Best keg tap

Party Supplies

Your keg tap should be cleaned every time you change the keg.

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Which keg tap is best?

The greenest way to package a beverage is in a keg. A keg is returnable, refillable, and recyclable. There is no waste — unless you don’t finish the contents of the keg, that is. However, in order to access the beverage contained within a keg, you need a keg tap.

Keg taps are not standard. The one that you need to buy is dependent on the type of beer you like. Our favorite is Bev Rite’s Heavy-Duty D System Beer Party Pump Picnic Keg Tap because it is built to last and works with most domestic brewers. To learn more about this model or the features to look for in other quality keg taps, keep reading.

What to know before you buy a keg tap

System

The most important aspect to bear in mind when choosing a keg tap is that they are not universal. Different breweries use different systems. The bulk of North American beer companies use a D system, while many imported beer companies use an S or an A system. You must match the tap (or coupler, as it is also called) to the keg in order for it to work. Currently, there are eight different types of systems in use in the U.S.

Pump-operated

A pump-operated keg tap requires the user to manually pressurize the keg via pumping. These devices pump oxygen into the keg and are only meant for short-term usage situations such as a party or a picnic.

Gas-operated

Instead of manually pressurizing the keg with a hand pump, a gas-operated keg coupler uses a canister or a cartridge of pressured carbon dioxide to keep the beer flowing. When the gas runs out, you will need to refill or purchase a new container.

What to look for in a quality keg tap

Materials

The purpose of the pump on a keg tap is to build up pressure inside the keg so the beer flows freely. Because of this, the best models will be manufactured using metal so they can withstand the pressure. Additionally, durable internal gaskets are needed to help protect the unit from leaking. Affordable materials might bring the price down, but they will also compromise the keg tap’s durability.

Locking lever

This component is a lever that drops down and locks in place to hold the keg tap in the keg. It needs to be made of metal and should be easy to operate (both lock and release), otherwise, frustration will quickly set in.

Pump size

The pump on most keg taps resembles a bicycle air pump — a cylindrical object that can range from roughly 4” to over a foot tall. If you are storing your keg in an area that doesn’t have much room or in an area where you are afraid that a taller pump could be bumped and damaged, you may want to opt for a shorter pump. Always remove the keg tap from your keg before transporting, so it doesn’t get damaged.

How much you can expect to spend on a keg tap

For less than $40, you can purchase an inexpensive, plastic keg tap. These models are not as effective at keeping the keg pressurized as a stainless steel model, which may cost closer to $50. If you would like a high-end model, one which features the most durable construction, you will be looking at spending $60 and up.

Keg taps FAQ

Why is the beer coming out of the keg so foamy?

A. The number-one reason for excess foam is too much pressure. This happens when the keg tap is pumped between each and every pour. If your keg becomes over-pressurized, the only way to fix the situation is to keep pouring until the pressure inside the keg reduces.

Why does the beer in my keg go flat so quickly?

A. Most home keg taps use oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. The more oxygen that is pumped into a keg, the quicker the beer will go flat. The average picnic keg will only last 12 to 24 hours before going noticeably flat.

What keg taps are best to buy?

Top keg tap

Bev Rite’s Heavy-Duty D System Beer Party Pump Picnic Keg Tap

Bev Rite’s Heavy-Duty D System Beer Party Pump Picnic Keg Tap

Our take: A durable 8” metal D system keg tap.

What we like: This keg tap is easy to install, and it is made of chrome so it is able to withstand a good bit of pressure. The durable build allows it to hold up under even larger, 100-person parties.

What we dislike: Rarely, a consumer runs into a model with a leaky spout.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top keg tap for the money

YaeBrew KC KTP-4D1 D System

YaeBrew KC KTP-4D1 D System

Our take: An affordable D system keg tap that is easier to transport due to its compact size.

What we like: Compact design that moves a high volume of air, which allows you to pressurize the keg with minimal effort. Features a quick install and easy cleaning.

What we dislike: It develops a bit of an extra head if it’s pumped too much.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Right Dynamics’ Premium Keg Tap, Draft Beer Picnic Party Pump

Right Dynamics’ Premium Keg Tap, Draft Beer Picnic Party Pump

Our take: A sturdy, stainless steel D system keg tap.

What we like: This solid 8” keg tap features an impressive lever handle lock with a no-leak internal gasket. Company offers a 100% money back guarantee.

What we dislike: Other than an occasional shipping mishap, there are no real issues with this well-built, durable keg tap.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

 

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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