About

Ebb & Flow Keg is a beverage distributor that aims to sustainably innovate the drinks industry by changing one simple thing: the packaging. By utilizing reusable stainless steel kegs for the transport, storage and service of our organic beverage portfolio we offer an alternative to widely used one-way packaging formats, that can transform the way wine and beverages are consumed, with no harm to the beverage’s quality. 

Our mission is to create a sustainable drinking culture that reflects and supports eco-friendlier production methods, transportation, service and consumption. At Ebb & Flow Keg, we take our company’s true environmental impact seriously and it's our mission to work transparently with our industry partners and producers and the end consumer.  

We cultivate strong relationships with our producers – small- and medium-sized organic wine producers and craft beverage manufacturers – who are eager to participate in a circular economy that strives to minimize packaging waste and that showcases the unique origin or their premium beverages.
 
We endeavor all to get off the beaten path and join the sustainable drinking culture!

Partners - past & present

Current Cooperation Partners

Hochschule Geisenheim Logo - Current Cooperation Partner

Since the team expressed interest in opening a sustainable wine bar in Frankfurt in 2019, the university professors and staff have supported the team in marketing, oenology, beverage technology, hygiene and food safety, finance and climate.

A center for students or alumni interested in founding a company that promotes sustainability from either the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel or Hochschule Geisenheim University. Workshops and events are offered to help teams develop as entrepreneurs and their business idea. This is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi), through the EXIST program.

The team prepared a cradle-to-grave CO2 footprint of Ebb & Flow Keg’s infrastructure and how stainless steel kegs compare to one-way plastic kegs and the traditional glass bottle.

Former Supporters

Social Impact Lab - Logo - Former Supporter of Ebb & Flow Keg
Chancen Nutzer Logo - Former Supporter of Ebb & Flow Keg
Hessen Ideen Logo - Former Supporter of Ebb & Flow Keg

The Social Impact Lab Frankfurt is funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and offers programs, such as ChancenNutzer, which targets young entrepreneurs with immigration backgrounds and who are looking to develop their business idea. ebb & flow keg benefited from this program from October 2019 - April 2020 and had regular workshops concerning business modeling, sales, social media and pitching and a business coach.

This six month incubator program supports entrepreneurs that are founding a business that is innovative and/or science-based. Teams are supported with monthly workshops on various topics and exchange with other scholarship recipients.

Supported by Hessen Trade & Invest, EXIST Existenzgründung, FRAPORT, Pitch Club Frankfurt

EXIST Grant

BMWI - Logo (EXIST Förderung)EXIST Existenzgründungen aus der Wirtschaft - Logo (EXIST Förderung)Europäischer Sozialfonds für Deutschland - LogoEuropäische Union - Logo (EXIST Förderung)ESF - Logo (EXIST Förderung)

FAQ

What does Ebb & Flow mean?

Definitions: 

ebb and flow: the way in which the level of something becomes higher or lower in a regular and repeated way, like the way in which the sea’s tides rise and fall

keg: a small cask made out of stainless steel usually used for storing beverages

Literally, it means rising and falling of the tides, the coming and going, the pattern of something being continually emptied and refilled, taken and returned. The process that Ebb & Flow's kegs go through follows this cycle: constantly moving through a circular economy – being filled, transported, tapped, enjoyed, emptied, cleaned and refilled.

About the Kegs

The container itself – Kegs are made out of stainless steel and come in varying sizes, 4 - 50 liter. The standard size used today for wine is 15 - 30 liters. This material is ideal to maintain high hygiene and food safety standards, protect from UV light and pollution particles, and ensure the organoleptic character of the keg contents remain unchanged. Kegs can be used for up to 35 years, if treated with care. 

Why kegs?
The majority of wine and craft beverages are meant to be enjoyed shortly after their manufacture and bottling date. The keg poses a paradigm shift for the presentation and serving of beverages. This pivotal innovation is based on changing the style of service to tapping from a reusable keg, which signifies a move away from the conventional, single-use glass bottle or bag-in-box that have energy intensive recycling processes. 

