There's a lot more to draft beer than just tap lines and changing kegs.
Whether you're serving flavorful craft beers to sophisticated palates in St. Louis and Kansas City or are serving draft specials in the college bars of Lincoln, Columbia, and Iowa City, draft beer is an art form with many considerations.
Most foodservice establishments face a handful of repeating issues with their draft beer programs. From selecting the right tap system to simply serving draft beer, let's take a look at four of the most common draft beer challenges:
The Beer Isn't Cold Enough
With macro beer companies like Budweiser and Michelob promoting ultra-cold options, and with companies like Coors even making it part of their marketing and packaging ("when the mountains turn blue"), there has never been a higher demand for ultra-cold beers.
The Beer Is Too Cold
At the same time there's an increase in demand for ultra-cold beer, there's an even bigger increase in demand for craft beers. This demand comes from a well-educated consumer with a refined palate for full-bodied and flavorful beers. These beers lose their flavors when they're poured too cold and at temperatures equal to the ultra-cold beers.
Controlling all the factors that affect keg temperature is hard.
When your keg is not stored at the proper temperature, your draft beer program will suffer, and ultimately, so will your foodservice establishment. Warm beer, for example, will provide less keg yield, will lead to more foam, and offer less customer satisfaction. Keeping your beer at the right temperature – consistently – should be a top priority for any bar or restaurant.
Indoor compressors put out a lot of heat and are hard to service.
There's nothing worse for a bartender than an entire shift of hot air on a hot summer day. For the owner of the establishment, there's nothing worse than paying a small fortune to achieve and maintain optimum beer temperatures. In many occasions, that's exactly what an indoor-installed compressor will do. They will run excessively, be difficult to maintain, and often require a costly water-cooled system.
Picking your team is hard, too.
Midwesterners are die-hard fans. It's tough to decide which pennant to hang above the bar. But whether you go with the Iowa Hawkeyes or the Kansas Jayhawks, everyone likes draft beer. If you serve it well, you can't go wrong.
What's the solution?
There are many tap systems available with a variety of selling points and benefits. Perlick's ArcticPOUR technology, for example, is known industry-wide as the optimal draft beer solution. It allows bar and restaurant operators to serve beer at multiple temperatures from the same tap system while relocating the compressor to a more suitable location.
Before your foodservice establishment or beverage program considers purchasing or replacing your tap system, though, you should consider all aspects of draft beer. Read the Perlick Draft Beer Manual, and literally discover all aspects of serving beer-on-tap, from building a draft beer system to glassware and proper serving temperatures.
Learn everything you've ever wanted to know about draft beer.