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Old 01-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Opening a microbar - Keg vs bottle


We are a couple of home brewers that are thinking about starting up a bar to sell our beer. But we are wondering what way is the best way to serve it.
What's easiest and what's cheapest?
We plan on making about 5 bbl a month.

Our options:
1. Bottles
Pros: Looks good and feels good. Easy to sell to other bars that might be interested. Plus this is what we know how to do the best.
Cons: Expensive and time consuming. Lots of waste. Also it's nice with a tap in the bar.

2. Cornelius kegs
Pros: We have quite a few of these already. Reusable.
Cons: Need many more if it's gonna be enough for 5 bbl a month. Plus a lot of CO2 connected to every one of them if we plan of force carbonating them.

3. Keykegs
Pros: Fits more beer in one keg. Stores well in stacks. Easy to sell to other bars.
Cons: Will it work with any fermenter tank? What sort of equipment do one need to operate them, i.e. fill them and carbonate them? Expensive.

4. Is there another way? Is there a solution for getting the beer from the tanks to the tap where its carbonated some other way then forced carbonated over weeks?

Hope someone has a few tips, the residents of this tiny town will thank you for helping a new bar seeing the light of day!

PS. Sorry for posting this twice in wrong forum!

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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Well, 5 bbl is 1653 12 oz bottles! IMO you need at least 1/2 sanke kegs, or I think you can do serving bright tanks much larger. check out

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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Any reason you want to commit to one method? Because I would think that a combination of Corny/Bottles would be easiest... Starting the business is going to be hard enough... Im a big proponent of 'use whatchya got' .... Get established in house before you start making too many commitments to restaurant/bar buyers...

If you have a bunch of conry's laying around between the lot of you already use them to supply taps at the bar. When you get some cash flow going start to purchase keykegs so you can distribute outside the bar, and then switch your taps over so everything is uniform and stream line...

Bottle what you can't fit in the kegs. Keep it on hand to sell in your place, or to other bars.

Not that I have experience with such problems, Thats just my 2cents...
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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I too would go with Sankey 1/2 kegs/maybe a few cases of bottles. Far less work to fill/clean and will work with other bars equipment.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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I'd go with kegs with very few (if any) bottles. You'll need a carbonating setup either way. What size batches are you planning on making? If you get a carbonating vessel, then you can carbonate, fill the kegs, and put what little won't fill a keg into bottles. Although that will mean additional hardware and storage space.

I'd go with either 1/2 barrel or 1/4 barrel kegs for most. If you want to send some to other bars, see what size, and keg type, they want. Most likely they'll want standard sanke kegs. So, get some 1/6 barrel kegs for them (if they're good with that size).

BTW, have you looked at the licensing you'll need to sell the beer to people in bottles? It's a lot more involved than just having it on tap there. It's why most brew pubs sell from tap and sometimes fill growlers for people to take home.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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