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If you’re the kind of person who finds themselves in frequent need of a reliable beer tap for a keg, first, can I come over? And second, you’ve probably noticed the poor quality of pump that comes with the rented keg. They can be difficult to use and attach, they leak, they can’t control pressure. If you need a reliable tool for rental kegs, or if you actually have your own kegerator at home and you need a new coupler (please can I come over?), you can purchase beer taps separately.
As with most things beer-related, there is a plethora of technical details that come with beer taps, with varying styles, mechanisms, shapes, and materials according to the type of keg, kegerator, and beer. Also like most things beer-related, you probably don’t need to overthink these things.
What to Consider When Buying a Beer Tap
We’re going to keep it simple, and isolate three of the most important factors to keep in mind when looking for the right pump or beer tap for you. It mostly comes down to efficacy and the type of keg you’re tapping.
Keg: First things first, are you looking to tap a rental or freestanding keg or are you looking for a coupler to attach to your home kegerator system? There’s less to think about when it comes to a basic beer pump, but with a beer coupler you need to take your entire system into account, including pressure source and the type of beer you’re storing.
Sealing and Pressure Functions: Some pumps provide a better seal when attached to the keg, thus keeping air and beer from leaking. Another common issue is a keg with too much pressure, leading to overly foamy beer. A pressure relief valve is useful for, well, releasing pressure, and can actually be used to help troubleshoot a leaky keg.
Ease-of-Use: This concern is mostly for the rental keg crowd, who will need something that’s uncomplicated to attach, detach, and clean (which can be a pain).
1. Bev Rite Beer Keg Tap
We find this basic beer pump perfect for tapping a keg at parties or events. Not only is it easy to set-up, users are impressed by the pump’s spring lock function and how well it seals and maintains pressure in the keg. When the party’s over, it’s easy to clean as well.
2. Jansamn HCx2 Type Kegerator
For kegs and kegerator systems with a CO2 leakage problem, users say this stainless steel coupler with pressure release valve and included hardware is a life saver (or beer saver, rather). The coupler fits American kegs perfectly, and comes with two tailpieces as well as a hose clamp to firmly secure the tap to the keg.
3. Taprite PP601 Keg Pump
Another excellent choice for parties, we love this portable pump system which is compact in size and comes with a sturdy tapping base, pressure release valve, and conveniently enormous button on the faucet which makes it easy to pour.
4. NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System
So this isn’t just a beer tap, but rather an entire kegerator system, and we love it for a few reasons. For starters, it is made of high-grade stainless steel and comes with all necessary hardware included (which fit perfectly). Secondly, unlike similar systems, this kegerator set’s CO2 delivery system is valve-controlled, which offers more control. Meanwhile the CO2 pressure gauge lets you know exactly where the pressure is at all times (and keeps you from blowing a literal gasket).