This week I’d like to direct your attention to an oft overlooked, though essential draft beer accessory: the pitcher. Tap handles are the eye candy, pint glasses get the individual attention, but pitchers do all the heavy lifting.
When I was working at the restaurant we used these durable plastic pitchers for just about anything. Scooping sauce and soup into crocks, quickly transporting water around the kitchen, filling food warmers, scooping ice, the list goes on. In a pinch, bartenders would use them as tip jars (don’t worry, they were always thoroughly sanitized before going back into the serving rotation). Sometimes we even served beverages in them. Go figure.
Also, these pitchers are virtually indestructible, perfectly suiting them for the everyday wear and tear of commercial use. We’d store them above the bar and more than a few times one would take the plunge to the floor, only to bounce back no worse for wear. I saw plenty fall, but not one break.
At home, kegerators or converted fridges are usually found one of two places: the basement or the garage. This is where pitchers really become essential. Sure, there are situations you where you might be chilling with friends in your garage, but you’re more likely to be entertaining in your dining room, living room or backyard. Why make multiple trips through the house to fill pints? Fill a few pitchers and keep the party going uninterrupted.
Even if you have a sweet draft system set up in your finished basement, it’s a lot easier to fill a couple pitchers and leave them on the bar than to be glued to the tap pouring pint after pint. Again, fill a few pitchers and go enjoy your party.
I recently was given an old fridge I plan on eventually converting to a kegerator. Our garage, which isn’t attached to our house, is the only place I have room for it (since it won’t fit through the basement door). The first post-conversion purchase I plan on making is a couple of pitchers, which allow me the flexibility to keep the fridge in the garage. In fact, if I didn’t already know how effective and indestructible they were, I might scrap the project entirely due mainly to inconvenience.
Maybe you think it’s a little strange that I just spent six paragraphs extolling the virtues of simple plastic pitchers. I don’t disagree, but even so, pick up a few and you’ll see how much easier and more convenient the life of a draft beer enthusiast can be.