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How to serve craft beer in a small restaurant?

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  • How to serve craft beer in a small restaurant?

    Hi folks! I'm from Asia here. Trying to seek some opinions. Posted this topic at another beer rating forum. Thought to seek more equipment related experts here.

    We're thinking of setting up a small place, about 1800sqft about 50~60 seats, with a craft beer line up, about 6~8 taps.
    The thing is, space is really expensive here. We're talking at least US$10 per sqft.
    We ran through some options.

    1) Walkin cooler (enough to keep about 16~20 1/4bbls) within the premise, just behind the bar. Taps are through the cooler, direct draw. Upside: short beer lines, changing kegs and washing the lines and taps would be easy. Downside: takes up chunk of space. Cooler is expensive.

    2) Kegerators below the bar counter. Enough for about 8 1/4bbls for the 8 taps. Upside: Lower cost of equipment. Short beer lines. Downside: No cold storage for the backup kegs.

    3) Remote walkin cooler (assuming we can find a free space to use). Similarly, walkin cooler large enough to keep 16~20 1/4bbls. We do a long draw python, get 1~2 glycol chiller, and make a fake wall for the taps or have some draft towers at the bar counter. Upside: more seats within the premise to earn you revenue. Downside: Even more expensive for equipment, power, etc. Higher beer wastage depending how long the line is.

    4) To have the kegs at ambient and run the lines through the glycol chiller and install the taps at the beer counter or fake wall. Upside: super low equipment cost. Save tonne of space. Downside: bad beer integrity. you'll burn in beer hell.

    For that size of walkin cooler, you can put about 6 to 7 more seats into the restaurant.

    Which option would you choose and why? Or if there are other alternatives?
    Do share your thoughts. Thanks!

  • #2
    I would think that you should get rid of option 3 and 4.

    Option 4 will not give you good results in quality or yield.
    Option 3 takes the same space as option 1 but will lead to less yield and more equipment costs. Option 3 should only be used if you do not have space for the walkin cooler where taps are at.

    If you do not think that option 2 will give you space for storage of backups, it sounds like option 1 is the winner.

    The nice thing about option 1 is that it will also offer space for food and other storage. I try to talk operators out of using their cooler as dual use, but lets be honest that everyone uses as much space as they can where ever they can find it.

    Good Luck!


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    • #3
      Hey mate, I am from Australia and I am also looking for some equipment. All the friends I have advised me to buy equipment from and after surfing on the site, I understood that if you are in the restaurant industry and want some really good and quality equipment they can ll of them for sure. I will come back with a review.