A central feature of most bars is a draught beer system. Components of a basic system include:
- CO2 System – Tank, regulator, and air lines for the CO2 that pressurizes the keg and “pushes” beer through the beer lines.
- Keg Coupler – A stainless steel coupling that attaches directly to the valve on top of the beer keg. It has two ports. One port allows CO2 to flow into the keg, while the other port allows beer to flow out of the keg. The type most often used in the U.S. is called a “D System Coupler” but there are several others.
- Beer Lines – Typically, they are food grade braided vinyl hoses with fittings that connect to the keg coupler. Whether tapped kegs are kept cold in a cooler beneath the bar, or in a walk-in at the rear of the kitchen, beer lines carry beer the distance from the kegs to the bar.
- Beer Shank – Threaded into the rear of a beer faucet, it allows the faucet to be mounted to a tap tower, and provides a bridge to connect a beer line to the beer faucet.
- Beer Faucets – Beer faucets are spigots or valves that beer pours out of when open. Stainless steel, brass, chrome, or plastic, one or more faucets are attached to a tap tower.
- Tap Tower – A tap tower is a solid structure mounted to the top of the bar. It supports one or more beer faucets. Tap towers can be very simple or elaborately ornamental. All the beer hoses and faucet connections are housed inside the tap tower and hidden from sight.
- Tap Handles – Tap handles come in many varieties and are often ornamental. They screw onto the beer faucet and provide a handle to start and stop the flow of beer. Distributors often provide custom tap handles for the brands they sell.
- Drip Trays – Every draught beer system needs a drip tray wide enough to catch overflowing beer and foam. Drip trays should extend beneath all beer faucets and be easy to clean.
Quality parts and professional installation ensure quality draught beer service.