On Tap at Home | Building Your Own Keg Bar for Craft Cocktails

On Tap at Home | Building Your Own Keg Bar for Craft Cocktails

Craft cocktails have gained immense popularity in recent years, and for good reason. The art of mixing unique flavours and using high-quality ingredients has transformed the way we enjoy drinks. While visiting trendy bars and lounges to savour these concoctions is a thrilling experience, wouldn't it be fantastic to recreate that atmosphere in the comfort of your own home? With the growing trend of home keg bars, it's now easier than ever to bring the joy of craft cocktails to your living space. In this article, we'll explore the steps and considerations involved in building your own keg bar for craft cocktails, ensuring that your at-home bar becomes the envy of your friends and family.

Choosing the Right Keg System:
The foundation of your keg bar lies in selecting the right keg system. When it comes to home keg bars, iKegger offers a range of sizes to suit your space and needs. Let's explore the different iKegger keg sizes available:


2L Kegs: iKegger's 2L kegs are perfect for those who have limited space or prefer a more compact option. These kegs are small, portable, and easy to handle. They are ideal for experimenting with different cocktail recipes or serving individual craft cocktails. Despite their smaller size, they still provide the convenience of a draft system, allowing you to pour and enjoy your cocktails on tap.

4L Kegs: iKegger's 4L kegs strike a balance between portability and capacity. These kegs offer a bit more room to store and serve your craft cocktails while remaining relatively compact. They are suitable for small gatherings or when you want to have a variety of cocktails on tap. The 4L kegs are easy to handle and provide a fantastic way to showcase your mixology skills to friends and family.

5L Kegs: iKegger's 5L kegs are a popular choice for home keg bars. With a capacity of 5 liters, these kegs offer a good balance between size and quantity. They are great for hosting gatherings or parties where you want to serve a larger number of guests. The 5L kegs provide enough space to store larger batched cocktails, allowing you to keep the flow of craft cocktails for your guests to enjoy.

10L Kegs: If you have ample space and love to entertain a larger crowd, iKegger's 10L kegs are an excellent option. These kegs provide a significant capacity, allowing you to serve a substantial amount of craft cocktails without the need for frequent refills. They are perfect for hosting events or parties where you want to impress your guests with on-tap cocktails.

When choosing the keg size, consider the available space in your home keg bar area. Ensure that the kegs fit comfortably within your designated space and allow for easy access and maintenance. Also, think about the amount of cocktail consumption and the frequency of keg changes. Smaller kegs, such as the 2L and 4L options, are suitable for personal use or smaller gatherings, while the 5L and 10L kegs cater to larger groups or more frequent hosting.

Designing Your Bar Space:
Next, let's delve into designing your bar space to create an inviting and functional area for your keg bar and craft cocktails. Consider the following aspects when designing your bar space:


Layout and Flow: Start by assessing the available space and determining the layout that best suits your needs. Consider the flow of movement within the area. Ensure that there is ample room for your keg system, including space for kegs, gas cylinders, and any necessary connections. Optimize the placement of ingredients, garnishes, and glassware for easy access and efficient workflow.

Aesthetics and Style: Choose a design and style that reflects your personal taste and complements the overall ambiance of your home. Whether you prefer a modern, sleek look or a vintage, rustic charm, incorporate elements such as lighting, bar stools, and decor that align with your chosen theme. Consider using materials like wood, stainless steel, or stone to enhance the visual appeal of your bar space.


Storage and Organization: Efficient storage and organization are essential for a well-functioning bar space. Include cabinets, shelves, or dedicated storage areas to keep your cocktail ingredients, tools, and glassware neatly organized and easily accessible. Utilize clear containers or labels to identify ingredients and ensure everything is within reach when you're mixing and serving cocktails. Incorporate a refrigeration unit or mini-fridge to store your kegs and perishable ingredients to keep them fresh.

By carefully designing your bar space, you can create an environment that not only showcases your keg bar and craft cocktails but also provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience for yourself and your guests. Pay attention to layout, aesthetics, storage, seating, and personal touches to transform your bar area into a captivating space that sets the stage for memorable mixology moments. 

Selecting the Right Gas: CO2 vs. Nitrogen
When setting up your keg bar for craft cocktails, it's essential to choose the right gas for carbonation and dispensing. The two most common gases used in keg systems are Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Nitrogen (N2). Let's explore the characteristics and uses of each gas:

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): CO2 is the most widely used gas in kegging systems, and it's commonly associated with carbonating and dispensing beverages. It provides the carbonation needed to give your cocktails that delightful effervescence. CO2 is ideal for carbonated drinks like soda, sparkling water, and carbonated cocktails. It dissolves easily in liquid and produces small bubbles, giving your cocktails a lively and refreshing quality. CO2 is also necessary for creating pressure in the keg to push the liquid out when serving.

Nitrogen (N2): Nitrogen is a gas with unique properties that can enhance the serving experience of certain cocktails. Unlike CO2, Nitrogen is not very soluble in liquid, which means it doesn't contribute to carbonation. Instead, Nitrogen is used to create a smooth, creamy texture and a cascading effect when pouring certain cocktails, like Espresso Martinis or French Martinis.
It's important to note that some keg systems and tap setups are specifically designed for either CO2 or Nitrogen. Make sure your chosen keg system supports the gas you intend to use. The iKegger 2.0 regulator can support both CO2 and Nitrogen. Additionally, always follow safety guidelines and proper gas handling procedures to ensure a safe and enjoyable keg bar experience.

Dispensing and Serving:
Mastering the art of dispensing and serving is crucial to delivering a flawless craft cocktail experience. Apart from the keg system, another important element to consider is the tap font. A tap font is the visible part of the dispensing system that sits on top of the bar and allows you to pour your cocktails with style. It adds a touch of elegance and professionalism to your keg bar setup.
Tap fonts often come with multiple taps, allowing you to serve different cocktails simultaneously. This is especially useful if you want to offer a variety of craft cocktails to your guests. Each tap can be connected to a separate keg, enabling you to showcase your mixology skills and provide a diverse menu of on-tap delights.


Ensure that your tap font is properly maintained and cleaned to preserve the quality of your cocktails. Regularly check for any leaks or issues with the dispensing system, and make adjustments as needed. Keeping your tap font in good condition will ensure a smooth and enjoyable cocktail pouring experience.
By incorporating a tap font into your keg bar setup, you not only enhance the functionality of your system but also elevate the visual appeal of your home bar. It becomes a focal point that showcases your dedication to craft cocktails and leaves a lasting impression on your guests.

Building your own keg bar for craft cocktails brings the excitement and creativity of mixology right into the comfort of your home. With the right keg system, tap fonts, gas selection, and a thoughtfully designed bar space, you can create a remarkable at-home bar experience. By selecting the appropriate keg size, considering the use of CO2 or nitrogen, and paying attention to the details of your bar space, you'll be well on your way to serving delicious, on-tap craft cocktails to impress your guests. So, roll up your sleeves, explore the world of mixology, and start designing your own keg bar today. Cheers to enjoying craft cocktails on tap, right at home!
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