In this post, Rick Uzubell from Cabaret Design Group discusses how to purchase a draft beer kegerator. Discover the cost and design factors and limitations when purchasing draft beer systems for restaurants, bars, sports bars and nightclubs.
Today I want to talk about Direct-Draw Draft Beer System Design for bars, restaurants and nightclubs. If you're considering such a system for your establishment, there's a few things you need to know to make a sound investment.
What Are The Fundamentals of Draft Beer Systems?
First, all draft beer systems rely on refrigerators or walk-in coolers to house the beer, as the temperature of the product is of the utmost importance. Ideally, draft beer should be delivered between 36 – 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Even a slight increase in temperature can lead to excessive foaming and even cloudy and sour beer, and worst of all -- lost profits! Because of the short operating distances, direct-draw draw systems are inherently efficient at delivering consistent high quality beer.
What Types of Equipment are Available for Draft Beer Systems?
First, we have direct-draw coolers and we also have the emerging draft beer wall systems. In terms of the former, this is equipment that many people have seen through the years and they come in various configurations. It's just a short cooler with beer towers on top. This one here is about five feet long, and about 4" deeper than a standard backbar cooler. They're designed primarily to handle half barrels, so you would probably put the popular U.S. domestics into something like this, which would be Miller Lite, Bud Light and Coors. Other comparable models are available from two-to-six faucets and they range in price from USD $1,000 to $3,500. If you want to get a little craftier here (no pun intended Lol), you could put together a cooler like this, which is a Perlick DDS 84, which is a 7' cooler, and you could add your own tower to it and do it ala carte. This is a Micro-Matic Metro-T tower with eight faucets (ref. to the photo below, right), so therefore, you could get eight brands of beer out of here. Typically, they would be slim quarter-barrels and slim sixth barrels, which are the keg sizes typical of craft beers. But, if you were trying to work that into your into your picture, I'm going to demonstrate this by live example, to a bar that we currently have on the board (ref. to the photo above, right). This one here is designed to process alcohol-based drinks and typical of that (I'll get you back to better example) we would have all the underbar stainless on the front bar and because virtually every square inch of this front bar is dedicated towards equipment that's used to process alcohol-based drinks, there's really no place for that type of cooler on the front bar. If you were to turn around and put it behind you, what you would typically have back here are tiered bottle displays for your call and premium liquor, that would make it virtually impossible for you to reach these bottles efficiently without having to constantly reach around them and knocking them over. So, in terms of how you would incorporate that type of cooler in your in your system-- in your establishment -- I have another idea, and this could be a good one, you could put it (because they're available casters) you take the same seven foot Perlick unit put out here inside the restaurant wherever you have a busy day, and then you could have an additional bartender out here, and/or even put something like this out on a terrace arrangement. This is a nice approach for relieving pressure off your normal bartenders on a busy night.