Michigan is hiking the deposit consumers pay when buying kegs to try to head off a growing problem for brewers.
The current deposit on kegs is $10 in Michigan. Brewers say they are losing thousands of kegs each year to consumers who drink the contents, but instead of taking the empties back for a deposit refund bring them to scrap metal dealers. With stainless steel scrap prices at a record $1,75 a pound, the barrels fetch more as scrap than the deposit.
The new deposit in Michigan will be $30, which the state hopes is enough to keep kegs out of the scrap yard. It costs brewers $152 to replace a half-barrel keg.