Did Ebb & Flow Keg invent this concept?
No! Ebb & Flow Keg is not the first to fill wine into kegs, single efforts can be seen internationally in all wine producing countries and within the beer industry. However, a unified infrastructure to handle the return, reuse and redistribution of kegs is not widely available in Germany or Europe. We are working to streamline the process and support those looking to take part in the sustainable drinking culture.

Why use kegs?

Stainless steel kegs have a life-span of 35 years. They are an ergonomic and sustainable packaging choice for beverages. 

Benefits:

  • one 20-liter keg saves 27 (0,75 l) glass bottles, 27 corks or screw caps, 27 capsules, 27 labels and over 2m2 of cardboard materials from the landfill or going through energy-intensive recycling processes.
  • saves space in transport and storage. 
  • saves time from (re)stocking shelves and coolers with individual bottles and when disposing of bottles with deposit or at recycling bins after use.
  • durable for transport and storage, no more broken glass bottle messes! 

What does sustainability mean at Ebb & Flow Keg?

Transparency: in how we work with others, our supply chain and our environmental impact. That’s why we conducted a CO2 footprint analysis to show where our highest environmental impact lies and find eco-friendlier solutions. 

Responsibility:
awareness of our role and responsibility as a new company to build a more social and ecological company from the start and even if it’s more time consuming or costly.

Innovative approach:
evaluation of why we do things the way we do them. Is it tradition, culture, convenience, fear?

The Fine Print

The keg, like a glass bottle, fulfills the requirements under German wine law for an appropriate package format for wine. The keg retains the protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional terms in the wine sector, according to the EU Regulation No. 1306/2013.

Who cleans the kegs after use?

Currently, Ebb & Flow Keg cleans kegs at a local brewery in Mainz.

What makes Ebb & Flow's portfolio different?

The Ebb & Flow Keg team works with partners that highlight the diversity and uniqueness of their region and craft. The Ebb & Flow Keg portfolio offers exclusive batches of craft beverages and wines that won’t be found anywhere else.  

Ebb & Flow Keg only works with producers that have an organic certification, or are in the certification process. Organic producers work to limit the impact on the environment by: 

  • using energy and natural resources responsibly, 
  • maintaining biodiversity, 
  • preserving regional ecological balances, 
  • enhancing soil fertility and 
  • maintenance water quality is taken into consideration

FAQ

What does
ebb&flow mean?

Literally, it means rising and falling of the tides, the coming and going, the pattern of something being continually emptied and refilled, taken and returned. The process that ebb & flow's kegs go through follows this cycle: constantly moving through a circular economy – being filled, transported, tapped, enjoyed, emptied, cleaned and refilled.

The 'fine print'?

The keg, like a glass bottle, fulfills the requirements under German wine law for an appropriate package format for wine. The keg retains the protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional terms in the wine sector, according to the EU Regulation No. 1306/2013.

Why use kegs?
Stainless steel kegs have a life-span of 35 years. They are an ergonomic and sustainable packaging choice for beverages.

Benefits:
  • One 20-liter keg saves: 27 (0,75 l) glass bottles, 27 corks or screw caps, 27 capsules, 27 labels and over 2m² of cardboard materials from the landfill or going through energy-intensive recycling processes.
  • Saves space allowing for nearly double the beverage volume for the same space in transport and storage.
  • Saves time from (re)stocking shelves and coolers with individual bottles and when disposing of bottles with deposit or at recycling bins after use.
  • Durable for transport and storage.
What makes ebb&flow's portfolio different?
The ebb & flow keg team seeks to work with partners that highlight the diversity and uniqueness of their region and craft.
  
ebb & flow only works with producers that have at least an organic certification that have stricter requirements and aims to produce using natural substances and processes. Organic producers aim to limit the impact on the environment by:
  • using energy and natural resources responsibly,
  • maintaining biodiversity, preserving regional ecological balances,
  • enhancing soil fertility and
  • maintenance water quality is taken into consideration
Who cleans the kegs after use?
Currently, ebb & flow cleans kegs with a semi-automated keg cleaning machine at Hochschule Geisenheim University's Beverage Technology Department. Upon expansion in 2021, a cooperation with a local brewery is planned for keg cleaning.
What does sustainability mean at ebb&flow keg?
Transparency: Transparent in how we work with others, our supply chain and our environmental impact.That’s why we are conducting a CO2 footprint analysis to show where our highest environmental impact lies and find eco-friendlier solutions.

