The Essentials

  • An unsecured keg of beer can destroy the trunk of your car. Secure the keg from rolling around. At 161 lbs., a half barrel shouldn’t be taken lightly.
  • It’s okay to roll your keg for easier transportation. The beer won’t be affected (and it’s a lot easier on your back).
  • Since the beer is drawn through the bottom of the keg, it is not necessary to put ice on the top of the keg.
  • It is possible to over-pump a keg. Too much air in the keg will result in overly foamy beer.
  • Beer also foams more when it comes into contact with a warm surface, which is why it’s important to keep the picnic pump cold before tapping the barrel.
  • If your keg does get warm (not recommended), it is possible to chill it completely in just 30 minutes. First, place the barrel in your tub, surrounded by three bags of ice. Then, add water to the ice so that the surface of the keg is submerged as much as possible. In one half hour, your beer will be ready to serve and enjoy.
  • Once the keg is tapped and air is pumped in, the beer is good for approximately 24 hours before the C02 escapes and renders the beer flat.
  • Get more information on How to Store and Serve Beer.

How to Tap a Keg

  • Chill your keg to 36-38°F. One hour before the party, fill the bottom of a tub with two large bags of ice.
  • Add the keg and pour three bags of ice around the keg.
  • Keep the picnic pump (the “tapper”) cold and run cold water through the lines prior to tapping your keg to prevent overfoaming when you pour.
  • Remove the cap from the top of the barrel and position the pump at the opening.
  • Turn the valve clockwise until it stops and the tap is secure.
  • Pump four times to pressurize the keg.
  • Insulate the keg by wrapping a blanket over the top of the keg.
  • Pour. Enjoy. Pour. Enjoy.