No bar, pub, or club is complete without a robust draft beer system. If you’re looking for a draft beer system, than you have an important decision to make: direct draw or remote draw. Each system has some advantages and disadvantages and it greatly depends on your specific circumstances. Make sure you understand what volume of you serve beer and how much diversity you desire in your brands.
Direct Draw Draft Beer Systems
A direct draw beer dispensing system may be housed in a walk-in cooler, a kegerator, a commercial keg box, or a converted refrigerator under the counter. This is a self-contained refrigeration unit, regulated by a thermostat which keeps the stored kegs around 38 ° F for optimum performance.
Advantages to the Direct Draw Draft Beer System
There are advantages to the direct draw system, here are some key ones:
- Quick set-up, as the dispenser fits directly beneath the bar or back bar. Whichever the case, always try to center the unit, whether one to each station or one for the entire bar.
- The beer is drawn from the refrigerated cabinet directly below, leaving little chance for the complications that occur when dispensing over longer distances.
- Many craft beers are now offered in 1/6 keg containers, making it easier to change brands.
Disadvantages to the Direct Draw Draft Beer System
Of course there are also disadvantages to the direct draw system:
- Not well suited for high-volume bars
- Containers must be changed at the bar, crowding the bar area
- Only a limited about of offerings. A 58” cabinets will support eight faucets (eight brands)
Essentially, if you are selling a low amount of beer from tap (say a few brands and a low daily volume) direct draw makes a lot of sense. The more brands and the higher the volume, the less sense direct draw makes.
Remote Draw Beer Dispense Systems
Remote draw systems store kegs in a walk-in cooler, in the back of the store. Beer runs in special beer lines to the tap handles in the bar. The remote draw system is the bigger and more powerful of the two systems. They involve a system of controls, monitors, and sometimes pumps, and can be stored a few hundred feet away from the counter.
Advantages to the Remote Draw Draft Beer System
The remote draw system has a few advantages:
- The opportunity to open more faucets and sell more brands
- The ability to increase revenue significantly from smaller systems.
- Allows more space around the bar
Disadvantages to the Remote Draw Draft Beer System
Of course there are also disadvantages to the remote draw system:
- Higher initial cost: the remote draw is a larger system and requires more installation
- Requires more maintenance, therefore higher ongoing costs
- Greater opportunity for mechanical complications because they are bigger systems
Ultimately, the remote draw is a must have for larger facilities, while the direct draw might be better for smaller pubs and bars.
If you need more help deciding what type of beer line system to use, please contact us at Clean Beer, in Milford, MA. We can meet all your beer line needs, from installation to cleaning and maintenance. In addition to our services, we sell new and used beer line equipment, for your home or car. Clean Beer is the home of the clean beer line experts, contact us about your home or commercial tap needs.