Pro Flow Dynamics

Monday, March 19, 2012

Portable Beer Serving Options!

Looking for options to serve your draft beer on the go?  Here's a roundup of some of the available options for your next tailgate or get together.


One of the easiest options to serve your homebrew on the go is filling up a growler.

Filling a growler from your draft setup is an easy and straightforward process...

  1. Start with a cold growler.  I suggest putting it in your kegerator so it's the exact same temperature as your beer.  This will reduce foaming.
  2. Having a wet growler also seems to help reduce foam.  Put Star San in your growler prior to chilling, swirl it around to coat all surfaces and discard jut prior to filling.
  3. If you're using picnic taps a 3/8" ID section of tubing should fit nicely on the end of your taps.  If you're using a Perlick style faucet, a section of 1/2" ID tubing should fit on your faucet.  Make sure the tubing is long enough to hit the bottom of the growler.  Turn down the pressure to 4 or 5 psi and slowly fill.  Close on foam and you're good to go.  Growler filling attachments are also available.  See below for some options.
2L, German made and pressure capable.  This is a great growler that I use myself.

2L Swing Top Growler GL520 - $29.95 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Standard  64 oz Growler
Beer Growler (64oz) - $7.95 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

1L, German made and pressure capable.  Hands on Review

Brown 1 Liter Growler - $16 + Shipping

64 oz stainless steel.  No worries about broken glass with this one.  Great for the pool or beach.

Stainless Steel Beer Growler - 64 oz - $31.95 Shipped

64 oz, 18/8 Stainless, Double Walled Growler.  The vacuum insulation on this thing is amazing.  Check out my extensive Hands on Review of this thing that includes temp trials.  This growler is a Top Find.  This is also available in Black and White versions.  Also available in a new "Barrel Size".

Lifeline 7500 Silver Stainless Steel Growler - 64 oz. Capacity - $29.02 Shipped

Same idea as the Lifeline, generally this one is a bit more expensive.  Double wall insulated 18/8 stainless, 64 ounce growler.  No worries about broken glass with this one.  Great for the pool or beach.

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Drinking Bottle - Price Varies
40 ounce version of the Lifeline Vacuum Insulated Container.  Check out my Hands on Review.  Also available in Pink, Blue, White and Orange.

Lifeline 7502 Silver Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle - 40 oz. Capacity - $24.08 + Free Shipping with $25 order

Carbonator Cap/Kent Systems Soda Bottle Cap
Same idea as the growler, just using inexpensive 1L and 2L PET Soda Bottles. From a tailgating perspective, this is probably preferable vs a glass growler.  Fill up several 2L bottles and you're good to go.
Fill the 1L or 2L Bottle just like you would a growler, put on a carbonating cap and pressurize for easy transport.  See a full write up on the Kent Systems solution here.

This has the advantage of being more economical and safer vs a glass growler.  PET plastic bottles will not shatter.  Also, handy if you want to go into an area that restricts glass such as a pool area.

Kent Systems Soda Bottle Cap and QD - $9.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Same idea as the Kent Systems Cap.  This has a built in ball lock connection.

Carbonator Cap - KEG580 - $14.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Growler filling attachments are also available...

There are two versions of this.  One for standard faucets and one for Perlick faucets.  Just add a length of 3/8th" tubing to either one of these and you're up and going.

Stainless Steel Growler Filler - Fits Standard Faucets D1222 - $4.49 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Stainless Steel Growler Fillers - For Perlick 525 Faucet D1224 - $4.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Small Draft Setups
Small kegging setups that lend themselves to easy transport.  You can either fill from your kegerator or bottle condition directly in these.
I'm a happy Tap a Draft user!  This system comes with three 1.5 Gallon Bottles, A Tap and CO2 Cartridges for serving.  4.5 gallon total capacity is just about the perfect size for a finished 5 gallon batch.  Or, fill one bottle up off of your kegerator faucet.  This tap also works with 3L PET Soda Bottles.

Tap A Draft - $74.99 Shipped

Party Pig Dispenser

Similar to the Tap a Draft.  Party Pig Bottles Hold 2.25 Gallons of Beer.
Instead of using CO2 Cartridges, the party pig uses an expanding pouch.

Party Pig Dispenser - $39.99

5L Mini Kegs

Serving your full Corny Keg of Beer
Now we transition into solutions for serving full Cornelius kegs of beer.  Combine your keg full of homebrew with a faucet and a CO2 source.

Faucet Options

This is nice because it provides plenty of resistance for foam control, takes up minimal space and looks great.

Faucet Quick Disconnect Assembly - $35.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Pin Lock Version:

Pin Lock QD Faucet Assembly - $36  + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Draft Boxes
These are for serving beer that isn't necessarily cold yet.  Ice in the cooler quickly gets beer down to serving temperature quickly.  I'd consider a draft box only for bigger events where you're going to serve a considerable amount of beer.

Draft Box - 1 Faucet - $179.99 Shipped
Draft Box - Two Faucet - $299.99 Shipped

Picnic Tap

'nuf said

CO2/Pressure Options

These things are great.  Compact and easy to use.  If you go with this option, I'd recommend running the thing yourself.  Guests tend to squeeze this for fun and sport and empty out the cartridge in short order.  You just need a couple of taps to keep the pressure at an acceptable level for serving.

Ball Lock Handheld CO2 Charger - $29.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Pin Lock Version:
CO2 Injector Pin Lock - $29.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Same idea as the previous two solutions only you add your own disconnect.

Cornelius Keg CO2 Charger - $16.50 Shipped

Similar to the handheld unit above, but with a regulator and larger CO2 cartridges.  The CO2 cartridge on this is more than 4 times larger than the injector featured above.  The regulator also means this takes care of itself.  I have one of these and love it.  It has come in handy as a backup CO2 source when my main tank ran empty.  You could also use this to keep an already carbonated keg at a different pressure/carbonation level from your main CO2 source.

Mini CO2 Regulator Kit - $139.99 Shipped

Pin Lock Version:
Use a compact Paintball CO2 tank to dispense your beer using this CO2 regulator designed for the task.  Much more portable than your 5, 10 or 20 lb tank.

Paintball Tank Regulator - $84.95

If you know you're going to go through a whole keg, or multiple kegs, this hand pump is a great option.  No tubing or CO2 to bother with.  Of course, it's going to cause oxidation, but that doesn't matter if you're drinking the beer quickly.

Ball Lock Hand Pump - $36.99

2.5 Gallon Kegs
If you're looking for a smaller, more portable keg, check out this 2.5 gallon model.  I own two of these and they are great.  Check out my hands on review here

A 5-6 gallon bucket with ice has worked well for me.

If you don't filter your beer and decide to strap your keg on the back of an ATV and take off, you'll soon figure out why people filter their beer as your guests remark at how Budweiser doesn't have the same chunks of yeast that your beer has.

1.  Get it in place ahead of time and let it settle.
2.  Filter it.  Hands on Review - Here
3.  Transfer clear beer to a new keg and leave any yeast behind.

Got an option to add to the list?  Email Homebrew Finds!

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