If you are in the process of opening up your own restaurant, and you plan on serving beer off tap in your new restaurant, you need to understand how kegerators work.
A kegerator is a device that stores beer kegs and allows you to dispense the beer from the kegs into a glass. It is basically a cabinet or box where kegs are stored. They generally have doors on them that latch closed. Finally, they have a tower on the topside that allows you to access and dispense the beer inside of the kegs. A kegerator, although seemingly simple, requires specific parts. You will need to purchase all the following parts along with your kegerator in order to be able to use it:
- Keg: In order to use your kegerator, you will need to purchase kegs full of beer. These kegs will be stored inside of your kegerator, where they will be kept chilled at just the right temperature. You will have to work with local beer distributors in order to purchase kegs for your restaurant.
- Coupler: A coupler is the valve that you have to use in order to tap the keg. Some beer distributors provide you with couplers when you rent or purchase kegs from them, and other beer distributors require you to provide your own.
- CO2 Tank & Regulator: In order to turn the liquid inside of the keg into drinkable beer, you need to add CO2 to the mixture. You will have to attach a CO2 tank to each coupler. The pressure of the gas will push the beer all the way up to the tower through a dedicated line. You need a regulator so you can keep an eye on the CO2 pressure.
- Tap Tower: The beer will then travel from the dedicated keg, through the coupler, all the way to the tower. The tap tower is the physical structure that you attach faucets to and dispense the beer from. The sizes of your tap tower will determine how many types of beer you can serve on-tap in your restaurant.
- Faucets: A faucet is secured to each tap on the tower. These are the devices that you pull forward in order to pour the beer. You can attach taps to the faucets that display the logo and information about the particular beer you are dispensing from that tap.
- Drip Tray: You generally have to purchase a drip tray separately from the actual kegerator unit. This tray is designed to go under all of your faucets and taps. It is used to collect overflow that occur when beer is being dispensed. You can manually drain the drip tray, or have it drain into a nearby sink.
- Guard Rail: Finally, if you want to use the top of your kegerator to keep glasses or mixers, you should purchase a guard rail for it. This will help keep the glasses and mixers secure.
If you are in the process of setting up your new restaurant, make sure you talk to a beer installation specialist and get their assistance with ordering and setting up your kegerator in your bar area. Contact a business, such as the Perfect Pour Draft Beer Specialists, for more information.