Going to the pub, you might not think about the long journey your pint has to go through to get from the barrel to your glass.
But kegs and beer taps are a seriously techy business, and need a lot more maintenance than simply changing the barrel (as the Queen Vic and Rovers Return might have us believe).
Thankfully there are plenty of options so you can have delicious fresh pints poured your own way and in your own home.
Some of these are more kitchen-friendly, while others are catered to people with larger spaces and a bit more cash to spend.
Given the amount of shed-to-bar DIY transformations we’ve seen recently, it might be worth investing in a tap system for your new man/woman cave.
With National Beer Day this Monday 15 June, it’s a great time to take the plunge.
The Krups SUB is a compact beer tap that uses mini kegs of 2 litres, which is just under four pints.
It can easily sit on your worktop (replacing that slow cooker or food dehydrator you’ve never used) and cools your beer ready for pouring.
The beauty of the SUB isn’t just its small size, but the fact you can order pretty much any name-brand beer for it, so you can have a cold, crisp Tiger on curry nights or a Delirium Tremens when you’re on the sesh.
Prices vary for the kegs, but tend to sit around the £8.99 mark for most lagers.
Get it at BeerWulf from £99 for the compact version.
Philips Perfect Draft
For a slightly bigger option that holds more beer, this Philips version is a level up from the Krups.
The kegs you buy for this one are 6 litres, and it also keeps your beer at 3C and fresh for 30 days.
There are 35 beers available that are compatible with the machine, from Stella Artois to more hoppy IPAs by Leffe.
For the more environmentally conscious among you, you can send back your kegs to the company after you use them to be recycled.
Get a starter kit including a machine, glasses, and a keg of your choice, from £275 from BeerHawk.
Draught beer keg party pump
Recreate an American frat party with these pumps that fit on the top of the keg.
On the downside, you won’t get any cooling benefit from these, and the beer will need to be used up quickly, but they’re ideal for when you’re having loads of people round who’ll likely be burning through the beer at a fairly quick rate.
Work out which keg coupler you’ll need for your chosen keg, as different brands have different connectors.
Then just hook it up and pour your beers into some red plastic cups like the cool kids do.
Get your party pump at MorePour for around £119 depending on which coupler you go for.
CDA Integrated Beer Tap
It’s certainly not a budget-friendly option, but if you have the cash, you can’t get better than the CDA BVB4SS integrated tap.
You have it fitted to your kitchen and it’s like having your own mini pub.
With that comes the fact you have to clean the lines and buy the extra accompaniments to connect the tap. But still, just look at the thing.
It suits any keg of 10 litres and above, and chills them instantly between 4C and 8C. The tap also has some very swanky LED lights to give it extra pizzazz.
The tap can be yours for £1669 – plus extra for the fitting and kegs.
Another option that’s anything but budget-friendly is the Klarstein Kegerator. It does look hella cool, though, and has loads of cool features.
It looks like a regular fridge, so you can pop a keg (up to 50 litres) in there and it’ll cool it down without an unsightly metal barrel.
The tap part of things has two outlets, so if you popped in two smaller kegs (up to 20 litres each), you can serve your guests two different beers throughout the night.
The temperature adjusts between -1C and 4C, and there’s also a can shelf for the craft beer afficionados.
Get yours direct from Klarstein for £649.99.
Fizzics WayTap DraftPour
For the more fairweather beer fans, this Fizzics tap isn’t overly expensive and can be put away when you’re done with it.
Rather than using a keg, this converts a can or bottle into draught beer and runs on either USB or battery power (2 AA) so you don’t need any special extra equipment.
It comes in a variety of finishes and is easily portable.
The tap is currently out of stock, but you can pre-order for £129.99.
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