In this blog post, Rick Uzubell from Cabaret Design Group discusses why glycol draft beer systems are gaining market dominance in the hospitality industry.
Discover the design advantages of the glycol components, such as the power pack, the significance of the glycol beer trunk lines and beer towers, glycol beer system cost, and the advantages of purchasing a glycol beer tap system for your restaurant, bar, sports bar or nightclub.
What Are The Fundamental Components of Glycol Draft Beer Systems?
Now that we know a little bit more about how glycol systems operate, the true advantage of them is that they offer a fool-proof method of delivering beer at a temperature from the walk-in cooler and environmentally controlling it all the way. What's nice about the glycol systems is that they're good up to 750 feet, some of them. Micro-Matic will go up to 750 feet, and their trunk lines can be anywhere from four products to 20 products. Perlick, for instance, will go up to to 24 products. So, as you get up into the higher density lines, there's more engineering that goes into it and more considerations for how it's installed, exactly, which tend to be a little different than the typical run-of-the-mill, eight-product line sets here. But, suffice it to say, that, if you have a properly-sized power pack, you could run as many as three trunk lines, to three different locations, each up to 750 feet in length. The beauty of this system is that, well, economy of scale for one, you have one investment in the power pack, you have all sorts of capacity, you can, in theory, push up to 72 products out of this power-pack, for instance; and the other thing that's nice about it is, is that with the length of the system that we're talking about in terms of capacity – 750 feet for instance, now you can actually have options for where you place your walk-in cooler, so if you have this type of the system, you now could take your walk-in cooler and place it outside the building for instance, or in another part of your building which is less impactful on your operation. So, now you can turn this into more productive space, which is revenue-producing. You have all kinds of advantages in a glycol system. Another advantage of the glycol systems is the tremendous amount of tower designs that are available. Everywhere you go nowadays, you see all these tremendously fancy towers that people are enchanted by and I'm showing a few of them right here, and these are just a brief example of what's available in the market, but the sky is the limit, just about. And, for instance, even Micro-Matic, has a specials department which will custom design a tower that can meet your needs. So, you have all the flexibility of expanding the system, you have the fashion sort of aspect of design of the towers themselves and you have the flexibility of placing the equipment and in many places. These are advantages you don't have with any other system. Of course, they are a little more expensive. For instance, a 16-product line system, like I'm showing here in this front bar, two towers of eight products each, well the cost of this system would be about $1,000 per product line, so for 16 products, you're probably talking, with installation, somewhere in the neighborhood of $16,000 - $20,000, which really isn't bad. There's some ongoing maintenance, that's true, but you have a fairly reliable system in-place here; it's environmentally controlled, and by the way, one other thing I'll mention about walk-in coolers: if you're really going to manage a really good draft beer system, especially if it's a glycol system, you want to keep the integrity of beer at the highest possible priority. So, therefore, really what you should do is dedicate a walk-in cooler exclusively for your draft beer so that you don't make the mistake of placing your case beer in there and having people go in and out of this walk-in cooler all day or all night long, whereby maintaining the ideal temperature within the cooler becomes sort of a pipe dream, because you really need to keep this cooler in the 36 - 38 degree Fahrenheit range, or it just simply isn't going to perform, and then your glycol system really is suffering for it and your investment really is sort of wasted. So, keep a high priority on placing your draft beer in a designated walk-in cooler and have another walk-in cooler for your bottle beer and another one also for your food. So, in any size of an operation you'll see multiple walk-in coolers, for that reason. So, basically that's it -- you have a really good system that has great capacity, great engineering and great reliability, in terms of delivering the product at the right temperature -- everything you need when considering a glycol system.