Kegstar founder’s new brainchild: wine in beer kegs

September 4, 2017
By Alana House

A South Australian wine company believes the future of wine in bars and pubs is on tap.

Riot Wine Co is the brainchild of winemaker Tom O’Donnell and Kegstar founder Adam Trippe-Smith. 

The pair were having a glass of wine together one day when they came up with the idea of selling wine in beer kegs. They joined together with Kegstar’s first employee, Joe Cook, and were off and running.   

As the company notes on the Riot website: “A kegman, a wineman and a businessman were sitting in a bar, discussing the logistics and nuances of pour-by-the-glass practices of wine, in on premise venues. The high levels of waste, loss of profits due to spoilage and the sheer inconsistency of it all amazed them. It really seemed there was a lack of innovation, a lack of people fighting for wine by the glass and a lack of options for on premise venues. They decided it was time for a change – they started a Riot.”

“I’ve known Adam for 10 years,” O’Donnell (below) tells City Mag. “Just before he set up Vale Ale, I was a winemaker in McLaren Vale.” 

The pluses of kegs are they keep UV light from damaging the wine, are hermetically sealed, more resistant to temperature fluctuations, and involve far less packaging.

“Kegged wine is stored with pressurised nitrogen, making it more stable and far less volatile than bottled wine,” Riot notes. “Unaffected by heat and oxidation, the quality and longevity of kegged wine is preserved spectacularly, ensuring consistency of quality from first to last glass.

“It may seem hard to believe but just one 50L keg of Riot Wine is equivalent to 65 bottles of wine. This means using one keg of Riot eliminates the need for 65 bottles, 65 caps, 65 labels and 5 cartons that would otherwise end up in landfill. Riot kegs also require less storage space than bottled wine and are far more efficient to transport. They are refillable for up to 30 years, and therefore reduce the carbon footprint, with each and every glass.”


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