For the true beer fan, the ultimate in enjoying beer at home is the home draft beer system. Such a system is simple to acquire and maintain, it is cost efficient, and simply the only way to enjoy a real draught beer at home. Most bars that serve draft ale have expensive draft systems that cool the beer lines all the way to the point of dispense (the spigot). But for the home draft beer system, such expenses are not required. The length of the beer lines is drastically shorter, so cooling of the lines is not necessary. In this article, I will discuss the benefits of having a home draft beer system as well as how to procure or build your own.
The bare bones requirement for a home draft beer system is an appliance known as the kegerator. Any device that utilizes refrigeration technology to chill kegs and disperse their contents is a kegerator. Some are made exclusively for this purpose, and others are converted from regular refrigerators, utilizing a kegerator conversion kit.
These kits include all the hardware and some specialized tooling required to convert a freezer or refrigerator into kegerator. Whether you buy a brand new kegerator or convert a fridge into one yourself, there are a variety of products available ranging from barebones to deluxe kits. Some kegerators come on wheels, some are stationary, and there are even custom kegerator manufacturers that make theme "skins" and put custom paint jobs on kegerators.
For those beer fans who enjoy a variety of ales, a home made kegerator is ideally suited. Most commercially available kegerators are capable of dispensing two beers at a time, but I have seen homemade conversion units with four taps, all with different home brews flowing at once. Especially for the experienced home brewer, such kegerator conversions are recommended. For one with an already burgeoning knowledge of beer and how beer works, a kegerator conversion is easily built and installed in the home or brew workshop. This also allows for a unique opportunity to enjoy one's own home brew served in the style of a real pub draught.
With the addition of a kegerator to your home comes another unique opportunity: the home bar. With the additional installation of a sink, proper accessorizing, construction, and décor, you can have a unique party zone that will be memorable to all of your guests and allow for special event that would otherwise take place in a public venue. When you home bar opens, you need never again worry about embarrassing yourself or your friends - in public - and you can also ensure that you are in no danger of drunk driving. Not to mention the benefit of being able to keep the bar open well past normal closing hours.
Once your home bar is really going, you may want to add to the aesthetics thereof by coming up with a name and logo, and ordering custom coasters and napkins. There are numerous ways in which the bars can be accessorized, from custom shot and pint glasses to t-shirts. Under the counter icemakers are available online, as well as wine chillers, racks for stemware, and glass door-ed mini fridges for displaying specialty bottle conditioned ales and wines. With the addition of a kegerator to your home comes many more options for expanding your beer hobby time. Let the beer and the good times flow!
Drink it in good health.