what the company does?
Kegstar Logistics Co-ordinator Natalie Johnson: Kegstar is essentially an asset pooling and logistics company however in one of the best industries, beer. In it’s most simple form Kegstar rents kegs to breweries that are cleaned and filled then delivered to a venue for pouring. Kegstar collects the keg from the pub once it is empty and the keg is re-rented. It’s that simple.
TOS: Is the concept of keg rental a new idea – what was the situation for breweries and licensed venues prior to now?
NJ: The concept of keg rental is not common however there are a few companies overseas. Kegstar’s point of difference is that we are first in Australia and that we are pioneering keg tracking. All Kegstar kegs are labeled with a unique bar code that is scanned at every stage along the supply chain. Kegstar’s one-size-fits-all solution to scanning is a smart phone app, KegID, which is free to download from either the android or apple app stores. The app takes advantage of the smart phone camera turning it into a scanner; a keg is scanned, it’s recipient is chosen, and the movement is submitted to the cloud, thus the keg tracked. To date the biggest challenge for breweries and licensed venues has been education. Keg tracking is a new concept and given that keg logistics hasn’t seen much disruption over the years introducing a new process is always going to take time however with more kegs on their way and new customers signing up everyday, the future is looking very bright for Kegstar.
TOS: And what’s next for the company?
NJ: We recently announced that Brambles has acquired a 30% stake in Kegstar Holdings Pty Limited. Brambles, which serves pallet and container pooling customers in more than 50 countries through the CHEP business, will now work with our founder Adam Trippe-Smith and co-shareholder Shane Bradley to support Kegstar’s growth strategy. With support from Brambles, Kegstar will increase the size of its operations and geographical reach over the next two years as it pursues its business plan. To start things off, Kegstar intends to double the size of its team and keg fleet in the next three months and plan its launch in New Zealand.
TOS: We’ve seen Kegstar kegs in some of our favourite bars and pubs around Surry Hills – where is your favourite Surry Hills bar/pub and why?
NJ: Royal Albert because of the amazing beer selection and its proximity. We can hear kegs being unloaded from our office.
TOS: Lastly – what do you like about working out of The Office Space?
NJ: The free fruit – joking! Kegstar will be moving out of The Office Space shortly and into the Global Kegstar HQ in Paddington- whilst this is a necessary move coinciding with our rapid growth we will miss TOS greatly, we will miss the people, pranks, gags, Communal Lunches, and general mix of ideas that flow around the place. We will also miss Coconut the dog, Naomi’s cakes and Tommy at City Edge Café.