Draft Beer Systems

Drawn from a large container like a keg, these systems can handle anywhere from 1 to more than 200 different beer varieties.

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Operators can choose from three basic types of commercial draft beer systems. The direct-draw type stores kegs in a refrigerated keg box under the counter or bar. This type provides a simple, retrofittable and often cost-effective alternative to long-draw systems.

Draft beer systems represent a key item in many restaurants and bars and their popularity only grew in recent years due to the craft beer boom. That said, in the event a restaurant or bar plans to temporarily close to ride out the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, operator would be wise to properly shut down their draft beer systems.

The maintenance and cleaning procedures for draft beer systems depends on the type of system, including whether the refrigeration is self-contained or remote. “With keg boxes, bar operators need to be aware of CO2 pressure, rotate stock and not leave kegs in the cooler too long,” says Drew Beaty, who handles fleet and inventory at Nashville, Tenn.-based A Head for Profits.

Operators commonly use draft beer systems to maintain or chill beer to a specific temperature while transporting the brew when they cannot locate the keg directly at the bar.

When choosing beer and wine dispensing systems, it helps to be educated on how the different types operate, cost considerations and maintenance requirements.

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