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Glycol-cooled our kegerators which is the best draft beer system If you're confused

2020-01-04

About which draft beer system to purchase, in this video I'm going to give you the costs and comparisons of each. Coming up! Hi, I'm Rick from Bar Designers, where I share my passion about bar design, draft beer system design and product reviews. If you new here please subscribe and check-out the show notes and affiliate links in the YouTube description below. Now let's jump into the show! For restaurant and hotel owners in the market for a draft beer system, what's the best recommendation What types of draft beer systems are available Many claim that the glycol-chilled draft beer system is the only practical choice. While this is my hands-down favorite, draft beer systems are not a one-size-fits-all solution. A new twist to an age-old idea happens to provide another option kegerators! Let's dive a little bit deeper into the operational set of things so everyone can understand all the considerations. Glycol draft beer systems offer many ownership advantages, such as: 1). Deliver high quality draft beer over long distances; 2). Service multiple bars and/or draft beer towers; 3). Large quantity of draft beer products 4). Optimized location of the walk-in cooler 5). Large quantity of draught beer tower designs 6). Minimize poor cost and 7). Superior cost justification. According to Micro-Matic, the industry leader in cutting-edge draft beer systems and solutions for a glycol draft beer system costing $10,000, the return on investment can be realized in the first 19 kegs sold and in many instances this is less than one month! Given all the above, why would anyone want to consider anything but a glycol system! However, not every bar, restaurant or hotel can accommodate a dedicated walk-in cooler, a crucial component of any draft beer system. The dedicated walk-in cooler assures the delicate temperature of the draft beer is maintained, as I discussed in an earlier video. The architectural plan shown here is of a recent hotel whose bar we designed. This bar was included as part of a multi-million dollar facility renovation. At first glance, one would have to believe that a facility is large as this finding a space for an extra eight-foot by 10-foot walk-in cooler would be easy, but this just wasn't the case for this project. In spite of the hotel's significant size indoors and out, the space for a dedicated walk-in cooler was nowhere to be found. As it turns out, this is not an uncommon challenge with many existing facilities. When planning a glycol-cooled system, we also have to accommodate the installation of the trunk line, which can also be a deal-breaker. What alternatives do bar owners have for selling draught beer Actually, kegerators can be a viable option, but I'm not referring to the oversized kegerators such as the one shown in this photo. Kegerators were invented in 1936 for US domestic barrel beer. At 27 to 29 inches in depth, traditional kegerators reduce the back bar aisle by 3 to 5 inches and are too deep to fit into the middle of any front bar or back bar configuration. The traditional draft beer towers lack the visual appeal demanded by today's buyers and since the emergence of craft beer nobody has marketed a craft beer kegerator. If you've been out to the local bars, what have people been drinking Craft beer! Over the past few years craft beer has turned the beer industry upside down. The most popular bars are using sexy, innovative draft beer towers to sell the craft beer, which is packaged in small barrels. So while kegerators still have their merit, why would anyone want to continue using them to sell US domestic beer! Ditch the behemoth kegerators of yesteryear! It's time for new thinking, my friends! Fortunately, there are some fine off-the shelf back bar coolers that can be used to make your own craft beer kegerator. The first and most critical step is choosing a back beer cooler that has an overall depth of 24 inches. This will assure a built-in effect with standard underbar equipment, thereby guaranteeing consistent aisle width. The photo you see here is that of a Glastender C1FB-84-R, which is an 84 by 24 inch back bar cooler. This cooler was the building block for the kegerators I designed as part of this hotel bar design. You'll notice two of them in this photo. Many may not be aware that virtually any 24 inch deep back bar cooler can be used to build a craft beer kegerator; however, only a few manufacturers offer these and while none of these companies have craft beer kegerator promotional material, at least Glastender acknowledges on their cut sheet the number of sixth-barrel kegs that will fit into one of the coolers, as shown here; this is the most common size of craft beer barrels. Now the craft beer kegerator isn't limited to just storing craft beer of course. It can be used to store any combination of things. Take this bar, for