BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Quick and easy to install, will have your beer flowing in no time. High-quality design will provide perfect pours for years to come.
Plastic nozzle may cause issues.
Extremely easy to install and clean between keg parties. Daily usage isn't a problem and one user reported over 2,600 pours with zero issues.
Not the highest quality, but for this price point it works well.
8-inch pump that fits all Sankey D system kegs. Lever handle lock provides less leaks of your favorite beer. Spout faucet keeps your cold brew flowing.
Some issues related to packaging, but users are mostly happy with this product.
This keg pump is the European version of the US Sankey D system keg pump. Includes both a tin-nickel plated brass base and chrome plated air pump. 8-inch pump is built for durability.
Not compatible with all brews.
Built with high-quality material, solid construction, and classic modeling and is chrome plated. Offers 100% protection against rust. Comes with an easy-to-use lock coupler. Has an airtight seal for no leaks!
It can be tricky to use if not aware of all functions.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Maybe your team just won the big game and it’s time to celebrate. Maybe you’re throwing a big party for family and friends. Whatever the occasion, a keg is an apt choice. It’s more environmentally friendly than grabbing several cases of beer — there are no beer bottles and caps to deal with, and if you choose, you can take the keg back for a refill in the future.
When you get a keg, you need a keg tap. Sure, you could rent one, but if you throw more than one or two parties a year, it makes more sense to buy your own keg tap than to rent one from someone else.
There are some considerations to keep in mind when you get your own tap: size, type of keg, and ease of setup, to name a few. You also need to understand some of the basics about pressurizing the keg and using the tap.
There are six major types of connectors for beer pumps. Most American beers use a D-system connector. European taps use S-system connectors, and German taps use A-system or M-system connections. Be sure to get the correct type of keg tap for the beer you’re drinking. The wrong type will not fit, and your party will be over before it starts.
There are two main types of kegs for which you need a keg tap. Kegs are not standardized, so the numbers below are approximate and may vary from one beer distributor to another.
Full keg: A full keg is equal to about half of a barrel of beer, holding 15.5 gallons.
Pony keg: This size holds roughly a quarter of a barrel of beer, about 7.75 gallons.
If you get a keg smaller than a pony keg, it probably comes with a gravity-assisted tap at the bottom, and you won’t need a keg tap for it. These small kegs, under 7 gallons, are usually recyclable.
Beer keg taps may be pump operated or gas operated.
Pump-operated taps must be pumped by hand to maintain pressure inside the keg. They are generally 7 to 8 inches high in addition to the coupler itself. These are sometimes referred to as portable or picnic taps. They are complete by themselves and don’t require anything extra, except for the keg they’re attached to.
Gas-operated taps are shorter and have two line connectors on them: one line for dispensing beer and one for introducing CO2 or nitrogen gas into the beer keg to pressurize it. Different beers require different gases.
The pump on a pump-operated keg tap stands higher than it does on a gas-operated tap. If you’re trying to put your keg in the refrigerator, you’ll have to remove shelves to make room for the pump.
It’s also worth noting that transporting a keg with a pump tap attached and sticking out leaves it vulnerable to being hit and broken off. Keep the tap and the keg separate until you reach your destination.
A keg tap has to maintain pressure on the beer keg while allowing the beer to release in a controlled fashion. For that, a tap needs to be constructed from metal that can withstand the pressure. Keg tap pumps are made from stainless steel, which is often chrome-plated to keep it shiny and clean. The bases are made from nickel-plated brass or chrome-plated stainless steel.
Rubber and plastic are used for the gaskets, O-rings, tubing, and faucet.
Most keg taps have a lever on the coupler, just above the base. This is a locking lever that locks the keg tap in place once it is seated. Without this, random jostling of the keg could cause the tap to pop off. Some budget-priced keg taps don’t have this lever; they simply rely on pressure to keep the tap in place.
Most pumps on keg taps are cylindrical with a ball handle on the end. A few pumps have a wide push valve that resembles an oversized button.
A nice feature we wish more keg taps had is a pressure relief valve or vent. Some keg taps do have one, and it helps stop the formation of foam when you’re pumping up the pressure. As a result, you don’t waste as much beer with unnecessary foam.
Keg taps don’t require you to be a muscleman to put them in place, but a little elbow grease is required. You’ll have to push down against the internal pressure in the keg to get the coupler seated. Once it’s down, rotate it a quarter turn to secure it. Then, engage the locking lever. It shouldn’t take more than a minute to seat the coupler and secure it.
Replacement faucets: Wrewing Plastic Picnic Keg Tap Faucet
On keg taps, the faucet for dispensing the beer takes lots of use and abuse. This pack of four from Wrewing will connect to most standard keg taps and prevent frustration if a faucet breaks in the middle of a party.
Keg cooling bag: Cool Brewing LLC Keg Cooler Bag
Keeping your keg chilled from top to bottom won’t be a problem with this insulated cooling bag from Cool Brewing LLC. Put in a layer of ice, put in the keg, and pack ice all around it. Zip it up and let it chill. There’s even a small zipper opening on top for the keg tap.
Keg tap cleaning kit: BACOENG Advanced Hand Pump Pressurized Keg Beer Cleaning Kit
Sanitation is a must for your keg tap. This cleaning kit from BACOENG has all the cleaning equipment and brushes you need to keep your tap in pristine condition between uses.
The low price range for keg taps is $24 up to about $40. These taps are plastic or simply of lower quality. The main problem in this price range is the inability of the tap to keep the keg pressurized.
The medium price range sits between $40 and $60. These are mostly stainless steel, chrome, and brass taps that do the job for American and European beer kegs.
Over $60 is the high price range where you’ll find quality construction as well as A-system taps for German beers.
Remember to chill the keg tap for at least an hour before using it. Otherwise, your beer will lose carbonation when it contacts the warm tubing in the system.
Keep in mind that the first two or three glasses of beer from a fresh keg will be mostly foam. Don’t keep adding beer to them. Set them aside and let them settle.
Keep your mug tilted at an angle when pumping beer into it. Otherwise, you’ll create excess foam.
Don’t over-pressurize the keg. If you do, you’ll wind up blasting out more foam than beer, creating a huge mess in the process.
A. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning it every two to three weeks or every half keg.
A. The natural carbonation of beer creates pressure inside the keg. Once you attach the pump, that pressure will fill a glass or two before you have to start pumping.
A. You’ll know the pressure is right if it takes about six to eight seconds to fill a 16-ounce cup.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.