These 4 Ideas Can Help Your Next Tap Installation

Be it from rehabbing an old system to installing a completely new one, taproom serving installations can come in a variety of ways, and making sure you have it all planned out properly at the start can save headaches — and potential additional costs — down the line.

For Denver’s FlyteCo, its current tap system is built directly into the cooler wall.

“We use a blend gas system with small gauge high-pressure lines,” explained Head Brewer Jason Slingsby. They also have four beer pumps that serve beer directly from the brewery’s 15-barrel brite tanks.

Florida’s 3 Daughters recently added a second location, opening a taproom in the Clearwater Beach area and taking over a former Hooters restaurant. That meant adapting a system that was already there to their specific needs, explained VP of Sales & Marketing Brian Horne.

“What we do here, we’re gonna replicate,” he explained, as the brewery has a goal of opening several taprooms throughout the state of Florida over the next couple of years.

“We wanted to make sure whatever we do here is a blueprint,” he said. “After we looked at all the different options and all these cool things that you can do, the tried-and-true system is still the best.”

Here are some tips from these breweries and Arizona’s Grand Canyon Brewing’s Alexander Phillips.

Choose the Best Equipment for You

Drawing from a walk-in cooler is key for Grand Canyon, said Phillips, the brewery’s Director of Sales.

“We go through a lot of draft beer at our pubs, we need to be able to disconnect and reconnect quickly with back stock ready and available on hand,” he said.

Slingsby urged to not skimp on quality parts. Understanding what you need before starting can help alleviate headaches later.

“It may be more expensive upfront but it will save you in the long run,” he said. “It is always much harder to plan repairs and incorporate changes once the business is open and running.”

You want your faucets to fit your glassware needs. Experts from Micro Matic shared with Brewer recently to make sure those faucets are made of type 304 or higher stainless steel since this type of material is easier to clean and more durable. The most common faucet is a basic free-flow design for pint glasses or a flow control faucet to allow for flexibility when dispensing into various glassware styles, flight glasses, and growlers. If you’re serving nitrogenated beer, install specialized stout faucets; and don’t forget to include a drip tray design and the preferred glass rinsers.

Must Haves

Phillips shared some “must-haves” for Grand Canyon when installing at the start is an option. Those included making sure your brewery has a large catch tray.

”A beer splash zone is much larger than assumed,” he said. “This helps keep cleaner areas and less beer splashing and building up in the nooks and crannies of your bar.”

Rinse for glassware is also an absolute timesaver in addition to making draft pours easier which helps waste less product.

Phillips also noted that if you’re rehabbing an older system, use the opportunity to upgrade the design.

“Save what you can — good quality hoses, stainless parts, and such — replace lower quality materials, and hire a pro to set up the lines properly,” he said. “Excessive foaming or a bad pour at the taps is pouring money down the drain.

“Clean your lines regularly and always have a few spare parts on hand — beer pumps, hose clamps, Sankey adapters, and such.”

Location, Location, Location!

If you can, build your taps directly into the cooler wall, Slingsby noted.

“It saves money by not having to install a trunk line or glycol system, and it can be very efficient,” he said.

Is DIY Worth It?

You have to be willing to cut off pieces of equipment and throw them out.”Too many times trying to make old equipment function or integrate with new additions and it can lead to higher costs with extended labor and time trying to troubleshoot,” Phillips said. “Sometimes it’s best to just get it out of the way.”

Is doing it yourself the best option in your brewery’s tap faucet installs?

”We have found it best to use someone local who comes recommended from industry peers,” Phillips said. “Things are unpredictable and when something goes wrong, you’ll want to be able to reach out to someone who can show up in a hurry.

“Our guys are called the Glycol Guys and they service most of the rural part of our state. Brandon has been able to expand his company and hire three more employees over the last several years.”

Horne said that bringing in people that know the systems best will help you.

”In this case, it was our distributor,” he said. “They have a whole team of people that all they do is service clean and maintain tap lines. I joke with my entire team, stay in your lane. We all have different jobs, right? Just because you brew beer might not mean you know how to set up a tap system. Get the people that you need that know what they’re doing.”

Photo Courtesy Dustin Holstein

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.