Whether you currently operate a bar or are thinking about it, it’s important to understand the various types of draft beer systems and how they work. A glycol draft beer system, for example, consists of three main components: power pack, trunk line, and draft beer tower.
The power pack is a commercial refrigeration unit that can store one to three pumps and motors to manage up to three trunk lines servicing up to 24 beer products.
Trunk lines provide a conduit of beer product lines (anywhere from four to 10), connecting barrels of beer in the walk-in cooler to each beer tap and housing sealed refrigerant lines from the power pack to the tower. The refrigerant lines are necessary to keep the surrounding beer lines at a consistent cool temperature until it reaches the beer tap.
One glycol line is outbound, extending to the beer tower, while the other returns from the beer tower to the glycol power pack. Each product line is connected to a beer keg stored in the walk-in cooler. The beer kegs are connected to CO2 or nitrogen cylinders through a series of pressure regulators and gas blenders. The entire assembly is wrapped in a foil shield, a flexible plastic waterproof jacket, and foam.
The draft beer lines may be installed overhead or under the floor. If the lines are installed overhead, then the exposed downward trunk lines are housed in PVC tubing and a decorative finish. For under-floor installations, the product lines run through a section of PVC tubing.
Draft Beer Tower
The beer tower houses faucets or taps for each beer. It’s the endpoint of the entire system that the customer sees at the counter. Beer lines are attached to the faucet inside the beer tower.
Design and Installation
The cost of a glycol draft beer system will vary depending on how many CO2 or nitrogen cylinders, beer lines, trunk lines, beer towers, and faucets will be used and how far the lines must travel from the cooler to the faucet.
If you’d like to learn more about the design and installation of glycol draft beer systems, call Glacier for a free consultation.