Draft beer at a wedding reception is a very popular option that can save you money. A draft beer setup does not need to be elaborate, but it can be very aesthetically pleasing and functional. How you present your keg beer at a wedding largely depends on the theme of the wedding, but your budget can certainly play a part as well. We will break down some options and show you some examples of what others have done at their weddings. Keep in mind that the three options I am presenting can be expanded into many different variations. Need help, see the end of this article for my contact information. I have built and designed a lot of systems over the years and I am happy to help you with your wedding!
Before launching into the three types of kits, maybe I should back up for a moment, this is not really the most basic way to pour beer from a keg. The most basic way is using hand or picnic pumps. So, what is the difference between these systems? Our kits (basic, fridge or tower) use CO2 to not only push the beer, but also to keep it carbonated, fresh and very easy to pour. This means that any beer left over can still be used the next day or even the next month. As soon as you introduce a hand pump to a keg you are putting air and oxygen in the keg and the beer will have to be consumed quickly before getting oxygenated (cardboard taste) and decarbonated (flat).
Option one – The basic kit. A basic keg dispense system is exactly what it sounds like, it is the most basic way to pour a beer from a keg. This does not mean it is not a good system. You can get a perfect pour out of this system, especially if you opt for the flow control option.
***Having said this, maybe I should back up for a moment, this is not really the most basic way to pour beer from a keg. The most basic way is using hand or picnic pumps. So what is the difference between these systems? Our kits (Basic, fridge or tower) use CO2 to not only push the beer, but also to keep it carbonated, fresh and very easy to pour. As soon as you introduce a hand pump to a keg you are putting air and oxygen in the keg and the beer will have to be consumed quickly before getting oxygenated (cardboard taste) and decarbonated (Flat).
OK, so back to the Basic Kit and how it works. There are basically four main parts, CO2 cylinder, beer regulator, coupler and either a party faucet or a CMB Event Faucet. The kits also include all of the hose and fittings you need to dispense beer. There is also a kit with a smaller pin valve CO2 kit that can get you serving your draft beer for a budget pleasing under $150!
So how do you utilize a basic kit in a wedding? The most common way is to place your keg in new trash can fill it with ice. This works great at a wedding because it can go anywhere. You then just hook up your system to the keg and serve directly from the keg using a party faucet or event faucet. Want to dress this up a little? Put the keg under a table and drill a hole through the table with the dispense hose and faucet coming out or use a Jockey Box to dispense the beer.
Option Two – The fridge or shank kit. These are the most popular kits for weddings and with good reason. You can use these kits to build a very customized bar for your wedding but keep it on budget. You can also use these kits to build keezers or to convert a standard refrigerator.
So how does that custom bar work? Basically, you build a free-standing bar and then drill holes in the back wall of the bar and put your beer shanks through the holes. The kegs themselves can be put in new trash cans or another vessel that will hold the kegs and ice. This will give you a “bar” inspired by your wedding theme. This is a great project for the Bride and Groom or for that bored groom and his friends! Get him involved by putting him in charge of the beer!
Option Three – The Tower Kit. This is another fun option for a wedding. Beer towers are often used on “Kegerators” but can also be used to build a draped table for an elegant look with only the beer tower seen by your guests. You can have the taps face your guests or face your bartender. It is also possible to have a “Custom” tower made to commemorate your wedding. Need help with a custom tower? Contact [email protected] for more information.
So, what set up or system is best for you? This depends on many factors including the look you are going for, your budget and the number of beers you want to serve. The good news is that there is a draft solution for every need. Also keep in mind that these systems can be put to great use after your wedding. You can easily and affordably set up a new draft beer system in your home and I am happy to help with additional information.
Need help designing a system for your wedding? I have designed and helped build many systems over the years and my staff and I would love to help you with your wedding. Contact [email protected], [email protected] or call us at 325-356-5204 for personalized assistance.
Todd Burns, www.kegconnection.com