Beer Science: Learn How Your Beer Bar Specials Go From Keg to Glass

barman hand at beer tap pouring draught lager beer serving in a restaurant

Guzzling Pabst through a funnel while on spring break. Executing a flawless keg stand at a college frat party. Drilling shot after shot playing beer pong at that tailgate. You’ve created so many memories. Unfortunately, most are just a blur.

For you, drinking has always been an art. You’ve perfected your craft. But, it turns out there is much more science behind your beer than you realized.

It’s time to trade in your “beer goggles” for a pair of lab goggles.

The physics behind draft beer systems actually follows a familiar formula from your college days. One chilled keg plus one pumping device equals one red Solo cup foaming with beer. This simple set-up is the basic foundation used by the expert bartenders at Tap House Grills to pull beautiful draft beers for bar specials and more. (Without the wasted frat boy pumping the keg every 10 minutes.)

Draft beer systems operate via multiple working parts that operate in harmony, but there are six main components responsible for delivering that frothy, delicious beverage to your glass. Quench your thirst for knowledge by learning about them below.

Keeping it cold in the cooler

That ice-cold beer you’re holding while you enjoy one of Tap House’s grill specials had to start somewhere. Keeping your beer cold — from keg to glass — is key. And the effect goes beyond taste. Keeping beer at the proper temperature avoids excessive foaming, maintains the right carbonation levels and ultimately prevents the beverage from spoiling. We can’t serve up drink specials with skunky beer!

The keg: A metal barrel of love

Within our walk-in coolers, we have multiple rows of kegs varying in size and mostly made from stainless steel. To get the beer out, gas pressure is applied within the keg. This presses the liquid up from the bottom where it passes through a metal tube and out of a valve.

Gotta get some gas

When you pump a party keg, you draw in air from around you to introduce pressure into the keg to force the beer out. All that hard work is necessary, but actually spoils your beer, as the oxygen produces bacteria. It’s also an imprecise method, causing excess bubbles to form. For this reason, like most bars, Tap House Grills use pure bottled carbon dioxide with a regulated distribution to make sure the right amount of pressure enters the keg, and you end up with the perfect drink special beer.

The coupler’s dual purpose

The pump on top of the party kegs most of us know is a dumbed-down version of a coupler. Couplers provide the power for dispensing. Running out of the coupler are two tubes connected to valves — one to push carbon dioxide into the keg and another to let the beer flow out. It’s almost time for the bartender to serve up your bar specials!

Tubing makes the love connection

Tubes connect the kegs to the faucets, which are the “taps” you see when waiting for your bar specials at Tap House Grills. If the beer has to travel a long distance, the tubing may need to be chilled to keep the beer cold.

The function of the faucet

All that stands between you and hoppy bliss is the faucet. Ideally, this pours from the tap at a rate that forms a one- to two-finger head on the top. Faucets are meticulously cleaned on a regular basis to ensure a sanitary and perfect-tasting pour.

Tap House Grills serves up your favorite drink specials and bar specials

Now that you’ve done all this hard work learning about beer, it’s time to drink up! Come on in to Tap House Grills for monthly grill specials, drink specials, TapHouse beers, bar specials and other daily specials.

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