Guide to Draft Beer Faucets

You may think that if you’ve seen one draft beer faucet, you’ve seen them all. Wrong. Beer faucets come in a variety of styles and materials depending on what you are going to be pouring from them.

wall of draft faucets
Your faucet is an integral part of your draft beer dispensing system, and like most other parts of your system, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from to help meet your pouring needs as precisely as possible.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing the right draft beer faucets for your system. Let’s find one that will work best for you.

 


draft beer faucetWhat Is a Draft Beer Faucet?

Before we start talking about all of the options available for your draft beer faucet, let’s talk about what exactly a beer faucet is.

In the simplest terms, your draft beer faucet attaches directly to the shank or tower of your dispensing system. It is the last part of your system that touches the beer before it ends up in your glass. As such, it plays a crucial role in dispensing your brew by helping to direct the flow. Without a faucet, you’d have an uncontrollable cascade of beer that would be nearly impossible to get into a glass.

But not all pouring situations are created equal. For that reason, there are myriad faucet types, designs, and materials.

 


Types of Beer Faucets 

The type of faucet you use depends on what kind of beer you are planning on pouring and the type of draft system you have. 

Standard Draft Beer Faucets

Standard faucets are perfect for pouring any domestic draft beer, whether you have just a single tap kegerator or a commercial establishment with a wall of taps. You can purchase one and install without having to buy any additional equipment for your draft system. They connect directly to the shank or draft beer tower, and include a ⅜-inch threaded lever that fits virtually any tap handle for easy operation.

Standard faucets are available in a variety of materials and finishes, including chrome-plated or polished brass and stainless steel. Since they are used so frequently, replacement parts are very easy to find in case they need to be repaired. 

Rear Sealing Faucets

Most draft faucets you’ll find are rear sealing faucets. They control the flow of beer from the back of the faucet as the lever moves a valve shaft inside the faucet body which opens and closes the rear seal. The vents inside the shaft slow the flow of beer to provide a nice, smooth pour. These faucet are easy to disassemble for cleaning purposes. Rear sealing faucets are a cost effective option versus a forward sealing faucet.

Forward Sealing Faucets

Forward sealing or ventless draft beer faucet differs from traditional rear sealing faucets in that they greatly reduce the amount of beer that is exposed to oxygen. Instead of a valve shaft controlling the flow at the back of the faucet, the flow is controlled at the front end. This means less beer gets trapped inside the flat area of the faucet body, which keeps your tap handle from sticking and is less susceptible to bacteria and mold growth. Forward-sealing faucets also have fewer internal parts, which means you will spend less time and money on repairing or replacing faucets. 

Forward sealing faucets tend to pour more quickly than rear sealing ones because the beer does not have to travel through any vents. This creates extra turbulence, which may lead to foamy beer. To help this, many manufacturers offer a flow control model to help consumers slow their pour down.

European Draft Beer Faucets

European beer faucets operate similarly to their standard American counterparts with a few exceptions, the biggest difference being the longer and skinnier spout. The narrow spout reduces the amount of foam you get when pouring, which makes it great for filling growlers and pitchers. 

The caveat with European faucets is that they have different threads or a shorter shank than standard faucets, which makes them incompatible with many draft systems in America, especially kegerators. 

Thankfully you can find extended spout faucets that are made to fit standard shanks and towers. 

Nitro stout faucetNitrogen Stout Draft Beer Faucets

If you want to serve up Guinness, Boddington’s, Murphy’s, or any other brew that requires nitrogen or mixed gas for dispensing, you’ll need a special Nitrogen Stout Beer Faucet.

The long, narrow design of a stout faucet pairs with a special restrictor disc inside to help power the beer quickly through the faucet, creating the cascading, thick head typically associated with nitro brews. For maximum versatility, you can easily remove the restrictor disc and use this faucet to dispense “regular” CO2-powered beers.

Extended Spout Draft Beer Faucets

Extended spout faucets, help you control your pour by creating less distance (and thus less loose foam) between the faucet and the glass, pitcher, or growler you’re trying to fill. The extended spout is also ideal for dispensing wine because the limited drop helps prevent over-oxidation while pouring.

Pilsner Draft Beer Faucets

While the ultimate goal of pouring a pint of beer in America is to keep the amount of foam to a minimum, there are parts of the world where a mug of foam would not be angrily slid back to the bartender when presented. 

A side pull draft beer faucet or Czech beer faucet has a trio of micro-filters to control the flow of beer to create a creamy head, which is the traditional way of enjoying a Czech pilsner. You submerge the faucet in the mug to create a silky, sweet head of foam.

