How to Get Guinness on Tap at Home

nitro draft faucetGuinness is world famous, and for good reason: it’s creamy and rich; it has a delightful Irish pedigree; and, at just 125 calories per 12-ounce serving, it’s relatively low calories when compared to most non-light beers.

Guinness on draught is especially delicious. Thankfully, all you need to dispense a keg of Guinness (or any stout) at home is a stout system.

You have a couple of options to get the Guinness flowing: you can either purchase a dedicated Guinness Draught Kegerator or you can convert an existing draft dispensing system, which can be switched back to standard dispensing whenever you like.

The draft beer equipment that you already have and your budget will determine which route you choose to get Guinness on tap at home. Regardless of the option you choose, there are three basic differences between a standard draft beer system and a stout system that you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • The Type of Gas Used
  • The Keg Coupler
  • The Faucet

The Type of Gas Used

Instead of CO2 like a traditional draft beer system, Guinness uses a nitrogen/CO2 blend to push the beer through the lines, and it’s nitrogen that gives Guinness it’s tell-tale creamy, tight head. Mixed gas comes in an all-in-one air tank that contains 75% nitrogen and 25% CO2.

To find a mixed gas dealer in your area, it’s a good idea to ask your local Guinness distributor who he or she recommends. The Guinness Import Company goes to great lengths to make sure that gas dealers are properly blending mixed gas. Some gas dealers are particular, and they will only fill a nitrogen tank with mixed gas. Other dealers have no qualms filling your regular CO2 tank with the mixed gas, given that the only difference between the two types of tanks is the threads.

We offer specialty nitrogen regulators, but, if you prefer, you can use a standard CO2 regulator with a nitrogen tank by utilizing a CO2/nitrogen adapter. Just be sure to set your regulator to 30 psi.

The Keg Coupler

The keg coupler you need for your stout system depends on the brand of stout you want to serve. Kegs of Guinness, Harp and Kilkenny require a U System Keg Coupler, while other brands of stout may call for a different coupler. See our coupler guide.

guinness draft beer faucet

A European Specialty Faucet is essential to pouring Guinness on tap.

The Faucet

If you’ve ever watched a bartender pour a pint of Guinness, you’ve probably noticed that a stout faucet is different from other faucets.  Sometimes called a European Specialty Faucet, the stout faucet has a different type of handle that pulls forward and down. There’s also a tiny restrictor disc inside of the faucet head. When Guinness and other stouts are forced through the disc, the beer forms the unique head that people love. To dispense any other type of beer (i.e.: Bud, Miller, Coors etc.) with one of these specialty faucets, all you need to do is remove the restrictor disc.

With the right knowledge and the proper equipment, it’s easy and affordable to enjoy your favorite stout at home. And once you have your system in place, you’ll want to consider having a proper Guinness glass. For more information on how the right drinkware can improve the taste of your beer, stout or otherwise, check out the KegWorks Guide to Glassware.

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11 Comments

  • DAWN April 26, 2016 @ 2:40am

    where do I get the nitrogen for the tank, I’m in Northern Maine?

    • Caitlin Hartney April 26, 2016 @ 10:22am

      Hi, Dawn. We recommend calling around to any welding shops near you. They should be able to hook you up with contact information for a local distributor. When you call the distributor, just be sure to specify you need “beer gas,” or a 75/25 mix.

    • Joe May 7, 2016 @ 10:55am

      Maine Oxy Auburn Maine. I have purchased several.

  • Tim McG July 20, 2016 @ 4:18pm

    Is it compatible with a basic Kenmore Kegerator?

  • richard k September 17, 2016 @ 10:08pm

    I have a regular kegerator and I have purchased the specific coupler for Guinness as well as the faucet. However, do I need to purchase a unique tower also for the Guinness faucet of can I just convert the existing one? Thanks for any help.

    • Caitlin Hartney September 23, 2016 @ 1:57pm

      Hi, Richard. You can just attach it to your current tower as long as it is US standard on the shank.

  • Jeffry February 13, 2017 @ 11:04pm

    Can i use a regular tap with flow control? With a u coupler and beer gas?

  • Joey G February 26, 2017 @ 1:35pm

    Can I use a mixed gas in my co2 tank AND the standard coupler my kegerator has?

  • Dan June 1, 2017 @ 1:44pm

    Does anyone know the actual dimensions that a 1/4 Keg of Guinness is distributed in? I’m considering adding a second faucet to my tower, but need to make sure that two slim quarters will fit in my cooler.

    I know Guinness is available locally in a 1/4, but the folks here can’t give tell me if it’s s slim or not. They’re telling me it’s a quarter…I’ve “heard” that Guinness is only in 1/2 and 1/6, so if it IS a 1/6, I’m OK with that as well.

  • Reza August 30, 2018 @ 1:23pm

    Where can I get the keg itself? I live in San Jose, Ca. My local BevMo lists Guinness as a brand they carry. But when I ordered, they said their distributor doesn’t have it. Same answer from Total Wine. But there a hundred bars in the area that sell Guinness on tap. What am I missing?

    • Chris September 25, 2018 @ 10:09am

      Hi Reza,

      I’d check out this Guinness map from their official site. You can filter it to just show stores in your area that sell kegs. I did look up a few, but some areas may be tougher to find a Guinness keg seller than others. Also, King Keg may be a good place to shop. Good luck!

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