Find out what makes forward sealing draft beer faucets stand out, and what is the difference between Intertap and Perlick faucets.
Have you ever gone to pour a delicious pint of your favorite brew only to have the tap lever stuck and unable to move? If you are tired of having to clean sticky draft beer faucets, then you should consider a forward sealing draft faucet. They are designed to drain completely when you are done pouring so there’s no beer left in the faucet to get sticky and skunky.
What is a forward sealing draft faucet?
There are two different types of standard draft beer faucets: rear sealing and forward sealing. A forward sealing or ventless draft beer faucet differs from traditional rear sealing faucets in that it greatly reduces the amount of beer that is exposed to oxygen. Instead of a valve shaft that opens and closes a valve and 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.
Perlick and Intertap are two popular brands of forward sealing faucets that use different designs. Both brands have their own unique design and features when it comes to their forward sealing faucets, and we’ve taken a look at what makes each one stand out.
Perlick has long been the industry standard when it comes to forward sealing faucets. They have over 100 years of experience in the draft beer industry, which led them to create their ball and floating front seal design.
The faucet lever has a ball (or Perl) at the end of it, which swings back and forth like a pendulum when the lever is operated. The ball fits inside a floating o-ring in the front of the faucet to seal it shut. The vertical spout allows the faucet to fully drain, which keeps beer from sitting inside the faucet where it can cause the handle to stick and allow bacteria to form if not cleaned properly. When combined with their 304 stainless steel construction, Perlick delivers a sturdy, long lasting faucet.
With the label of being one of the best, if not the best, Perlick faucets do carry a more expensive price tag than other faucets. They do offer chrome-plated models for those looking for a front sealing faucet on a budget. While you will likely never need to replace the stainless steel body of your Perlick faucet, you will need to replace some of the interior parts at some point. The floating o-ring is one of the parts that tends to wear out over time, but replacement seal kits are inexpensive.
Perlick Perl 630
This is the standard model of Perlick draft beer faucet. It comes with all of the standard Perlick features, design and stainless steel construction with either a polished steel or tarnish-free brass finish.
We also offer an economy Perlick Perl 630 that’s made from chrome-plated brass. Although you’ll sacrifice the benefits of stainless steel construction, you still get all of the engineering performance of a Perlick at a price that works with any budget.
Perlick Perl 650
The stainless steel Perlick Perl 650 is Perlick’s flow control faucet. It combines the unbeatable quality of Perlick with the utility of a carefully balanced flow control lever that helps you pour successfully in just about any dispensing situation you can dream up.
Perlick Perl 680
Only available in stainless steel, the Perlick Perl 680 is a creamer faucet. It’s lever features a small piston with miniature holes. When pouring from a properly engaged lever, the beer is forced through these miniature holes and the resulting turbulence creates a rich head that serves as the perfect finishing touch to your pour.
Perlick Perl 690
If you really want complete power over your draft beer dispensing, the Perlick Perl 690 is for you. It offers all of the options from the rest of the Perlick Perl 600 series in one faucet. Yeah, you read that right. This faucet has all of Perlick’s incredible design advantages, stainless steel construction, creamer action, AND flow control. Consider this the absolute apex of pouring.
Check out our additional guide to learn more about how you can fine tune your pour with Perl 650 and 690 Perlick Flow Control 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.
Intertap currently offers a stout spout, growler filling spout and ball lock spout options for your system in addition to the standard spout. While they do offer faucets without flow control and faucets made from chrome-plated brass, we do recommend you pick up the stainless steel faucet with flow control for a durable faucet that can provide you with a smooth pour.
Intertap Flow Control Faucet
This faucet features Intertap’s forward seal design with a flow control lever. It features the standard spout designed to pour pints of your favorite draft beer. It unscrews easily so you can attach any of the other interchangeable spouts.
Intertap Ball Lock Spout
Attach the ball lock spout to your Intertap faucet and you have an easy way to transfer beverages from one keg to another without having to disconnect the original keg from your draft system. This protects your liquid from being exposed to oxygen during the transfer process to preserve the flavor. The direct connection reduces waste from spillage as well. This is a great solution for homebrewers that make their own beer, kombucha or cold brew coffee.
Intertap Stout Creamer Spout
Turn your Intertap draft faucet into a nitro stout faucet quickly and easily with the stout creamer spout. The creamer/aerator disc inside the spout strips out the nitrogen gas to pour a creamy, cascading pint of nitro goodness. This stout beer spout is made from durable 304 stainless steel, which is corrosion resistant and easy to clean.
Intertap Growler Filling Spout
When you need to switch from pouring pints to filling growlers, just screw on the growler filling spout. It features a ½” barb at the end, which you connect a 1/2″ I.D. hose to properly fill your growler from the bottom up.
Which Faucet Is Right For Me?
Both Intertap and Perlick faucets would make excellent additions to your draft system, whether you have a single tap kegerator or brew pub with a wall of 50 taps. The front sealing design along with the stainless steel faucet body means you’ll get a faucet that you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time pouring.
In our informed opinion, the Intertap faucet is great for someone that likes to change up their draft beers frequently because you have the option to easily switch from stouts to other styles of beer by just switching spouts. Intertap is also a great option for homebrewers needing to fill corny kegs or establishments that fill growlers because of the interchangeable spouts.
Perlick faucets are a great everyday faucet for pouring everything from popular light American lagers to hazy New England IPAs. The stainless steel models are also perfect for serving wine and cocktails on tap. While they are slightly pricier, they are worth the investment if you have room in your budget.
No matter which faucet you choose, you cannot go wrong because both are quality faucets. In fact, we here at KegWorks use both on our draft tower in our office bar. You can learn more about the different types of faucets out there with our Guide to Draft Beer Faucets.