Responsibility: Awareness of our role and responsibility as a new company to build a more social and ecological company from the start and even if it’s more time consuming or costly.

Innovative approach: Evaluation of why we do things the way we do them. Is it tradition, culture, convenience, fear?

FAQ

What does
Ebb & Flow mean?

ebb and flow: the way in which the level of something becomes higher or lower in a regular and repeated way, like the way in which the sea’s tides rise and fall

keg: a small cask made out of stainless steel usually used for storing beverages

Literally, it means rising and falling of the tides, the coming and going, the pattern of something being continually emptied and refilled, taken and returned. The process that Ebb & Flow's kegs go through follows this cycle: constantly moving through a circular economy – being filled, transported, tapped, enjoyed, emptied, cleaned and refilled.

The Fine Print

The keg, like a glass bottle, fulfills the requirements under German wine law for an appropriate package format for wine. The keg retains the protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional terms in the wine sector, according to the EU Regulation No. 1306/2013.

Why use kegs?

Stainless steel kegs have a life-span of 35 years. They are an ergonomic and sustainable packaging choice for beverages.

Benefits:

  • One 20-liter keg saves: 27 (0,75 l) glass bottles, 27 corks or screw caps, 27 capsules, 27 labels and over 2m² of cardboard materials from the landfill or going through energy-intensive recycling processes.
  • Saves space in transport and storage.
  • Saves time from (re)stocking shelves and coolers with individual bottles and when disposing of bottles with deposit or at recycling bins after use.
  • Durable for transport and storage.
What does sustainability mean at Ebb & Flow Keg?

Transparency: in how we work with others, our supply chain and our environmental impact. That’s why we are conducting a CO2 footprint analysis to show where our highest environmental impact lies and find eco-friendlier solutions.

Responsibility: awareness of our role and responsibility as a new company to build a more social and ecological company from the start, even if it’s more time consuming or costly.

Innovative approach: evaluation of why we do things the way we do them. Is it tradition, culture, convenience, fear?

About the Kegs

The container itself – Kegs are made out of stainless steel and come in varying sizes, 4 - 50 liter. The standard size used today for wine is 15 - 30 liters. This material is ideal to maintain high hygiene and food safety standards, protect from UV light and pollution particles, and ensure the organoleptic character of the keg contents remain unchanged. Kegs can be used for up to 35 years, if treated with care.

Why kegs? The majority of wine and craft beverages are meant to be enjoyed shortly after their manufacture and bottling date. The keg poses a paradigm shift for the presentation and serving of beverages. This pivotal innovation is based on changing the style of service to tapping from a reusable keg, which signifies a move away from the conventional, single-use glass bottle or bag-in-box that have energy intensive recycling processes.

Did Ebb & Flow Keg invent this concept? No! Ebb & Flow Keg is not the first to fill wine into kegs, single efforts can be seen internationally in all wine producing countries and within the beer industry. However, a unified infrastructure to handle the return, reuse and redistribution of kegs is not widely available in Germany or Europe. We are working to streamline the process and support those looking to take part in the sustainable drinking culture.

Who cleans the kegs after use?

Currently, Ebb & Flow Keg cleans kegs at a local brewery in Mainz.

What makes Ebb & Flow's portfolio different?

The Ebb & Flow Keg team works with partners that highlight the diversity and uniqueness of their region and craft. The Ebb & Flow Keg portfolio offers exclusive batches of craft beverages and wines that won’t be found anywhere else.
  
Ebb & Flow Keg only works with producers that have an organic certification, or are in the certification process. Organic producers work to limit the impact on the environment by: 

  • using energy and natural resources responsibly,
  • maintaining biodiversity, 
  • preserving regional ecological balances,
  • enhancing soil fertility and
  • maintenance water quality is taken into consideration