How To Get and Tap a Keg

How To Get and Tap a Keg
Keg in ice bucket.

Getting A Keg

Kegs are an easy way to supply beer for party guests, and they are available at most liquor stores. There are a few things to keep in mind when getting a keg. To start, if you are in the United States, it is illegal to purchase or consume alcohol if you are under the age of twenty-one. Keeping that in mind, the big decision you have to make when buying a keg is what kind of beer to get. Usually it is best to either buy your favorite or get something simple like Bud Light, Miller Lite, or Coors Light. Even if the type of beer is not a party-goers favorite, they will usually accept one of these three as a substitute.

As far as price goes, the more expensive beer you choose, the more expensive your keg will be. If you do not have a keg shell and tap of your own, you will also have to pay to rent one from the liquor store, which you will later have to return after the party. One full keg offers about 300 twelve ounce beers, so depending on how many beer drinkers you will have at your party, you may prefer to purchase a half keg.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that when you go to pick up a keg from the liquor store, it is going to be very heavy! The liquor store usually has someone who can offer their help to get the keg into your car. It is very difficult, impossible even, to move by yourself, so make plans to have a helper, preferably somebody strong, to come along when getting the keg.

Don’t forget ice! Ideally, you should get the keg only a couple hours before your party.Use a large bucket or garbage to put the keg into, so you can surround the keg with ice to keep it cool!

Tapping the Keg

After transporting the keg from the liquor store, pick where you want to put it, and leave it there, covered in ice, for at least an hour. Letting it settle for a couple hours before your party will allow for less foam in the beer.

Once guests begin arriving, you are finally ready to tap your keg! I would suggest changing into clothes you would not mind getting beer on. Take the tap, which is the long pump you attach to the top of the keg shell where the beer comes out, and push it firmly into the center of the keg. Beer will most likely shoot out, but do not let that deter you. While still firmly pushing the tap down, twist clockwise until you can’t anymore. The tap should be secure and not wobbly or moving at all.

Pump the tap a few times before you start serving the beer. The first bit of beer that expels will be mostly foam, so pump out a few cups worth of beer until the foam stops. After the foam is all drained out you are ready to start serving beer from your keg! Note: the beer will be less foamy if you tilt your cup while filling.

Enjoy and drink responsibly!