Party 101 Party Planning

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Utilize these guidelines to give your party the pizzazz that will absolutely awe your guests!

Party Checklist

  • Keg (choose keg size based on servings needed)
  • Plastic Keg Tub
  • Cups or Glassware
  • 50 lbs of Ice
  • Tap Handle

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Beer Quantity Calculation Tip

If you are hosting a social drinking party, assume that 40% of the number of people attending will drink beer. Of that 40% drinking beer, assume these individuals will have 2-3 drinks each.

Keg Sizes

1/2 Barrel Keg - Great for high-volume brands!
  • 15.5 U.S. gallons
  • 1984 fluid ounces
  • 6.88 cases of 24 12-oz. bottles or cans
  • 161 pounds full - 32 pounds empty
  • 23-1/4" tall and 16-1/16" diameter
  • 161 servings
  • When a 1/2 barrel is tapped, it will require approximately 30" of clearance

1/4 Slim Barrel Keg - Great when adding variety to your own mix!
  • 7.75 U.S. gallons
  • 992 fluid ounces
  • 3.44 cases of 24 12-oz. bottles or cans
  • 87 pounds full - 23 pounds empty
  • 23-1/4" tall and 11" diameter
  • 80 servings
  • When a slim 1/4 barrel is tapped, it will require approximately 30" of clearance

1/4 Barrel Keg - Great when adding variety to your own mix!
  • 7.75 U.S. gallons
  • 992 fluid ounces
  • 3.44 cases of 24 12-oz. bottles or cans
  • 87 pounds full - 23 lbs. empty
  • 13-3/4" tall and 16-1/16" diameter
  • 80 servings
  • When a 1/4 barrel is tapped, it will require approximately 20" of clearance

1/6 Barrel Keg - Great for adding another brand without adding additional cooler space!
  • 5.166 U.S. gallons
  • 661 fluid ounces
  • 2.3 cases of 24 12-oz. bottles or cans
  • 58 lbs. full –16.5 lbs. empty
  • 23-1/4" tall and 9-1/8" diameter
  • 53 servings
  • When a 1/6 barrel is tapped, it will require approximately 30" of clearance

50 Liter Keg - Great for high-volume brands!
  • 13.2 U.S. gallons
  • 1691 ounces
  • 138 servings

30 Liter Keg - Great when adding variety to your mix!
  • 7.93 U.S. gallons
  • 1014 ounces
  • 82 servings

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Handling Draught Beer Temperature

Draught beer is a perishable product and must be kept cold at all times so it doesn’t spoil or pour improperly. The ideal temperature is 36°-38°F, which can be achieved by adding ice if a refrigerator is not available.

Icing your Draught Beer

Approximately 50 pounds of ice are needed to maintain proper dispensing temperature. Since beer is drawn from the bottom of the barrel, approximately 20 pounds of ice must be placed on the bottom of the tub. Place the barrel in the tub on top of the ice. Add the remaining ice up the sides of the tub. Replace ice as needed.

Helpful Hint:

If your keg does get warm, it is possible to chill it completely in just 30 minutes. First, place the barrel in your tub, surrounded by three bags of ice. Add water to the ice so that the surface of the keg is submerged as much as possible.

Tapping the Keg

  • Place tap into tap opening at the top of barrel. Click here for a visual reference

  • Turn tap 1/4 turn clockwise until firmly in place.

  • If it is a lever-handled tap, pull handle out and press downward until it locks in place.

  • If it is a T-handled tap, turn handle clockwise until it locks into place.
  • Helpful Hints:
  • Keep the tap handle cold before tapping the barrel, beer foams more when it comes into contact with a warm surface.

  • Only pump when flow of beer begins to slow. If beer pours slowly, pump a few times.

  • It is possible to over-pump a keg. Too much air in the keg will result in overly foamy beer.

  • Once you’ve tapped your keg, you have about 24 hours before the beer goes flat.

  • Clean the tap after each use. To clean, invert tap and place it under warm, running water. Open beer faucet. Let water thoroughly rinse inside and outside of tap while simulating tapping and untapping action.

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Choosing Glassware

Elegant look.  Long and narrow design maintains
carbonation and showcases sparkle.  Moves bouquet
upward.  Historically served with light lagers.

Room to swirl and support large, foamy head. 
Wider body design showcases fuller body/malt character. 
Historically served with Belgian ales.

Opens up maltiness and sweetness of full-bodied
beers.  Historically served with full-bodied ales and
heavier-style lagers.