 


Specialty Draft Beer Faucet Features 

Self-Closing Faucets

A standard self-closing faucet does exactly what its name promises: it closes itself! The rest of the construction is the same as a standard faucet, but instead of having to manually push it closed, it will return to the closed position when you take your hand off the lever. This is a great option to help conserve beer and prevent accidental spills.

Creamer Faucets

A standard creamer faucet generally has the same construction and finish options as a standard faucet, but it adds a greatly enhanced level of control over the creamy head of your pint. The lever is specially constructed to be pulled forward or pushed back. When you pull it forward, beer flows freely, but when you push it back you can deliver as much creamy foam as desired to add to the aesthetics and taste of your brew.

Flow Control Faucets

If you’re going to be pouring sampler glasses, using frosty mugs, or frequently changing your keg to vastly different styles of brew, a flow control faucet will help manage your pour with ease. These faucets feature a special lever on the side that restricts the flow so that you don’t end up with a foamed-over glass.

Flow control faucets are required equipment if you are going to be serving carbonated cocktails on tap. Carbonated cocktails are dispensed at very high pressure and flow control faucets offer the necessary restriction to control beverage flow. Flow control faucets are also recommended for dispensing kombucha. Though not absolutely necessary, it’s recommended to help counteract foaming issues that might arise with kombucha’s ambiguous carbonation level.

 


Draft Beer Faucet Materials 

Draft faucets are typically available in three types of finishes: chrome-plated, stainless steel and polished brass. While all three have different aesthetic qualities to them, there are some additional things to keep in mind when selecting the style you want to use.

Chrome Draft Beer Faucets

Chrome-plated brass faucets are the most common style of faucet you will find. The shiny chrome finish is visually appealing, and stands out behind any bar. They are more cost-effective and have the same function as stainless steel, but they don’t hold up well to the wear and tear of long-term continuous use. 

After years of use and exposure to low-level acidity from both the beer itself and various cleaning agents, a traditional chrome-plated faucet may begin to corrode and impart unwelcome flavors to your brew.

If you are building a kegerator for your home or a draft system that won’t receive a high-level of use, then chrome-plated faucets are still a viable option for you. Just be sure to monitor the level of wear over time. 

Stainless Steel Draft Beer Faucets

Stainless steel faucets are an upgrade over the standard option. The added value of having a sturdy stainless steel faucet that will last for many years behind your bar balances the trade-off of the premium cost.

Since stainless steel is less susceptible to corrosion it makes it a much more sanitary option because it is much more resistant to the formation of bacteria. For that reason, stainless steel is a must if you want to dispense wine on tap, coffee on tap, kombucha on tap or cocktails on tap because the acidity in these beverages will almost immediately corrode the finish of a plated-brass faucet and render whatever winds up in your glass undrinkable.

Polished Brass Faucets

If you crave the look of polished brass for your faucets, then you do have options. A polished brass draft faucet offers the same affordability and functionality as its chrome-plated counterpart. You can also get a stainless steel faucet with a tarnish free brass finish that provides the look of brass on the outside, but with the durability of stainless steel on the inside. 

 


Best Draft Beer Faucets

There are a variety of draft beer faucets on the market made from the different materials we’ve covered in this guide. When selecting faucets for our draft system here at KegWorks, we chose stainless steel, forward sealing draft faucets. Stainless steel faucets are the sturdiest and longest lasting faucet money can buy, and work with a variety of beverages. The forward sealing design is a more sanitary option as they leave little or no beer inside the faucet body when you are finished pouring.

 

Perlick draft beer faucets

Perlick Premium Draft Beer Faucets

Any standard faucet will get beer from the keg to your glass, but when you get serious about your dispensing and want to take things to the next level, Perlick is the way to go.

At KegWorks, we proudly carry Perlick 600 series draft beer faucets. All of these faucets feature Perlick’s legendary engineering innovation, including a unique forward-sealing design that greatly reduces oxygen exposure, a clean-pouring vertical spout that prevents old beer from collecting in a flat area and attracting bacteria or other contaminants, and a revolutionary “floating ball lever” that eliminates sticking and ensures a positive seal.

Most of these faucets also feature premium 304 stainless steel construction that will last forever, without ever impacting the flavor of your brew. This makes Perlick a perfect option for dispensing coffee, wine, or cocktails as well.

 

intertap draft beer faucet

Intertap Draft Beer Faucets

Intertap draft beer faucets are newer to the draft industry. Their forward-sealing design uses a sliding shuttle inside the faucet that holds the o-ring perfectly in position allowing a more reliable connection to be made with the seal. to close the faucet and stop the flow of beer.

The one feature that really makes Intertap faucets stand out is the interchangeable spouts that you can swap in and out. It gives the faucet a Swiss Army knife-like feel to it because you can easily change the spouts by unscrewing them, and screwing on a new one. There are no tools needed, and you do not need to disassemble any other components.

