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Keg and cask colour bandings

Since 1978 the BBPA has maintained an informal container colour band registration scheme on behalf of UK brewers. The colour band combinations are created using a set of ten colours. Colour references for BS4800 Colours. RAL Colours are as follows:-

  • Black 00-E-53 (RAL:9005)
  • Blue (light) 18-E-51 (RAL:5012)
  • Blue (mid) 18-E-53 (RAL:5005)
  • Brown 08-B-29 (RAL:8016)
  • Yellow 10-E-53 (RAL:1018)
  • Green Light 12-E-53 (RAL:6018)
  • Green Spruce 14-C-39 (RAL:6005)
  • Orange 06-E-51 (RAL:2003)
  • Red 04-E-53 (RAL:3020)
  • White 00-E-55 (RAL:9003)

The BBPA is also aware of a further five colours being used. These are Cream, Gold, Grey, Pink & Purple. Whilst these are not part of the original officially agreed colour scheme, if companies are using these colours and inform the BBPA these will be registered on the database.

The database can be found at Colour Band Database.

Please also note that when double and triple colour bands (three colours) are registered, the reciprocal colours are also allocated to that brewer to avoid any confusion caused by upside-down casks and kegs.

The colours shades derive from the British Standard BS 4800 series (1972) but similar shades are also used from the RAL system. The bands are applied side by side, separated by a small gap, usually between the rolling rings of the containers.

Single Bands are only noted to be in use because these pre-dated the scheme and were not allocated on an organised basis.

Double Bands were originally registered by the BBPA exclusively on behalf of individual companies. However, some smaller brewers adopted similar colour bands without knowledge of the registration scheme and every effort has been made since to avoid duplication.

Triple Bands were adopted when double colour combinations were exhausted.

If you wish to register any new colour bands please contact the BBPA to check on availability.

(The BBPA wishes to emphasise that this is a voluntary system with the aim of avoiding duplication. The BBPA cannot be held responsible for any errors or misunderstandings arising from the sorting/collection of containers. Colour bands should be regarded as an aid to identification and not a definitive system. Containers should be identified by all means available, i.e. brewer's name stamped on container, product labels etc.)