Faucets dispense beer to the glass. They also hold the tap marker to identify the type of beer being dispensed. The most common faucets are generally suitable for dispensing both ales and lagers. The most common or “standard” US faucet is rear-sealing and has vent holes that need to be carefully cleaned and inspected during routine cleanings. Ventless, or forward-sealing faucets, are easy to clean and are only available in stainless steel. Several other designs are now becoming widely available and are used either for their aesthetic appeal or for serving a specific style of beer.

Stout faucets are used for nitrogenated beers, typically stouts. These faucets use a diaphragm and restrictor plate to “cream” the beer.


Pros and Cons of Various Faucet Designs

Type Valve Flow Pro Con
Traditional vented Vertical, seals in back of barrel Smooth Low velocity Barrel interior susceptible to microbial growth
Vent-free Vertical, seals in front of barrel Slightly twisting Low susceptibility to microbe growth Higher velocity flow
Spring-loaded, cam-actuated Horizontal, top of nozzle Slightly twisting Low susceptibility to microbe growth Many small parts to clean
Roto-faucet Internal, rotating ball Rapid velocity Few parts, simple to clean Some flow turbulence
Nitro-beer Top, plunger style Cascade of tiny bubbles Gives unique texture needed for nitro beers Small nozzle parts require manual cleaning. Use only with nitro beers.
Speed-nozzle attachments Attaches to traditional vented faucet Rapid flow Increases pour rate for high volume dispense Nozzle immersed in beer, compromising hygiene standards

* Visit Brewers Association for More Information On Draught Beer Quality Guidelines.