The craft beer market has exploded in popularity in the last decade. No longer are the days of picking between two or three domestic beer options.
Crafts breweries are popping up in every city in America. Hobbyists are tinkering with homebrew kits in their basements. Imports are flooding in from overseas.
What this means for us, the beer lovers, is an endless variety of brews are becoming readily available. Alcohol retailers are broadening their inventories to hit more markets.
Before we throw that barrel of beer on ice, I want to explain the many types of couplers for kegs. Read on learn about the different types of keg couplers that will work for your set up.
Types of Couplers for Kegs
Whether its a restaurant, home bar, or just a kegerator, the type of keg coupler comes into play, but first, let us go over what a keg coupler does.
The coupler controls the floodgate that releases the beer from the keg. Each style works in the same fundamental way. Couplers have an attachment for the beer line, the CO2, and a coupling end for the keg.
The two lines are interchangeable with an adjustable wrench. However, without the correct coupling style, we can’t unlock that liquid gold from its steel prison.
So, let’s discuss the six different styles.
The United States produces the most craft beer of any country. Fortunately, there is uniformity with American kegs.
Almost all American beers use a D coupler. Also known as the Sankey style, it is by far the most common coupler. The D style has a groove that fits into the keg and locks in with a turn.
Anything from domestics giants to unheard of microbrews will use this style. If it comes to buying only one coupler, I would recommend the D style. It will allow for the largest selection of beers.
Of course, Germany has put a unique stamp on the world of beer. The Oktoberfest beer festival is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Germany.
If it is a German beer keg, look for A and M couplers. The A style is the most popular, but some niche German brands use M.
Whereas the American coupler locks in by twisting, the A and M couplers both slide into a groove on the keg.
Alternative European Beers
The last three keg coupler types are U, S, and G. European imports will sometimes use these styles.
In the grand scheme of the beer market, these are relatively uncommon couplers. Look for British and Belgian beers to use U, S, and G couplers.
Their locking mechanisms are a mix of American and German-style couplers.
Shall We Have a Beer?
This article should have erased any confusion surrounding types of couplers for kegs. It is time to pour a round.
When setting up a bar, keep in mind what brands will be served. This will help determine which keg coupler to install. If there is still uncertainty on a keg coupling, call the distributor.
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