While the explosion of craft beer in the US over the past decade has certainly exposed us to more choices of beer on draft, it does not change the fact that beer has always been best served on tap. According to a study by Bevspot, 61% of beer sold is consumed on tap. If you think about it, that’s pretty impressive considering the current limited amount of places you can enjoy beer on draft. So why is more beer enjoyed on tap you may ask? For most of us, the simple answer (and probably the best one) is it just tastes better. Beer served from a keg enjoys several advantages that canned or bottle beer does not. Kegged beer is stored in an airtight vessel and in complete darkness. Often times (but not always), the temperature is more controlled and consistent throughout the transit and delivery pipeline. Canned and bottled beer on the other hand, is subject to more “production error” and other logistical challenges – bottles inherently expose the beer to sunlight which can cause beer to be “light struck” with relatively small amount of light exposure, resulting in a skunk beer taste. Cans (yes, even those with the “special linings”) can also impart taste to the beer which can result in noticeable off-flavors – especially when consistent temperature is not maintained.
Given all that, then why would you ever drink beer that is not on draft? Unfortunately, there are several reasons, the first of which is simple – there has historically been no easy and practical way to have beer on tap wherever you go. Don’t get me wrong, I love drinking beer on tap at the local bar, but sometimes (and way more often these days) sitting at a bar is just not convenient. Sure, you can build an elaborate kegerator or keezer for your mancave that makes beer on tap a reality, however, good luck trying to transport that large kegerator to your friend’s Super Bowl or tailgate party! Also, most kegerators use kegs that are at least 5 gallons in capacity – while that may not sound like a lot, unless you have a large crowd at your house daily, it does take some time to go through. Further, it is significantly more of a chore to fill full size kegs than the smaller keg growlers. You are also limited as to where you can purchase them – some liquor stores and specialty keg rental places (usually at a higher cost). Keg Growlers, on the other hand, can be filled at grocery stores, local pubs and liquor stores, not to mention the rapidly increasing presence of “growler stations” to satisfy the ever growing craft beer crowd.
Another advantage of keg growlers is freedom of choice. With one gallon keg growlers, you have much more freedom to fill a gallon of your “standby favorite” and then another gallon of a new craft beer you haven’t tried yet…and maybe even a third gallon your significant other prefers. The point being – if you take a chance on filling a 5 gallon keg, you are stuck! Whereas the smaller keg growlers allow you plenty of choices to maintain a wide variety of beers (and other beverages) on hand. Swapping them out in a matter of seconds – swap out your Guinness for a Pale Ale when your friends are over and then wine when the wife has her friends over for dinner. The keg growlers have the same longevity of the larger size kegs – 6 – 10 weeks, so no issue with keeping multiple on hand.
Alternate solutions using glass growlers, plastic soda bottles or other similar kegs did not completely solve the problem unfortunately. Glass growlers are typically only 64 ounces and break easily (after one breaks in your back seat, you will never use one again…ask me how I know this!) and plastic ….well umm, plastic, really? That is where the Beer Gig truly shines. Stainless steel keg growlers, self-cooled, self-powered (for hours and hours) and readily portable…problem solved.
We expect the percentage of beer sold on tap to only increase over the years to come as more people realize how portable (and tasty) draft beer can be. Truly a win-win – yes, you can now have your beer and drink it too…wherever you may be!!