The Government has announced a further National lockdown to control the spread of the COVID virus across the UK. For many pubs it will not be possible to operate under the latest measures and given the anticipated timeline associated with these restrictions. It is once again necessary to consider how to handle beer that will be out of date and unsaleable once pubs are able to re-open.
The decision has been taken by those brand owners who supported the Return Your Beer platform under the first lockdown to re-open the site for licensees to request permission to destroy beer or cider that will become unsaleable due to the current restrictions. Once permission has been obtained, the platform is also used to provide the necessary evidence of destruction.
Not all brands will be available on the platform immediately but more will be added over the coming weeks. It will be important to ensure that before submitting a claim you confirm that the brands concerned are listed. As more brands are re-introduced this information will be updated via the latest updates on this website.
As before, it will also be necessary to consider any environmental risks associated with beer destruction. Licensees should always consider whether it is possible to divert unsaleable beer for alternative uses, such as for agricultural/commercial animal feed.
You should discuss this and any available options for retrieval or alternative use with your supplier before destroying beer, including any need to seek permission from local water companies and particularly where volumes are greater than that which might be associated with normal operational wastage i.e. cleaning of the dispense system. Further details on this will be updated as necessary.
05 Aug 2020
Deadline dates for new claims and processing of existing claims
Please note with the wide scale re-opening of the UK On-Trade now underway, and the majority of pub cellars cleared sufficiently to allow delivery of fresh stocks of beer and cider, there will soon be changes to the Return Your Beer website.
As the number of new claims for duty recovery has reduced for many participating brewers in the Return Your Beer scheme, they will shortly be returning to their usual procedures for dealing with ullage claims and which were in place prior to the shutdown.
Some have therefore set out final dates for acceptance of any NEW CLAIMS for beer and cider that has become unsaleable as a result of the COVID shutdown, and also cut off dates for EXISTING CLAIM PROCESSING.
For those companies who have set a deadline date for new applications, no new ullage claims will be accepted via this website after their chosen dates below. For those brewers who have set a date for submission of destruction evidence, unless this deadline is hit, your claim will not be valid for duty reclaim.
22 Jul 2020
Update from the UK Water Wholesalers
The UK water wholesalers have confirmed that they will be reverting to normal practices after the 31st July in England, mid-August in Scotland (exact date TBC) and 31st of August in Wales in relation to authorising beer disposal in pub cellars. For any applications submitted past these dates, pub businesses and licensees will have to revert to applications via their local water retailers with associated form-filling and any trade effluent charges that apply.
Licensees who have not yet applied to their local water wholesaler for permission to destroy beer that has become unstable as a result of the COVID-19 shut down are urged to do so as quickly as possible to avoid being redirected through previous routes and the associated costs.
14 Jul 2020
If your claim has been Approved - here's what to do next
If your claim status has been updated to "Approved", you now need to take a photo of your beer or cider destruction, log back into the website and upload photographic evidence in order to complete your claim. Once the status has been changed to "Complete", there is nothing more you need to do - your supplier will be in contact. Please read our destruction evidence photo guidelines and seek permission from your local water authority before destruction.
A step by step guide on how to safely decant and dispose of liquid in outlet can be found a few posts below this one.
21 Jun 2020
Submitting Additional Claims
You now have the ability to submit multiple claims. On the assumption you have submitted your first claim, you can now log back in and submit additional claims for any new brands or missed kegs.
17 Jun 2020
You may now upload photographic evidence if your claim has been approved
If your claim has been approved, you may now pour the liquid away and upload photographic evidence to your claim. You will find new form fields at the bottom of your existing claim form where you can upload photos.
What photos will be accepted?
If you are claiming for an unopened keg, you will need to take the cap off, attach to the coupling and take a photo of the liquid being dispensed via the tap.
If you are claiming for an open keg, you will need to reattach the coupling if you have already cleaned the lines, and take a photo of the liquid being dispensed into a measured vessel, as you must measure the volume of the liquid being destroyed in your claim form. You do not need to show the total volume of liquid in the measured vessel in the photo, nor do you need to upload multiple photos to prove the total volume has been destroyed.
Please note - the photo must show the liquid being dispensed. e.g. If you do not need to measure the volume of the liquid being destroyed in the case of an unbroached keg, and are attaching a hose to the tap, the hose must be transparent so the liquid is visible.
17 Jun 2020
Brewers have begun to change claim statuses - but what do they mean?
Submitted - Your kegs have been sent to the individual brewers to review and check that the information provided is correct.
Approved - The brewer has approved your keg information, you may now pour away the beer and upload photographic evidence within your existing claim form. Please refer to the guidance on how to safely dispose of your beer at this point in the form, and also take note of the photographic examples of what will be accepted.
Declined - The brewer has declined your claim based on the information provided, they should be in contact to provide more information.
More Info Requested - Some information in your claim appears to be incorrect, the brewer should be in contact shortly with further information. Once they have been in contact, you can amend the keg information and resubmit.
Completed - You have successfully uploaded your evidence of destruction to be processed by the brewer. There is no further action you need to take once all your claims are completed. Please note, this is not a confirmation of payment or credit, and no such confirmation will be shown on this website. The brewers will use their best endeavours to return any credit in a timely manner.
15 Jun 2020
Please follow our guide on safe destruction of beer for approved claims
When the status of your claim has changed from "Completed" to "Approved" you then have permission to destroy your beer, pour it away, and upload photographic evidence. However, before doing so, please seek permission from your local water authority and read the steps below on safe disposal.
Below is a step by step guide on how to safely decant and dispose of beer in outlet…
1) Turn on your cellar cooling at least 24 hours in advance. If beer temperatures remain at ambient and are not reduced, the beer will fob and the process will take longer.
2) Switch the remote cooler on 4 to 5 hours in advance to allow an ice bank to form.
3) Connect up and turn on the gas / electric pumps.
4) Dispense the beer as normal through the taps, including any cask beer.
5) Record the required images of beer being decanted
6) Dispose of the beer in line with your local environmental guidelines
7) Once the process is complete, take the opportunity to clean the lines thoroughly.
8) Once cleaned, ideally leave the lines in Guardian solution. If Guardian isn’t available, leave them in air but DO NOT leave the beer lines in water.
11 Jun 2020
User Registration Errors
If you were unable to complete your account registration yesterday due to our ongoing platform updates, don't worry, your details have still been captured. You will receive an email this afternoon confirming your account registration and prompting you to login and make a claim.
10 Jun 2020
Thank you for choosing to use Return Your Beer. We are working very closely with all participating Brewers to ensure we can safely and accurately log your wasted products.
Please note there will be a further update to the website in coming days to enable multiple claims from multiple Brewers.
We are also registering more Brewers and products daily.
Due to the circumstances and high demand at peak times we seeing intermittent issues with logging in. If you do experience this can you please simply try again at a later time.
Make a claim now
Products going out of date during the closure period? Re-Claim Excise Duty now
If keg information is missing from a claim that you have previously created, and haven't yet submitted, it may be because the brewer is no longer accepting new claims. Please be aware that some brewers have also specified cut off dates for acceptance of destruction evidence for approved claims. Please refer to the "Latest Updates" page for all brewer cut off dates for new claim acceptance, and processing of existing claims.