Beer choice is exploding! Between domestics, crafts, and imports there has never been a time where more is better, especially if you want to keep the customer coming back for variety. Whether owner, manager or bartender, you’ve probably spent time pondering the pros and cons of different beer dispense systems.
You’ve probably thought about a kegerator under the bar counter, where it’s very near the faucet. This is appealing because it reduces the likelihood of temperature problems, foam, and wasted product. But do you really want to cart your beer kegs through a crowd of customers? And, more important will that provide enough variety on tap? You’ve also probably considered a remote beer system, where the kegs are stored in a walk-in cooler and beer is delivered to the faucets through beer lines hundreds of feet away. How can you be sure the beer maintains a consistent temperature over the length of the tubing? The slightest change in temperature can cause foaming and quality problems at the faucet.
Maintaining beer temperature is the role of trunk line, to deliver cold beer to the faucet. Trunk line is specially insulated beer tubing (“python”) that weaves through the attic or floor of a building carrying beer from the keg cooler to the faucet. Unlike normal beer lines, trunk line can dispense beer long distances with no foam waste while maintaining product quality and temperature.
Not all python is created equal, though. To truly maintain temperature consistency, you need a high-quality python. Trunk line protects the investment you’ve made in bringing in keg beer.
Look beer tubing in the python to have an inner bonded liner that is designed to be an extension of the keg. This liner protects the brewers’ art while transporting it to the customer’s glass at the desired temperature. Think of the tubing as being glass-lined, as if you were picking up the keg and pouring the beer directly into the glass.
Do you want two beers or 20 beers dispensed? No problem: trunk line is available with up to 20 product tubes and either 1/4”, 5/16” or 3/8” inside diameter. Also look for the following in trunk line: it should be designed and manufactured to eliminate heat fostering condensation build-up with a tight vapor barrier wrap. The foil and insulation layers keep the cold inside, where it belongs, making it very effective at maintaining temperature.
Remote beer system installers look for the outer jacket (or tape layer) of the trunk line to reduce friction as it protects the inner bundle. This allows an installer to push it through a building’s conduit or chase system, whereas most other products – particularly ones constructed with copper tubing – must be pulled though, which is undesirable as it can result in increased labor cost and potential damage to the trunk line.
Look for an inner barrier lining of the product tubing inside the trunk line bundle that is so slick that it will not allow beer spoilers to imbed themselves, as they have with other trunk lines that utilize simple polyethylene line. Line cleaning chemicals are expensive, and line cleaners are busy… they don’t have all day to try and circulate buckets of cleaner through an inferior trunk line (which should actually have been replaced at the first sign of off-taste beer)!
Whether you’re considering a new install or an upgrade, consider investigating the quality of trunk line available on the market. Choosing the right trunk line is a great way to enhance and maintain beer quality, lower operating costs, and increase overall profits…on what is already a very profitable beverage!