Traditional toasting glass. Historically served with
dark lagers, Müncheners and Märzens.

Shaped to channel hop aroma to the nose.  Showcases the
color and clarity while capturing head retention.  Historically
served with Pilsner-style and other lager beers.

Versatile glass, designed for durability and stacking. 
Historically served with stouts, porters and English ales.

Cross between a pint and a Weiss-shaped glass. 
Historically served with lagers and English pale ales.

Large in size, designed to hold volume and fluffy heads. 
Captures the fruity aromas of wheat beer.  Historically
served with Hefeweizens and other wheat beers.

Narrow lip allows for a tight, pristine head.  Stem offers a
place for the thumb and forefinger to keep the beer from
warming as it’s consumed.  Perfect for demonstrating the
nine-step Belgian pouring ritual.

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Cleaning Glassware

When serving beer, it's important to have beer-ready glasses that are free from any residue that will affect the beer's flavor or appearance. Two ways to get this level of glassware purity at home is with an automatic dishwasher or with salt.

  • Automatic Dishwasher - Be careful to wash your glassware separately from other dishes.

  • Clean with Salt - Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt inside glass. Scrub with a clean brush. Rinse out. Allow glass to dry upside down on wire rack. Glasses can look clean but may have an invisible film, odor or bacteria:

  • Film - Can be caused by several factors: the wrong sanitizer or soap, grease-based residues (lipstick), food in the wash water, fingerprints, or smoke from cigarettes.

  • Odors - May be left on the glasses when detergents and sanitizers are used improperly, from contact with bar towels, or from stale air in refrigerated areas.

  • Bacteria - Can contaminate your glassware if your sanitizer is measured incorrectly, not changed at recommended intervals, or is incompatible with your detergent.

Sheeting Test
Dip the glass in water.  If the glass is clean, water will shed evenly off the glass when you lift it out of the water.  If the glass still has an invisible film, water will break up into droplets on the surface.

Salt Test
Sprinkle salt on the interior of a wet glass.  If the glass is clean, salt will adhere evenly to the clean surface, but will not adhere to parts that still contain a greasy film.

Lacing Test
Fill the glass with beer.  If the glass is clean, foam will adhere to the inside of the glass in parallel rings after each sip, forming a lacing pattern.  If not properly cleaned, foam will adhere in a random pattern, or may not adhere at all.

If any of these conditions exist, the beer can be flat, produce a false head or have an off taste. Your glasses are beer-ready if they pass the sheeting test, salt test, or lacing test.

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The Perfect Pour

Start with a beer-ready, chilled (not frozen) glass.  Tilt glass under the draught faucet at a 45° angle.  Do not let the glass touch the faucet.

Grab the handle at the base.  Open the draught faucet fully with a quick smooth motion.  Do not let the draught faucet touch the beer.

Straighten the glass gradually as you pour, letting the beer agitate in the center of the glass.

Pour and serve with a 1” head of foam.

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Enjoying beer means opening up your senses, and not just your taste buds. Your eyes and nose also play a role in getting the most out of beers. Here's a rundown of the steps to achieving complete beer appreciation.

1Look – Drink in the Sights Every beer has a unique appearance—a shade ranging from light gold to nearly black, a distinct clarity or opacity, a certain amount of carbonation. Appreciate the color and clarity of the beer. Note its head and texture.

2Swirl – Unleash the Flavors Next, slowly swirl your beer in your glass. The gentle motion allows the liquid to agitate, unlocking the beer's subtle distinctions of consistency, aroma and carbonation—small factors that greatly enhance the beer's character.

3Smell – Give Your Nose a Taste Smell and taste are closely linked, so to enjoy a beer to its fullest, take time to savor its aroma. Your glass, especially one designed specifically for your beer, will help direct the aromas from your beer to your nose. Breathe in deeply, and enjoy.

4Taste – The Best Part The key here is to take your time. Have a sip, and before you swallow, let the beer flow over your taste buds. Swirl it around just a bit, so every part of your mouth has contact. That way, you'll be able to appreciate every nuance of the beer's body, character and flavors. Then, of course, repeat.

5Taste Again and Again

Our tasting steps aren't meant for just your first sip, either. As you continue to enjoy your beer, every sip can unlock a subtle difference in taste. Look for the foam lacing that clings to the glass, and note how the tastes change subtly as the beer warms.

Michelob Porter, for example, opens up and matures as it warms, with caramel tones becoming more evident.

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