Last weekend we had a group of friends up to the cottage to welcome the first weekend of spring. No cottage weekend is complete without beer, and Chris used the opportunity to do a little upgrading.
A couple of years ago we came into possession of a keg fridge for our home. Cass, one of Chris’s friends and his business partner told us he’d ordered it, and it was going to be delivered to our place, because he didn’t have room at his. “It’s for the cottage,” he said. Well… several years later, and it never made it to the cottage. It’s sitting here in my living room. I wasn’t a huge fan at first, because well, nothing screams “frat house” louder than a keg fridge in your living room.
But I’ll admit, I’m now a total convert. Why you ask? Well beyond the constant availability of fresh draft on tap (a good enough reason alone), having a keg of beer means we don’t have a constant, towering pile of empties gathering dust and Zeus hair in the corner of the kitchen. Chris and Cass, and all of the guys we’re friends with actually, are micro brew fanatics. You can’t imagine how bad the empty situation can get. And ever since The Beer Store started accepting bottle returns for both products they sell and products sold at the LCBO stores, and since The Beer Store redesigned their purchasing system so that you return your bottles and buy your beer from the same cashier, well, I don’t have three hours to stand in line. Do you?
Not to mention that buying beer in 30 litre kegs is much cheaper than by the bottle. Yes, you have to make a keg deposit, but that’s negligible. Mill Street’s Brew Pub in the Distillery district sells kegs of most of their beers through their store to individuals, and so we generally just buy from them, because it’s easy, and well, they make excellent beer. We picked up a few growlers recently as well, so we can fill up from home and take to friends’ places when visiting.
Kegs are also a greener choice, since they’re reused indefinitely. And because we’re buying from a local micro-brewery, we’re supporting a local business and the product doesn’t go through any shipping, aside from the drive from the brewery to our home.
The upgrade I was talking about however refers to us going from having one tap to two. Chris used the cottage gathering as an opportunity to visit a bar equipment specialty shop and get a new tower for the keg fridge that has two tap feeds. The only problem we were having with the fridge before was constant foamy head. You had to pour off a pitcher and let it settle before drinking it. We suspected the problem was that the lines were getting too warm in the tower, and so Chris added extra bubble wrap insulation to it, but the problem persisted. Since the fridge can just barely hold two 30 L kegs, he opted to try getting a higher quality pouring system, and that seems to have done the trick. And it was useful for having the two kegs tapped at the cottage. The month of March by the way, makes for excellent, natural refrigeration.
The next thing for us to do, to help lower the not-so-green energy usage of the fridge, is to put it on a timer. After all, we don’t generally need cold beer first thing in the morning.