Learn more about the two different brands of forward sealing draft faucets in our breakdown of Intertap vs. Perlick draft faucets.

15 Comments

  • Beth Bloch February 9, 2016 @ 3:09pm

    Great info on nitro stout draft beer faucets, thanks!

  • HP Seinz February 17, 2016 @ 8:43am

    I recently upgraded to the Perlick 630SS after my 525 began leaking. The 630 certainly does the job, but it definitely opens and closes to easily. (Think loose.) This has me a bit reluctant to use a heavy tap handle for fear of it falling forward and emptying my keg. I’ve searched online for ways to tighten it, but so far no luck. Has anyone else encountered this? Any solutions?

    • Caitlin Hartney February 17, 2016 @ 10:04am

      Our in-house faucet expert recommends that you try tightening down the compression bonnet and the handle jacket. He also suggests low gas pressure could be the culprit. I hope this is helpful.

  • Emiliano Danieluk December 27, 2016 @ 11:09pm

    I need a store (physical, not online) in Miami to buy faucets and another equipment. I have a Beer Bar in Argentina (Barkley).
    Can you help me?

  • Chris Wilder April 12, 2017 @ 6:12pm

    I am new to kegging beers so I have a simple question. Can I mount a stout faucet onto my standard beer tower? My stout faucet has what looks like an industry standard interface for the tower, but the first time I tried it I had stout spray all over out of the small wrench holes on the coupler. I had the nitrogen beer gas set to about 10 PSI to start with, and increasing the pressure to account for the restrictor in the faucet just made it worse. I had tightened the faucet coupler with the wrench, and it wasn’t cross threaded. I look at my standard faucet coupler and see a valve right at the coupler opening that opens and closes when the handle is pulled, but my stout faucet’s valve is inside the throat of the faucet, not near the coupler interface. Should this matter? I don’t know why the stout faucet sprayed beer everywhere.

    • Caitlin April 20, 2017 @ 2:29pm

      Hi, Chris. I talked to our draft specialists, and they think it was probably not seated correctly. You have to make sure the teeth that are in the shank match up to the faucet or else you can get spray. Also, your mixed gas PSI should be above 20 but below 40. I hope this is helpful.

  • tuesday April 25, 2017 @ 11:55pm

    if, I buy a perlick 630ss will it come with everything I need to hook it straight up to my kegerator or will I need additional parts

    • Caitlin April 28, 2017 @ 1:57pm

      As long as you have a US standard shank you are all set. You want to get a spanner wrench if you do not already have one.

  • Dave March 17, 2019 @ 5:15pm

    Can a stout faucet be the cause of a gas leak?

    • Chris March 18, 2019 @ 12:58pm

      Hi Dave,

      A faucet, either stout or standard, would not be the cause of a gas leak. The line that is connected from the keg coupler to the faucet is just beer, so if any leak occurred in your faucet, it would be a beer leak. This can occur if there are any old seals or parts in need of replacement.

      A gas leak will occur somewhere between the air tank and keg coupler. It could be a loose connection between any of the parts in between, whether it’s from the air tank to the regulator, or the line between the regulator and coupler. Usually, the air line is not the issue, and it is the connection to either the coupler or regulator.

      Hope that helps. If you’re still experiencing an issue with your system and want to discuss further, please feel free to contact our draft beer experts at Customer Care. They can be reached at 877.636.3673, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm EST. You can also reach out here. They will be able to discuss specifics about your system and answer your questions. Cheers!

  • Chris April 7, 2019 @ 8:02pm

    I have an older Murphy’s Stout brass faucet and tap handle. Unlike my other stout faucet it doesn’t have the cone regulator and jet disc in the spout. The thread size is different so I can’t switch out the old one with the from my newer spout. Is there a need to have them in the older faucet?

    • Chris April 8, 2019 @ 9:27am

      Hi Chris,

      Unfortunately, without the restrictor disc, you won’t be able to get a proper pour on stout beers. With an older brass stout faucet, it is possible that the faucet may have also become tarnished over time, as that finish does not hold up as well over time as stainless steel. We do offer stout faucets in stainless steel, chrome, and brass finishes.

  • Dennis Mako April 19, 2019 @ 3:12pm

    I am having a custom tap handle made and would like to know what size are the threads that are used on the Perlick beer tap.

  • Alex Meyer September 16, 2019 @ 3:12pm

    I recently purchased a Czech side-pull faucet and they have a very large shank (diameter and length) compared to a more standard faucet. Do you carry any draft towers that you would recommend with these taps? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your name is required.
Comment field is required.