Sunday, January 13, 2008

Party Beer Dispensing

Have you ever found yourself at a party where the the fine flavor of the beer has been fouled by the keg party pump which used regular air to push the beer out of the keg instead of an inert gas such as CO2. Quite honestly if you are at the average college party the overpowering shit quality of the beer on hand never seems to merit anything more crude then a regular keg party pump. For example, kegs of Keystone Light, Natural Ice, and so on, basically on up to the king of the shitty beers, Pabst Blue Ribbon. For Pabst and all beers above said level of quality deserve to be dispensed in a less primitive manor. Yes for the record I am placing Paps Blue Ribbon above the likes of Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Light, Coors and Coors Lite. I am not saying it is better then Yuengling which happens to be awesome beer and impossible to find on the west coast.
While the likely hood of one being able to notice a change in the flavor of a keg of beer tapped with a traditional keg party pump for a couple of hours after tapping would seem to be rather low, if I had to guess you would be able to notice a difference in the quality of the beer after four or five hours. At a crazy party a keg might not last that long, but at a smaller party this could become an issue. I don't know for a fact at what point the flavor of a keg of beer becomes tainted by a party pump, but I would guess someone who knows their beer and who is familiar with the said beer on hand could tell the difference.
There are a couple of solutions for this problem, the first being just uses cans or bottles. This option is cheaper when having a small gathering, for a large party it is more expensive. Also you have to pay for the CRV of the cans or bottles and people tend to make a mess with the bottles and cans by leaving them all of your house and yard. For a keg you only pay a reasonably small deposit on the keg shell which is easily recovered by returning the shell to the original distributor the keg was purchased from.
Personally I am fond of Star Liquors in Chico. The guys there will take care of you so long as you don't try to sneak a fake ID past them, in such case they will take it from you. Really they are great guys and can get you any keg you want for a fair price. They are a hell of a lot cheaper then Aggie Liquor here in Davis, or Tony's Liquor in Chico and a lot nicer. The number at Star Liquors is 530-891-4842. One might wonder why I buy my kegs in Chico when I live in Davis. Well frankly I go through about one keg a month and I like to go home to Chico once a month so I pick up a fresh keg from Star on my way home from Chico when I travel there.
The other option for dispensing draft beer at a party is a CO2 powered dispensing system. Which consists of a CO2 tank, in my case a five pound tank because of its portability, a regulator (mine has two CO2 outputs so ideally I could be set up to dispense two kegs at once if I had a second set of taping equipment,) a tap (in this case a D Sankey,) a beer riser and a faucet (the tap, riser and faucet are all completely food grade stainless steel.) As you can see from the picture the system sits right on top of a keg and the riser brings the faucet up to a perfect pouring hight. I used this set up to dispense a Keg of Spaten Premium in November. The setup worked great.
I should mention I get the majority of my beer dispensing equipment from a company called Micromatic. If you have any interest in dispensing draft beer take a look at their web site. They have lots of information, tips a forum and all the parts and pieces you might ever need to get your beer to flow.
Currently I am drinking a pint of Hefeweizen and listening to The Pogues which is a great way to spend an afternoon. If it wasn't about to get dark outside I would go for a bike ride, but I really don't want to go riding in the dark. Maybe I will post some pictures of my Trek road bike in the future. It is really fast and a pleasure to ride, it is amazing how much of a difference clip in peddles makes. I find myself going a lot faster when I use them then when I just use plain old pedals with foot straps. I plan to put the clip in pedals on my fixed gear when I ride the sorter version of the wildflower this spring.


homain said...
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