Many of us small batch brewers have decided to package our beers in something other than bottles. In a previous post I discussed different options and they all work but what about dispensing? Up till now we usually use a picnic tap with our corny kegs or just open a growler and pour a beer. Problems with that is picnic taps should have at least a 5 foot hose to offer resistance to provide a nice pour and opening a growler immediately starts to degrade the beer so you have to consume it quickly. Most us small batch brewers are also brewing/living in small spaces that don’t allow us the luxury of having a kegerator so we stick our small corny keg in our refrigerator and try to put the picnic tap and it’s hose somewhere out of the way.
Now there is something new for us. I usually don’t review many products unless they are geared towards small batch brewing and I actually get to us one. Enter the tap taproom.club dispensing system. As you may know I have a PicoBrew Pico brewing appliance I use on occasion when I just want to brew something quick without much interaction in the process and have been happy with it. I follow a Facebook group for PicoBrew users and one day something popped up on the group…the taproom.club system. It was created by a Pico user in the Seattle area that wanted a better dispensing solution for the small kegs and even the 5L mini kegs that Pico users use. I immediately saw it as a great concept for, not only Pico users, but for small batch brewers. I had a couple online discussions with the taproom.club creator, Kechu Trevino, and was going to get one but he was selling them so quickly I kept missing the opportunity. After being notified that I was presenting at Homebrew Con I thought now is the time to get one. I got ahold of Kechu again and told him I would like to have something to take with to HomeBrew Con and he had a new production run and I was able to buy one. It drew a lot of attention at Homebrew Con but I didn’t really have a chance to use it because I was so busy with the preparation for the conference.
After the conference things slowed down and the vanilla porter I had fermenting was ready to keg so I tried it out.
One thing that impressed me was the flexibility of the system. It can dispense from small corny kegs (I use the 1.75 gallon ones), 5L mini kegs, keg style stainless steel growlers with screw on caps and even standard 64 oz glass growlers.
The biggest selling point to me was that it keeps everything together and sit nicely in the fridge. With the flow control beer faucet long lines aren’t required to get a nice pour. It has a built-in paintball tank CO2 regulator and uses 3.75 ounce paintball tanks (comes with two) that can be refilled at most sporting goods stores. The lines are connected to system with valved quick disconnects that allow you to switch lines easily without losing beer or CO2. Since they are connected with disconnects you can switch lines and use the included carbonating line. This connects the CO2 to the liquid out post on the corny keg and bubble the CO2 up through the beer to force carbonate it.
With different adapters you can dispense from 5L mini kegs (this accessory includes adapter cap for glass growlers), mini keg style growlers and glass growlers so the growler of craft beer you picked up from the local brewery or taproom will stay fresh and carbonated.
I tried it out and was impressed with it’s simplicity and well thought out design. I used it first to force carb my porter, and then switching lines, to dispense it and using the flow control faucet got a nice pour. This all while taking up not much space in my fridge. Beer on tap and still room in the fridge for food.
They recently released a kit that allows you to attach the unit to the top of a bucket so you can place you small corny in the bucket with ice and take it with you to the park, camping or share with others where there isn’t a fridge. It is also available in two finishes now and they have a nice drip mat and line cleaning setup available.
If you need longer beer and gas lines for say a taller 2.5 gallon corny of if you want to set your keg to the side instead of having strapped in the back (I had to do this because my tiny fridge wasn’t as deep as a normal fridge), just contact them and they can help you.
Excited to see new things made for us that brew small batches and I think this is a great product and made by a home brewer/entrepreneur.
Check it out at taproom.club