example: here is a 9 foot cooler that I've designed with draft beer, and actually bottled beer as well, and if you'd like to see that in detail, it looks like this. So if we zoom-in a little bit closer. So in a nine foot unit like this we can get 17.3 cases of bottled beer on one side and eight-to-ten barrels of craft beer on the other side, depending on the gas hookup. If you look at the elevation the draught beer tower that I have here actually shows eight taps it could be ten on a tower style such as this. Now let's review what we just learned. If someone were to take the old-fashioned approach (by featuring U.S. domestics), only four brands could be offered in an 84-inch cooler as shown here. US domestic draft beer is sold only in quarter and half-barrels and only with a 16 1/8" footprint this is the culprit that significantly limits the number of product offerings with old-fashioned kegerators. The real problem for bar owners selling U.S. domestics is the profit model it isn't nearly as profitable as selling craft beer, which is what everybody is drinking nowadays, right To illustrate this point, consider the following excerpt from the November 7 2018 edition of the blog, "Bottom Line." "You might realize a profit of between $250 and $300 selling a keg of beer with national brands such as Budweiser, Coors, Miller and others, whereas serving a keg of popular craft beer brewed locally might net you between $400 and $500 dollars...it makes you wonder why every establishment in the country doesn't take advantage of this money-making proposition. So, if profit's your motive and you can't afford or accommodate a glycol draft beer system, here's the same 84-inch by 24-inch back bar cooler, which can now accommodate 12 brands of craft beer with gas bottles inside the cooler or 14 brands with remote gas. This arrangement is robust! With nitrogen, bar owners can even offer Guinness or other stouts. For bars that lack space for a dedicated walk-in cooler, the craft beer kegerator is a home run! Kegerators are air-cooled draft beer systems which require a draft beer tower that functions differently from those of glycol-cooled systems. The selection of draft beer tower designs for air-cooled systems was never exploited and likely never will be as glycol systems continue to proliferate. The majority of beer towers for air-cooled systems are either the double-pedestal tower, as shown in this photo, or the mushroom tower, as shown in this photo. Glastender offers several nice upscale options, as with their model LGT-8 towers we selected for this project, shown in this photo. This tower design is similar to some of the more popular towers available for glycol cooled systems, such as this Micro-Matic BGU-8KR. Another drawback of craft beer kegerators is the nuisance-factor of continuous barrel changing, as the barrels are small; the sixth-barrel, the most common size, contains little more than five gallons. However, if purchasing an 84-inch back bar cooler with an eight-faucet tower, one could have as much as six barrels of backup stock on-hand, so always keep that in mind as a viable option. In terms of overall investment, a single 84 by 24 back bar cooler with an 8-faucet tower and conversion hardware will cost between $8,000 $10,000, installed, which is approximately $1,000 $1,250 per faucet; the variation in cost is primarily dependent on tower selection. In 2019, an average eight-faucet glycol cooled draft beer system will range in cost from $10,000 $14,000 installed systems with standard beer towers, which is approximately $1,250 $1,500 per-faucet. The cost-per-faucet can decrease with larger systems, but will increase with special tower designs; however, controlling the temperature of draught beer within the walk-in cooler is of the utmost importance, as I mentioned earlier; therefore, anyone committed to a glycol system investment must also factor the cost of the dedicated walk-in cooler or your profit model will suffer. The average cost of a 6-foot by 8-foot by 8-foot walk-in cooler is $7,500, wired and installed. In summary, an 8-faucet glycol draft beer system with walk-in cooler will cost between $17,500 and $21,500, which is $9,000-to-$12,000 more than the equivalent craft beer kegerator system. So now that I've managed to thoroughly confuse you, which draft beer system is better Both systems have far more merits than drawbacks. I still contend that glycol draft beer systems are the best for anyone who can afford and manage them. Although craft beer kegerators may have some limitations, they truly offer an excellent solution for any bar owner who may not be able to afford the best or the space to accommodate. If you enjoyed today's video, please hit the "Like" button and please subscribe. and if you'd like to know more about how draft beer systems operate, cost and compare then please check-out this YouTube video series I prepared especially for you it has a ton of related information. See you next time!